We are all now exhausted


B’ham Hall July 30th 1851

We have just seen the last of the men employed to clear the orangery. Josiah was supervising to be sure that nothing was broken or stolen – as if a group of farmboys from the village would want a statue of a Grecian slave girl in chains – but he is preoccupied with business. Some of the money men from London were so impressed with Blindingham, and therefore with Josiah himself, that they have agreed to invite him to invest in their projects. I have never seen him so happy.

I am also happy. My new friends were all present and I could tell that the ladies of Surrey society were looking at me with new eyes after meeting Rowena and the Coopers. I shall be asked to attend some important parties from now onwards I feel sure.

I am only sorry that Boo seemed so distant. They came early and stayed for the whole weekend, and I was looking forward to sharing both the anticipation and the aftermath with her. But the Girl took her to the Nursery on arrival and after twenty minutes both of them had faces like my boots for the rest of the weekend. I couldn’t get any sense out of her as to why she was so cold, other than some comment about me needing to speak to Josiah. I am not sure what I should be speaking to him about. The Girl was no use at all when she came to dress me for the Ball. She was snivelling, abrupt and fumbling and I had occasion to be stern with her, which led to a fresh bout of weeping and exclamations of woe. I am very tired of her. She looked at me in the mirror as she was dressing my hair and said ‘Madam, I wonder that you cannot see the reason for my distress’. What on earth should I know of her simple thoughts and mindless misery? Between her and Boo, my enjoyment of the Ball was quite spoiled. I shall write to Boo immediately and tell her so.

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