Dearest Boo

I have discovered a passion for husbandry!

I was in desperate need of something to distract me from the daily task of caring for Cook – I spend an hour with her every single afternoon, Boo, and I am drained as a result. I mentioned to Villiers that I wished for some creative outlet and the next thing I knew he had presented Jennet at the kitchen door, both of them flushed with enthusiasm for my new venture.

So now I have become a keen gardener. I do not dig or weed, of course, I am far too slight to manage the utensils needed for that. Jennet is better suited to the heavy work. But I have become quite adept at pulling away dead leaves and flower heads hanging there beyond their allotted time. I am able to see which plants look well with others and can even make a drawing of a proper garden plan. Oh, but it is so pleasing, Boo. You would not, as a Londoner, know the pleasure to be got from the land!

I am to be found most evenings walking amongst my flowers and shrubs, giving them gentle encouragement and a little nourishment if they need it. Josiah has given me a basket for collecting cuttings, bless him. He sits sometimes on the bench to watch me but I know he is keen to get back to business. I am trying to think of a new direction for him but have such an empty head by the afternoons that I fear I am little use to him. He is such a generous man, my husband, that he freely gives his time helping the Nurse to care for Cook. I knew he was a kind and thoughtful soul, Boo, but I did not honestly expect him to take his responsibility to her so seriously. I suspect Mrs Everdown does not much care for Josiah, but it is of no matter as their paths need hardly cross.

I trust you and Mrs Doughty have walked enough around Town to choose new Offices for the Press? When you have the time, do please come down and visit. We shall not give a lavish party as we did last year – it would not be fair to frighten Cook with such crowds and revelry – but I still ache for congenial company. Do come to Blindingham if you can?


Effie x

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