Sydney Walk January 5th 1853
It is bread poultice time again in the Hatherwick household. I am growing weary of Josiah’s ‘Winter affliction’. He speaks of it in terms which he hopes will make the listener think the gout has been visited upon him, and is not the inevitable consequence of his seasonal excess. I should be pleased that he enjoyed such a convivial time with Papa, I suppose. He does love Papa and there are many wives who could not say the same about their husbands, so I shall content myself with that and pay no heed to his waspishness when the pain shoots through him. Bless him.
I told him of Boo’s expected arrival and fancied I saw a cloud pass across his face. I recall that he was less than pleased for her when LB was imminent and he was similarly distant on hearing this news – I do believe he feels my emptiness and wishes me not to be saddened by Boo’s burgeoning family when all I have is him. He is remarkably perceptive, my husband, and his reserve can only be borne of concern for my wishes in that direction. That, or the poultice had stiffened and reminded him of his own discomfort.
I have decided to send word to Mrs Doughty and ask her to meet me to discuss our plans for Boo’s confinement. As I think of it, I should love to know more about her own domestic affairs. Perhaps a slice or two of cake will loosen her tongue enough for me to ask whether she has anyone to massage her ankles in the Winter.