September 2nd 1853
Here I am – as Mistress of Blindingham once more! If the past two days of travel and travail are typical of my fortunes I swear I shall never leave this house again. It is beautiful and it is my own!
As usual the servants were lined up to see me in and some of the girls were obviously pleased to watch Dauncey as he investigated – he did look small when he stood on the doorstep for the first time, bless him. I remembered fondly the days when Villiers and Cook were at the head of the line but I cannot wish history away – if things never changed at all I would still be happy, playing with my dolls and dreaming of my future, instead of being Josiah’s wife. Which is the greatest happiness, of course.
Jennet was present, not in the welcome party but foraging somewhere close by and his new bride was smiling rather too brightly, I thought, as she watched me pass. She suits a highly coloured outfit far better than she does a laundry apron, I must confess. Still, I shall most probably never see her unless I venture into the washrooms – and I do not think my hair would survive too many forays there.
I fancied that Jennet watched me with some sadness, but I was so happy to be on my own doorstep I chose not to care much about him.
To be at Blindingham without Villiers – or any butler for that matter – will be a trial of sorts, but I shall press Josiah for a solution when he returns. I shall busy myself with teaching Dauncey where he is to sleep and which areas of the lawn he must not dig up. Watching him fall in love with this house will be a delight.
As I was being brought tea in the afternoon, the footman gave me a note from the intolerable Cornbenches, inviting me to dine with them tomorrow. Such tedium! She wrote that she has much to tell me about the goings on in the village this Summer – I can only hope they serve strong coffee after dinner, else I shall fall dead asleep on my plate with boredom.