Well I am back at work as of tomorrow. My break has seen me do little writing and take fewer photos! I don’t know what is wrong with me. Still I had a nice time in any case.
I guess I shall get back into the swing of things, never much fun going back to work though.
This week sees Hilda getting a nice surprise and Leanne Deer’s nose getting out of joint.
Hilda hurried down the hall carrying the ash bucket carefully. ‘You’ve a visitor.’
Hilda gasped and jumped, spinning around to find Kat’s grinning face, ‘You! You made me jump sneaking up behind me!’
‘Your sister’s down in the kitchen.’
‘That’s what I said weren’t it? Have you finished here?’
‘I have, I’ll be straight down.’
Ginnie looked up from the kitchen table where she sat with a tea cup in front of her.
What was she doing here? And in her Sunday best?
Mrs Garraway the cook was pouring tea for Mister Young the Butler, Trent Harriman one of the footmen and Leanne Deer.
As Hilda came in one door Mrs Smither came in the one opposite. Hilda smiled and said, ‘Good morning all.’
Hilda always took any opportunity to be personable, do unto others as you would have them do unto you always seemed a most sensible teaching. So she did, being as friendly as she could, and in general she found most people warmed to her given the chance.
There were always those like Leanne. Leanne scowled at her as she came in, but for every one like her there were at least a dozen people who would behave decently. ‘Good morning Duck.’ replied Mrs Smither, she caught sight of Ginnie, ‘Ah, I see we have a guest.’
‘The young lady is Miss Attewell, Hilda’s older sister.’ Said the Butler, ‘Miss Attewell, this is Mrs Smither our housekeeper.’
Mrs Smither nodded, ‘Miss Attewell.’
Ginnie smiled, ‘Please Mrs Smither, Ginnie.’
‘Ginnie? What an unusual name.’
Ginnie’s eyes found Hilda’s, ‘Hilda christened me Ginnie when her was very small. Her couldn’t manage Mary-Jane, so I was “Ginnie” and it has stuck ever since.’
‘When her was small?’ Quipped Trent, ‘Her still is! There still isn’t much of Duck!’
He was right Hilda thought, she was still only four feet eleven inches and hoped she would reach five feet before she finished growing. But given her dad the ex-jockey was not much above five foot she did not hold much hope.
‘That’s true,’ agreed Ginnie, ‘our younger sister Dolly is already taller than either of us.’
Dolly was taller, but Ginnie like her took more after their mother and did not have Hilda’s diminutive frame.
‘Tea Duck?’ Asked Mrs Garraway.
‘Yes please.’ She smiled at her sister. ‘You’ve given me a nice surprise Ginnie.’
Hilda had seen her dad here at Ettington Park three or four times since she started. He sometimes came by on business and had a longstanding arrangement with the butler that he would drop in for tea when he had the time. She had never really expected to see anyone else. She wondered for a moment if Mrs Smither would tell her off later? Probably not, not if I make sure I don’t linger too long drinking my tea.
‘Mrs Gilchrist has given me the day off at the shop,’ explained Ginnie, ‘and I thought in respect of the fact that it is your afternoon off I might take you to Stratford this afternoon. If I meets you here and we hurries to the station we might just about catch the half past twelve train.’
That would only work if we were away from here on the stroke of midday. Except she wasn’t meant to leave her tasks until noon.
‘Isn’t your sister lovely inviting you out like that Duck?’
The question came from Mrs Smither, how to answer? ‘Her is,’ Hilda threw a smile at Ginnie before turning back to Mrs Smither, ‘We all likes our Ginnie.’
‘Hilda, as long as you work hard for the balance of the morning, I have no objection to you finishing at half past eleven. We can’t have your sister disappointed.’
Hilda felt a warm glow of contentment, one that was not even spoiled by Leeanne's disapproving scowl.