With the "silly season" and summer evenings I am often out late, late, late.
Anyway this weeks Hilda scene is one I have quickly put together.
‘I thought I’d find you here.’ Said Hilda
Kat leaned back on a step against the back wall of the kitchen. Her sleeves rolled up to her elbows, soaking up as much of the sun’s warmth as she could.
‘Isn’t the sun lovely?’
‘Shove over then.’
Hilda squeezed onto the step next to her friend, sliding her sleeves up a little to make the most of the sun. Nearly two years into her apprenticeship and three into her life as a servant she had found one of the things that made life bearable was to make the most of such moments.
With only an afternoon off a week one had to.
Kat made it bearable too, they shared most things including ideas. Hilda knew she was much quicker than Kat and didn’t talk as much. Unlike Kat she never got into trouble for talking too much at work, she chatted happily enough at their meal breaks and the like but only spoke as needed when working.
Mind you part of the reason for that was whoever was in charge of the kitchen, Mrs Garraway or Chef Glanville, neither liked excessive chatter. Both wanted to know that you would hear their instructions first time, and Chef had a vile temper that Hilda would never deliberately provoke.
That said being an apprentice cook was much preferable to being scullery maid. The hours were still long and hard, but not as punishing. Also, Hilda took real pleasure in those moments when Mrs Garraway or better still Chef was teaching her something new. The problem was anything new was soon routine. Learning quickly earned praise from either teacher, but doing the same thing day in day out was a sure fire way of driving Hilda to distraction. When she thought about it she guessed Mrs Garraway did not have much more to teach, she was a good cook who had a real way with food, but she could not in anyway match what Chef called his “repertoire”.
Kat’s voice interrupted her thoughts, ‘Warren Mores has asked me to come dancing with him on Friday.’
‘Warren? Is that wise?’
‘What harm is there in it?’
‘He’s a footman, and you know we’re expected not to fraternize with the male staff.’
‘Goin’ to a dance isn’t a dismissable offense.’
‘Maybe not, but,’ Hilda sat upright looking down at her friend, ‘if he does anything silly, it’ll make workin’ here very difficult.’
‘It’s only a dance, and you must admit he looks very smart in his suit.’
‘Surely, if you go to the dance one of the lads from the village…’
‘I isn’t wantin’ a yokel like you might be happy with Hilda Attewell. It’s only a dance.’
‘What if he tries to kiss you? What then?’
‘I might just let him. You’s “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed” well I’m eighteen now and that is more than long enough to wait for a kiss.’
‘Kat, don’t go makin’ trouble for yourself.’
‘Give me some credit Duck! Now tell me, which of the footmen would you kiss if you had to kiss any of them?’
‘I don’t want to kiss any of them.’
‘If you had to.’
‘I don’t know, Leonard I s’pose.’
‘Leonard? Both, Trent and Warren are both much better lookin’ than Leonard.’
‘Yes, but Leonard’s nicer. He’s more thoughtful too.’