Today it rained all day which was great for the gardens but not for me because I wanted to sit outside. Instead, I sit in the window box on the landing and with a book, a teapot of tea and the cat.
The servants were all hurrying about because the housekeeper this morning received a letter saying father, step-mother and the twelve year old twins were returning home.
We hadn’t heard from them for the last few weeks and the last letter I got from father was dated Egypt, Cairo 1921, which said both the twins were sick with scarlet fever or something similar. They were staying at a hospital and would write with more news soon.
My lady’s maid had received word from her sister who was my step-mother’s lady’s maid that one of the twins, Henry, had past away from the fever and George, just alive, was weak and unable to do anything. Plans were being made for the trip home.
We had no idea when my family would arrive but the hard nosed housekeeper had whipped everyone into action. The servants were cleaning everything within an inch of it’s life and there was so much noise and bustle it was like one of father’s factories.
That’s why I wanted to be in the garden. I would have been away from this madness! Instead, I had tried to keep out of the way and not demand so much.
I was home from boarding school and hadn’t wanted to go travelling from country to country. Normally, the exotic sights, smells and sounds would have made me desperate to go but I was heartbroken and only in the mood to mop around.
I told my father I would go and spend my time visiting family and friends, attending my studies and perhaps teaching others. It hadn’t really been a lie. I have been visiting people and I have been studying but I’ve been at home all the time and not embracing my freedom from school confinement.
The only person I have confided in as my maid. She is sworn to secrets but I know she’ll tell her sister. It’s just I think that happens, I remember telling my sister Mini everything. We’d crawl into each other’s beds and pull the sheets up and lay there whispering to each other. I wish I could tell Mini everything now. She’d understand and know what to do.
Perhaps, tomorrow I shall go and visit her grave. Take fresh flowers and talk to her. Then I could sit in the church and do some drawing or reading. The little church is lovely and quiet.
No doubt it’s where Henry will be buried. There was nothing in any letters about then bring his body back but I know they will do. Father would want him in the family crypt with Mini and mother, all the other babies and children that have been lost and relatives.
I wonder what the funnel will be like. Mini’s was bright and busy, so many people loved her. Her’s wasn’t the last through, it had been my step-mother’s and father’s third baby; she had lived a few days and then was just gone.
It makes me wonder how many losses I might have……
There’s enough time for that. Night is pressing on the windows, it’s even darker out there because of the rain. Perhaps, tomorrow will be sunny and I can walk in the gardens and forget all about this.