Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along to read it and add a few encouraging words.

This month the words/prompts are supplied by ME and can be found right here

This week's words/prompts are: 

1. lustrum 

2. purification 

3. provide 

4. lullaby 

5. manorhouse 

6. salvage 

and/or: 

1. draconian 

2. boreal 

3. eggs 

4. rubbed 

5. pans 

6. smoothed 

Here is my story: 

Rebecca smoothed her hair and apron and stepped into the Manorhouse kitchen to be greeted warmly by Peggy. "Have a seat," said Peggy, as she poured cups of tea for both of them. "I have an hour to explain the rules and running of this place to you, then we get to work." "An hour?" said Rebecca, trying not to look too terrified. "Just how any rules are there?" "It's not the rules so much as the way we must do things," said Peggy. "Mrs Gilbert is quite draconian about the way things must be done and the timing is also important. The language too, must be adhered to as much as possible, for instance if a guest asks how long we have been here, we must reply with 'a Lustrum, my lady', or Sir, if the guest is male. Never say 'five years love!' in a casual manner." "Oy," said Rebecca, "what have I got myself into?'

"It's not so bad once you get the hang of it," said Peggy, "although Mrs Gilbert can be quite boreal if too many mistakes are made." "Boreal?" asked Rebecca. "It means cold, frosty, icy mannered, if you like, and she is very good at it," said Peggy. "Our guests are here to experience life in an earlier century and we are here to provide for their comfort. We did talk Mrs Gilbert into installing a water purification system, instead of using the well water as it comes, that could be dangerous and no one wants a lawsuit from a guest who became ill here." "That was a good idea," said Rebecca. 

I haven't yet been able to convince her the old-fashioned warming pans are useless. We can warm the beds with pans of hot coals at seven pm, but if the guests don't go to bed until nine, the beds have cooled down again and none of us fancies running up and down stairs with pans of hot coals at all hours of the night." "How many work here?" said Rebecca.  "Two other girls besides us, Darcy and Mary, and Cook, her name is Alice, then there are two young lads to tend the vegetable gardens and look after the chickens. They bring in the eggs each day too." 

"When do they arrive?" asked Rebecca. "Cook is already here, in the 'housekeeper's room', getting the days menu from Mrs Gilbert. As soon as she gets down here we'll need to get to work preparing for the days cooking. We do the dishwashing too, but there are two enormous sinks in the scullery, so Darcy and Mary help and the boys too if they have time. Today is Friday, so we have to salvage what can be kept from the vegetables brought from the market last Monday and make a soup to be served at lunch, which is at one pm sharp. Thankfully we don't have too many guests this week, so you'll have an easier time to get used to things."

Just then, Cook came into the kitchen via the backstairs, rubbed her hands together as she warmed them by the great wood stove and greeted Peggy and Rebecca with a wide smile. "Ready to start girls? John and Bob are bringing the eggs, I see them through the window, and I'd like to start by making the desserts first. Mrs Gilbert wants old-fashioned baked egg custard tarts and they take a while. You can begin with the pastry, Peggy, while I get Rebecca started on peeling veg for the soup." Rebecca carried the teacups to the scullery, her nervousness showing in the rattling of the crockery. "Now don't you be worried about anything dear," said Cook, "you'll be fine. We'll all help and this week there are no babies that need a lullaby sang to them. I'm going to speak to Mrs Gilbert about that anyway. We shouldn't have to do that, we are not paid Nannies."


Comments

  1. A whole manor re-enactment this sounds interesting. Well written - and dare I hope for a second serve?

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    Replies
    1. Charlotte; thank you. I'm not sure I have a second serve in me.

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  2. Getting a filter for the well water was a great idea.

    Re-enacting can be fun for a while, but it does show up how lovely it is to have modern conveniences.

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    Replies
    1. messymimi; thank you, filtered well water is always better when you aren't sure how old the well is. I much prefer modern conveniences :)

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  3. Not sure working for Mrs. Gilbert would be a walk in the park but think I'd get along well with Cook. Those hot coals sure make me appreciate my electric blanket.

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    Replies
    1. Arkansas Patti; I think Mrs Gilbert is playing the role of stern housekeeper a bit too hard, but Cook is jollier and helps the girls more.

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  4. I hope the water purify works.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    Replies
    1. Dora; the water purifier works very well.

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  5. I'm curious about the guests. Wondering what kind of people would pay to have FEWER conveniences! Maybe role-playing, steampunk aficionados? Historians? Or just people with too darn much money!

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    Replies
    1. Val; possibly historians, or just people wishing for a different experience., maybe they read too many romance novels and think it might be "cute"

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  6. Oh, this would be a horror for me, such rules, LOL.

    But what a great idea!!!
    My Brother is a "musketeer" once a pre-Corinna year (https://www.sehusafest.de/)

    Oh, boy, hot coals in a pan and clumsy me... the Manorhouse would burn down, LOL - this is a great story!
    (I type as I read)

    Hmmm, fresh eggs.

    "one pm sharp" - lunch-time in my parent´s house!! Don´t be late!!!!
    Btw.... where did you live before you came to Australia, Germany? And if so, where, if I may ask.

    I never got a lullaby.
    Love this story, great when people help each other like that!

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    Replies
    1. Iris Flavia; it would be a horror for me too, but don't worry about the hot coals, warming pans from the old days were closed firmly and had a long handle so the warm pans could be run across the sheets to warm them before getting into bed.
      The best part for me would be the fresh eggs and maybe working in the kitchen, just for one day, for the experience.
      Yes, before Australia I lived in Germany, born in Bergedorf near Hamburg, we came to Australia when I was a baby, I learned to walk on the ship.

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    2. Oh, so we have a sailor here! I spent most of my summer holidays in Tornesch, near Hamburg and whenever I return I fall into Hamburg accent in no time.
      You learned to walk on a ship?! Bummer, my respect!

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  7. P.S. ... tomorrow it won´t be a musketeer, but another "play" from that festival, if you are interested. You made me! ;-)

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    Replies
    1. you can google for images of bed-warming pans and learn how they worked maybe.

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    2. I have my stripey tiger and his duck for the microwave. Reckon I´d rather freeze than ... oh, boy, it must´ve been hard times. Eggs, please.

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  8. Your prompts were all great and your use of them was, as usual, spell binding. You are so creative!

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  9. Hi, River!
    I came to see if there are any Sunday Adventures with the sisters... Nope. I hope you are feeling okay... And they are too! Perhaps it's too cold and you are all snuggling under blankets!
    At any rate---Happy Solstice! (Summer Solstice here, winter there!)
    Fresca and the Girlettes

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    Replies
    1. Fresca; I am fine, but didn't have anything prepared, no inspiration, nothing to make it worth getting out in the cold with the camera. Thank you.

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  10. Good to see some things never change... I see your creative juices are flowing freely. Interesting story... not sure I'd want to rough it quite like that if I'm on vacation. A tent would be rough enough. Take care, kiddo. Good job, as always.

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    Replies
    1. Susan; thank you, it was nice to read your post too. I like the idea of trying things as they were back then, but I don't think I would ever actually do it. I'm a spoiled softie, I like my modern comforts.

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  11. I recall having already commented here.

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Victor SE Moubarak; possibly on the Wednesday when I first supplied the word prompts. I always post my story on the following Fridays.

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