The Diary of a Provincial Lady

The Diary of a Provincial Lady

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by E M Delafield
     
 

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_November 7th._--Plant the indoor bulbs. Just as I am in the middle
of them, Lady Boxe calls. I say, untruthfully, how nice to see her, and
beg her to sit down while I just finish the bulbs. Lady B. makes
determined attempt to sit down in armchair where I have already placed
two bulb-bowls and the bag of charcoal, is headed off just in time,… See more details below

Overview

_November 7th._--Plant the indoor bulbs. Just as I am in the middle
of them, Lady Boxe calls. I say, untruthfully, how nice to see her, and
beg her to sit down while I just finish the bulbs. Lady B. makes
determined attempt to sit down in armchair where I have already placed
two bulb-bowls and the bag of charcoal, is headed off just in time, and
takes the sofa.

Do I know, she asks, how very late it is for indoor bulbs? September,
really, or even October, is the time. Do I know that the only really
reliable firm for hyacinths is Somebody of Haarlem? Cannot catch the name
of the firm, which is Dutch, but reply Yes, I do know, but think it my
duty to buy Empire products. Feel at the time, and still think, that this
is an excellent reply. Unfortunately Vicky comes into the drawing-room
later and says: "O Mummie, are those the bulbs we got at Woolworths?"

Lady B. stays to tea. (_Mem_.: Bread-and-butter too thick. Speak to
Ethel.) We talk some more about bulbs, the Dutch School of Painting, our
Vicar's wife, sciatica, and _All Quiet on the Western Front_.

(Query: Is it possible to cultivate the art of conversation when living
in the country all the year round?)

Lady B. enquires after the children. Tell her that Robin--whom I refer to
in a detached way as "the boy" so that she shan't think I am foolish
about him--is getting on fairly well at school, and that Mademoiselle
says Vicky is starting a cold.

Do I realise, says Lady B., that the Cold Habit is entirely unnecessary,
and can be avoided by giving the child a nasal douche of salt-and-water
every morning before breakfast? Think of several rather tart and witty
rejoinders to this, but unfortunately not until Lady B.'s Bentley has
taken her away.

Finish the bulbs and put them in the cellar. Feel that after all cellar
is probably draughty, change my mind, and take them all up to the attic.

Cook says something is wrong with the range.


_November 8th._--Robert has looked at the range and says nothing
wrong whatever. Makes unoriginal suggestion about pulling out dampers.
Cook very angry, and will probably give notice. Try to propitiate her by
saying that we are going to Bournemouth for Robin's half-term, and that
will give the household a rest. Cook replies austerely that they will
take the opportunity to do some extra cleaning. Wish I could believe this
was true.

Preparations for Bournemouth rather marred by discovering that Robert, in
bringing down the suit-cases from the attic, has broken three of the
bulb-bowls. Says he understood that I had put them in the cellar, and so
wasn't expecting them.


_November 11th.--Bournemouth._ Find that history, as usual, repeats
itself. Same hotel, same frenzied scurry round the school to find Robin,
same collection of parents, most of them also staying at the hotel.
Discover strong tendency to exchange with fellow-parents exactly the same
remarks as last year, and the year before that. Speak of this to Robert,
who returns no answer. Perhaps he is afraid of repeating himself? This
suggests Query: Does Robert, perhaps, take in what I say even when he
makes no reply?

Find Robin looking thin, and speak to Matron who says brightly, Oh no,
she thinks on the whole he's put _on_ weight this term, and then
begins to talk about the New Buildings. (Query: Why do all schools have
to run up New Buildings about once in every six months?)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013740938
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/10/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,311,431
File size:
0 MB

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