A ladye should be able with her pen
As well as with her needle.
With it, she should strive to keep her accounts well,
maintain a regular record of her devotions,
and record any unrighteous behavior amongst the members of her household.
Unless that behavior implicates those of the higher orders,
who ought not ever be discussed by their inferiors.
Pithy sayings of Lady Margaret Hobey
It might not occur to you, if you tend to stay in your own century, just how hard it was for me to turn up something like this diary to write in. There’s not much in the way of accessible writing materials around in these days. Back home if the battery on my iPad runs out of juice and I’m forced to jot down my shopping list or an idea for my blog the old-fashioned way, I’m used to opening up a drawer or grabbing a piece of paper off the printer tray. If I’m in some public place, well there’s usually a recycling bin where I can scrounge something to write on the back of.
But around here, if a woman needs a piece of paper, even assuming that woman is educated enough to be able to write her name, she’s going to have to ask for it and explain what she needs it for. And to add insult to injury she’s going to have to account for what she did with it. Lady Margaret reads all of Cecily’s letters to her grandmother out loud to her husband Sir Thomas before he puts them into the mail bag that goes into town. Reading about lack of privacy is one thing, actually dealing with it is quite another. So you can imagine how happy I was when I went to paw through that pile of linen scrap and wool thread ends that Lady Margaret had told one of the maidservants to drop off for me, and found this little book buried deep down in the pile of odds and ends. Maybe somebody as anxious as me to record their secrets hid it there, and then forgot where it was or had to leave the house suddenly. It’s old, but it will sure do the trick.
Lady Margaret also keeps a diary, but hers is public, so public, in fact, that she reads little passages out loud to us Maides when we’re stitching in the upstairs in the afternoons. My little book, on the other hand, is quite secret. Funny really when you consider that I’ve shared so many details about my life in my blog, not to mention that I plan to transcribe these entries into that blog just as soon as I get back to my own times. If I shared my diary here in the same way as good old Lady Madge, I’d be in for big trouble. I’ve seen the nasty ways they treat people who don’t fit the mainstream patterns here. Time on the ducking stool would be the lightest result, there’s a much greater possibility I’d be burnt as a witch. Livin’ an alternative lifestyle in Tudor times ain’t , as my Aunt Grace (who was much influenced by coming of age in the sixties) used to say, “where it’s at”. Having to hide my journaling, makes me feel a little bit like the Emperor Claudius in that great book series by Robert Graves.
This little book is going to help keep me sane until William helps me catch my ride back into the twenty-first century on the next neaps tide. The nerve of that man, putting on the big romantic-act in the museum! Did I mention he was responsible for posting all those tidbits about London and the Victoria and Albert to my blog, using different ids none-the-less? It seems he had some method for picking me out of the crowd as travel-able when he worked our spring feste last year. Though I didn’t meet him, he apparently learned quite a lot about me. And that included the fact that I was planning to come here this summer. Seems then he just started planting his little clues on my page when he got back to London. Then he maneuvered Gwen into that summer study abroad, and brought up the idea of oh-gee-that-blogger-needs-a-place-to-rent. Talk about manipulative! That toad-spotted malkin needed a time-able guide to help him steer through the portal because he was too weak to do the trick on his own. I was just his little time travelin’ guinea pig. Yes, ladies, I was set up!
It’s not exactly easy being tossed back in time, and I don’t just mean the getting there part. Everything’s different from peas to pottage. It’s tough not having anybody I can really let my hair down with about my sudden transition, except William that is and I’m determined I’m not speaking to him right now until I cool off. I could really care less that he stumbled out of his own slip-stream by mistake. If he can’t figure out how to stay put, that’s his problem. Unfortunately now he’s made it mine.
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