Gisella was indeed given the job as assistant teacher at the local school for girls. It is situated in a large room, and twenty girls from the ages of six until thirteen receive their education in this room. She has been very busy learning her teaching, and getting to know the girls. She loves nurturing their interest in the world around, and helping them to learn by themselves through the skills of reading and writing. Her sisters were worried that she would not be strong enough to manage full days of teaching, but she has done well. She rests when she gets home whilst the others cook the tea. Her wage is very much appreciated.
It has been a busy couple of months at No 9b Upper Kettle Street, with Lucy working in the bakery and Gisella in the school. The girls have made a garden bed with the help of a friend who made boxes in which to put earth, and they have planted some vegetables. They are hoping that the vegetables will grow, because here are walls around three sides of their small yard, and the house – all blocking light. (Friend Sylvia, please take note!)
Two more members of the family have returned from their travels, with an addition from the wider family, and a friend. Rosina had been travelling in Japan with the Perry family, and returned in early May with a Japanese friend – Keiko. G had been visiting Argentina and America with another family and she returned at the end of May. She brought with her little Hope, her cousin, who is but a babe of eighteen months. Aunt W has her hands full with her family of thirteen, and is hoping that Hope will bring her cheery personality back to the family homeland, and receive a better education and more attention than in her busy household. Evenings are now filled with much story telling, once the garden has been inspected and watered.
The house is filling up – Grandmother Mags sent a beautiful trunk from her sister Mrs Sag, decorated with a whale, all the way from Minnesota. Hitty G had quite a journey with storms tossing her ship in the Atlantic Ocean, but she brings the news that Grandmother Mags will be returning to England, now that her other daughters are settled and past their crises overseas.
Ettie proves herself useful to Mrs Beauchamp, and spends much of her time at Mrs B’s very dilapidated house which is nearly a hundred years old. It was built the year King George III came to the throne – 1760. It sits a little out of town on a little hill with a lovely park. Ettie is helping to supervise the workmen as they replaster the outside walls, and go through the house – room by room – painting. Mrs Beauchamp wants the colour scheme kept just as it was when she grew up, which is where Ettie’s supervision comes in very useful. The workmen are all for dark colours, but Mrs Beauchamp prefers light colours above stairs. She thinks they remind her of the happy days when she was first married to Mr Beauchamp and they came to live in her family home, Tor House.
9b Upper Kettle Street is looking very crowded in the evenings, even though Ettie stays very often at Tor House with Mrs Beauchamp. The girls have asked their landlord whether they can open up the attic to use it as a bedroom.