While Year 6 and half of Year 5 have been on residential, the remaining children have been writing diary entries for a servant who worked at Blenheim Palace in the 19th century. The children were encouraged to use a range of sentence starters and descriptive devices as well as sharing emotive detail. Here’s Megan & Beth’s diary entries:
24th June 1884, Blenheim Palace, day 7
Unfortunately today was no better than yesterday. I was once again awoken from my heavenly sleep by Ms Craigton yelling unpleasantly at me! I didn’t reply (I wish I did!) so she came storming uncomfortably into my room and literally dragged me out of my bed! I lazily got out of my warm room and got to work.
As soon as I got out of my bedroom Ms Craigton shoved a massive pile of laundry into my floppy arm, I dropped it all on the freshly cleaned floor.
“Pick that up you NOW you stupid girl!” yelled Ms Craigton at me. I apologized wearily and bent over to pick it up, her ladyship came elegantly down the hall and asked me what on earth I was doing. I replied with a massive lie. I told her that I bumped into Ms Craigton. She gave me a look and swished prettily down the hall to the dining hall.
When I was heading down the hall to put the laundry away I couldn’t help but stop and stare dreamily out of the window of the meadow that I once grew up in. I got a sudden flash back of being as happy as can be, running through the rape-seed meadow with Jane Austin. Scaring me, my thoughts were interrupted by none other but the butler.
“Hurry up Mary, we don’t have all day! After you have taken that laundry away you can empty the potties in the slop bucket.”
I nodded and went on my way. The ‘slop job’ as I call it, is for the lowest ranked maids, the scullery maid, Elizabeth (Beth), is ill today so I have to do it!
Once I had done the dirty job, I had lunch (deep joy); it was a wet ham sandwich with out of date last week milk. I could just about manage to eat it without throwing up.
Thankfully lunch wasn’t too bad when I got a biscuit! Then I had to clean the windows. Luckily, there are stairs to the sill up top. I went up to the pole in the wall and heaved hard so I could open it. I gradually clambered up the spiral stair set and hopped out of the door. I starred in deep despair at the window. They were covered in green slop, muck and all sorts of disgusting stuff. I won’t lead you through all the details because you really do not want to know. All I will tell you is it was not the worlds dream job cleaning 72 massive 7’6’’ windows.
Happily, today was/is Sunday so I got the rest of the afternoon off (yay) looking forward to tomorrow, hope it isn’t too dreadful!
Mary Lastton X X
24th June 1884, another day at Blenheim palace
Today was a bore,
I woke up this morning (as usual) and got dressed into my uniform. I staggered through the doors into the kitchen to make breakfast for the duke and duchess.
I started to make some porridge and some fish kippers whilst frying some bacon on the stove. My assistants were not up yet so I was on my own. After a while I really needed some help so I shook the bell that lead to their door as hard as I could. Then about five minutes later Mary, Joan, Susan and Elizabeth came rushing in. (Beth for short)
Mary and Joan went into the dining room to set the table whilst Beth and Susan helped me in the kitchen. I asked Susan to lay the bacon and kippers on the gold plate as I was shattered. Beth poured the porridge into a big silver bowl and then laid it on the table. Tired, I stumbled into the dining room and lit the candles. (By then I was really tired)
Suddenly I heard the duke and duchess coming down the stairs. After they had eaten breakfast it was washing up time, luckily I don’t have to do that! (which I am really happy about!) So it was all down to the girls.
Thankfully when breakfast was over I had about half an hour until lunchtime, so I went to the place that I love the most, her ladyship’s garden. It is so beautiful. Whenever I’m in there I feel like I am in wonderland. Nothings on my mind, but the time comes…lunchtime. As I slowly walked back up to the kitchen my mind flashed back to when I was with my family but then it disappeared and I found myself making lunch.
As I walked in I was startled! Then I realised the duke had shot a duck for lunch and he had just left it on the table. I shouted out the girls names and they all came in one by one. Mary and Joan went into the dining room (as they did this morning) Beth and Susan started to chop up some vegetables for the roast whilst I roasted the duck( so boring). After ages of preparing the duck, we finally served it on the table.
For the rest of the day I sat on my bed and wrote in my diary, which I am doing right now, I hope tomorrow is better. I am so sorry but now I have to go and make tea. (sometimes my job feels like it’s nonstop) talk later, bye!