Monday, February 21, 2011

Greetings, my dear friends!

We lost little James this morning.  Not lost as in he died, I hasten to add, but he was missing for several hours.  Poor Gertie was out of her mind with worry.  We searched everywhere.  At first Clive was sure that James was hiding in the tree house he'd built the twins for Christmas, but all he found in there were two toy soldiers and a broken catapult.

It was Samuel who found James in the end.  The boy had been playing with Tess, the stray dog that Samuel took in, and apparently had followed the dog into the woods, where they had a fine time, judging by James's torn clothes and muddy face and hands.  Gertie scolded him of course, but James has inherited Gertie's fierce rebellious nature, I fear.  He showed no remorse for the worry he had caused everyone, and in fact, was quite indignant when Gertie forbade him to play with the dog again until he apologized to everyone.  We are still waiting for the apology and no doubt will wait an eternity.

Spring cleaning will begin in earnest next week.  The maids will be busy taking down the curtains in every room, washing them and drying them on the clothesline in the kitchen yard.  The carpets will have to be washed, and the mattresses taken off all the beds and thoroughly aired.  The chimneys must be cleaned, and every window in the entire County Club washed and polished.  I shall be hiring extra maids to help out.  Our maids already have their hands full with everyday duties.

Baxter will largely disappear while all this activity is going on.  He despises the fact that he is likely to encounter a busy maid in every corner of the building, and bitterly complains that he has no privacy.  So he usually stays in London during the spring cleaning.  I would never say so to him, but it's actually a relief to have him out from underfoot while all this is going on.   I love my husband dearly, but sometimes he can be quite objectionable when disturbed.

Enough for this week.  I have bills to pay and renovations to consider.  Until the next time, I remain,

Cecily Sinclair Baxter

Monday, February 14, 2011

Greetings, my dear friends!

We had a dreadful thunderstorm yesterday.  Quite noisy.  I was worried about the rose bushes in the roof garden.  With all that wind I was afraid the tubs would be blown off the roof.  Luckily Clive had tied them down with strong twine.  He is such a dependable man.  The strong, silent type.  He doesn't have much to say, but when he does speak, it is always profound.  Such a waste of so much intelligence, but I must say, I'm very glad he has chosen the Pennyfoot for his employment.  I really don't know what we would do without him now.

Madeline brought little Angelina by today.  She is such a happy baby, always smiling.  I still find it hard to imagine dear Madeline as a mother.  Not that I don't think she is wonderful in every way and takes excellent care of her child, but she has always been such a free spirit, not quite of this world sometimes.  Somehow the mundane tasks of taking care of a baby seem a little out of her realm.  She has a nanny, of course, but insists on taking on most of the work herself.  Personally, I think she is afraid that Angelina has inherited her powers and wants to keep it all a secret from Kevin.

Samuel had a little accident with one of the carriages last week.  One of those awful motor cars backfired and startled his horse.  The poor thing leaped into the air then set off at a dangerous pace, scattering pedestrians and. bicyclists in every direction.  Samuel hung onto the reins but couldn't halt the horse.  Afraid that the carriage would overturn and spill out his passengers, two very important guests of the Pennyfoot, Samuel had to climb over the shafts and release the horse.  He fell, but managed to hold onto the carriage until it came to a stop.  He's very stiff and sore, but thankfully nothing was broken.  Our guests were shaken, to say the least, but praised my stable manager with his quick thinking which very likely saved their lives.  The horse returned on its own an hour later.  I must say, I have exceptional staff at the Pennyfoot.

I'm hoping this week will be a little less dramatic for us.  I hope your week is pleasant and without incident.
My best wishes,
Cecily Sinclair Baxter

Monday, February 7, 2011

Greetings, my dear friends!

Another week has passed by.  Time goes so fast these days.  Soon Badger's End will be buzzing with tourists, and the summer season will be in full swing.  Already we are filling up our reservations, and judging by some of our guests, this should be an interesting year.  So far we have a famous actor, a writer and an inventor, all of whom have some measure of notoriety.  The staff will be kept busy, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, the snow has melted away, and we are left with cold winds and bright sunshine.  I saw people walking on the sands yesterday. Personally, I'd rather wait until the warmer weather.  Gertie's twins, my beloved godchildren, have been clamoring to go on the beach, but so far Gertie has managed to dissuade them.  She still looks vastly unhappy.  I wish she could find a nice man to take care of her and the children.  Gertie has her rough edges, but she's a goodhearted woman, loyal to the core, and would make some man a wonderful wife.

Pansy and Samuel  seem to be getting along very well these days, though I do worry about Pansy at times.  She is so much younger than Samuel, and I don't want to see her tied down to a husband and children at her tender age.  Women these days have so many more opportunities than when I was her age.  The Women's Movement has come a long way in making society aware that there is more to a woman than slaving away in the kitchen, catering to her husband's wishes and raising children.

Enough of that.  I tend to get carried away on such subjects.  I am fortunate that I have an occupation that doesn't involve changing bedpans or scrubbing floors.  I wish all of you a good day, and I will return next week with more news from the Pennyfoot Country Club.

Cecily Sinclair Baxter