“My goodness Miss Douglas, you are an early riser, it is only  5 am.”

“Oh, I couldn’t sleep, it is all too new and exciting, I always find it difficult to rest properly in a new surrounding.”

“Your room was comfortable?”

“Oh yes, but perhaps a little small, but I’d rather have it way. I hate the cold.”

“Indeed. You are not nervous then Miss?”

“No, not really. Why are you awake?”

I always like to have breakfast before I begin at 5.30am, do you like porridge Miss?”

“I have never liked the texture, but I find it edible. It is rather rough, don’t you think?”

“A little Miss.”

“I am looking forward to meeting the twins for the first time.”

“Hmm, let us just wait and see if you still have the same opinion at the end of the day.”

“Oh dear, are things really so bad?”

“The twins are a handful Miss. Pardon me saying Miss and I wouldn’t want you to repeat this to anyone, but I’d say that they have been in need of a Governess for a long time. I dare say they will send Master Rupert to boarding school in another few years when he is old enough to go.”

“I am their first Governess?”


“Tell me, what time to the children rise in the morning?”

“Oh I wouldn’t know. Rettie?!”

Rettie scurried in from the scullery. “Yes cook?”

“Do you know what time the children get out of their beds?”

“Whenever they please I suppose. It is normally at some time past 10am. Good morning Miss Douglas.”

“Hello Rettie, 10am? Why, that is very late indeed!”

“Anything else cook?”

“No Rettie, Miss Douglas wanted to know, that is all.”

“Ah Miss?”

“Yes cook?”

“I do believe that you were going to have some of that porridge, here is a bowl.”

“Indeed I was.”


“Oh when is she coming to see us Rupert?”

“This morning! I don’t want to do silly lessons.”

“Rupert, don’t be a crosspatch!”

Well if I don’t like her, I might just have to decide to be naughty on purpose!”

“No Rupert, that’s horrid! What about Mother and Father?”

“I don’t care!”

“You should you wicked boy, now behave yourself you silly turnip!”


“It-it popped into my head.”

“Strange old girl.”

“Shh, Rupert I hear footsteps it must be the Governess, she is coming!”

“Oh, it is not the Governess, it is Rettie. Rettie, do you have a moment, might we play a 10 minute game of snap? Esther, used to always play with us.”

“Esther  was called away, but she will return soon. Not today master Rupert I’m afraid. There is someone for you both to meet. This is Miss Douglas.”

The tall, raven-haired young woman stepped forwards, the corners of her mouth curling into a smile.

“My, it is a giant!”

“Master Rupert! What a thing to say!”

“Oh don’t worry Rettie, we met yesterday children, didn’t we?”


Oh, right I wasn’t aware. Well, in that case I had best return to the scullery.”

“Thank you Rettie, we have many lessons to complete this morning.”

Rupert groaned, stamping his foot as Rettie closed the door.

“Young Master Ashdown, that is no way for a young gentleman to behave now is it? Kindly control your temper. You should be eager to learn if you are to be successful like your Father!”

“Father is so busy all the time.”

“Yes, well grown ups often are. Now, this morning I have planned to do some simple arithmetic.”

“Oh no!”

“Oh Rupert hush, give the new lady a chance!”

“Thank you, that is better. Now shall we begin, have you slates and chalk? I can see everything is upon that table, what a lovely school room, it is very organised. Now then, I shall write 20 sums on the blackboard, you have 20 minutes. Tell me this, how long must you spend on each question?”

The twins stared blankly at her. “Oh dear, I see you have much to learn, 20 sums and 20 minutes equals a minute per question. It is now 9am, you have until 9.20am, until the second hand reaches the 4 .No talking please.”

“Miss Douglas?”

“Yes Diana, what is it?”

“If-if you please, I cannot tell the time.”

To be continued…..


10 thoughts on “Pixies and Pickles- Part 20

  1. Haha. Well, plenty to teach the twins then.
    Nit: Couple of times the ” are missing from the beginning of dialogue.

  2. this was wonderful, so much going on here. the kitchen scene, showing her past may have more to it than her present circumstances would suggest. the use of old fashioned words, ‘turnip!’, and interesting how she got right to work rather than getting to know the children a bit first, and the confession about not knowing how to tell time and basic math. wow, can’t wait to see where it goes from here – )

    1. Hello Beth! What a lovely comment, thank you, I’m really glad that you liked this scene (I have to admit, that I felt happy with it)
      I have a feeling that this Governess likes to ‘get things done’ 🙂

      1. yw, and yes i get the feeling she doesn’t like to waste time, is pretty focused on accomplishing whatever she sets her mind to. maybe how her own governess raised her, if she has a wealthy past?

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