Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Life As A Victorian Nanny

Day dawned early at Riverside. The guests would be arriving at 10:00 am and we had much to do to ready the mansion. The kitchen staff were busy preparing the food for the day and the smell of freshly baked bread wafted up the servants' staircase near the nursery door. Phoebe, the flower maid was busily arranging bouquets of fresh flowers on Mrs. Daly's orders. The house was to be filled with the scent of flowers. A new guest had arrived just the evening prior. Mrs. O'Reily was visiting from New York. She was situated in the Blue Room, just across the hall from the nursery. She's a lovely older lady and was busy stitching a binding on her quilt.

As I readied the children for their outing with Mrs. Sharky, the Daly's resident nanny, I could hear the hustle and bustle of the house coming to life. The victrola was playing in the sitting room, just down the hall and the sound of footsteps up and down the hall echoed through the house.

Constance, the scullery maid and Missy, the upstairs maid, were excitedly examining the new vacuum cleaner that Mrs. Daly had recently purchased. They were ecstatic that with just three servants, they could easily clean one entire floor in just one day's time.

I could hear Stena, the Swedish maid, shouting orders in the kitchen. She runs a tight ship and works her kitchen help to the bone. They had much work to finish in a short time and I think that Stena's fuse was even shorter.

Suddenly two rambunctious boys ran past my door. They were barefoot and had a look of pure mischief in their eye. I raced out of the nursery and down the hall after them. They ducked into Mrs. Daly's bedroom and found themselves trapped in her bathroom with nowhere to hide. I promptly escorted them out and down the hall, past Mr. Marcus Daly II room. He did not look at all amused. I suspect that the two boys are villagers who snuck in to create trouble. I realized that I would have to be on the look out for them all day. As it turned out, they were a constant source of mischief and mayhem and I found myself running helter skelter all over the house and out across the yard on more than one occasion.

The guests began to arrive and as they toured the mansion, they would stop in and visit. I busied myself with some knitting and made small talk with many interesting people throughout the day. I found a quiet moment to take a picnic lunch on the lawn and had some time to stroll about and see some of the interesting activities that were taking place on the grounds and within the house.

The day passed in a whirlwind of excitement and was over all too soon. I have grand hopes to be of service to the Daly family and Riverside, many more times in the future.