Sunday, July 4, 2021

A Diary Entry from Alice Powell

Friday, 28th May 

What a fine time we had at Comely Manor last evening. Hetty and I have talked about it all the day through, remembering the evening from beginning to end. Lady Farnsworth is a gracious hostess, making us all feel welcome. Not all the village was present but we were a happy group.

The Chef prepared the most delectable sweets and savouries to enjoy with our tea. There were card tables set up for those inclined to play whist or lotto, though Hetty and I were happy to converse with the ladies on all manner of subjects, the quilting bee being a central topic. We were so pleased to see Jenny, who said Old Mary did wish to join us but felt slightly fatigued and thought she had best stay behind and rest. Twas lovely to see Jenny who looked bonnie and happy to be among those she had not been able to visit with often while she tended to Old Mary.

Jenny told us there was a time when they were very worried indeed about Old Mary’s recovering but there came a turning point and now she does better each day. This was very good news indeed for we have all missed Old Mary’s wit and counsel as well as her healing remedies. Jenny was determined to stay behind with Old Mary but was told in no uncertain terms she must attend and spend time with her friends whom she has seen precious little of these past months.

After a time we entertained one another with song and story. Mrs. Emberhope read Shakespeare, holding everyone’s attention, while Innes O’Cullein enthralled us with an Irish ballad, sung sweetly. Hetty and I sang a duet of The Bay of Biscay, a very emotional song for me, and well received by all. Jenny re-told the legend of the Hermit of Cutty Island. There were tunes played on the pianoforte by Lady Farnsworth and Lady Marlowe, as well as songs we all joined in with, then the carpets were rolled back, the music commencing when the older Turner boys played their fiddle and squeeze box and we danced. What a merry evening it was indeed.

What fun we did have last evening at Comely Manor. We were all of us loathe for it to end, but end it must and we walked home in high spirits, quietly calling good evening to our neighbours.

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