Quiet Day

Today has been a quiet day. My back was struggling last night and I was stiff as a board when I woke up this morning so I haven’t done much energetic. Just pootled about doing the necessary winter chores. The horses at home are now all being fed hay in the morning and hard food for those that need it for various reasons.  The gutter (Shetland mud) is getting deeper – possibly even welly-boot losing.  An inevitable part of winter life.

I still make my sheeple most evenings.

And the diaries of my Great Great Aunt Kate are going along well.  They have a dog called Conis.

And I have a dog called BeAnne. They could be twins though I discovered Conis is a boy which was not what I expected. For all these years, I thought Conis was a girl.  And now I know, thanks to the diaries.

Anyway, I need help.  The writing is so small, in pencil and sometimes very blurred.  So here goes.  Please give it your best shot.  All suggestions welcome.  Think in Victorian English about the Victorian way of life in Bournemouth.

 “German and French. Stummed/stunned/Shunned?”

“Miss Morison ?***? our music lessons. Netted.”

“Mother read “Let xc”. Ida did her blue dress.” (though could be “Set xc”) and what is it?

Last two lines – give it your best shot. I haven’t a clue!

“they came back for a m**?”

“Nice Mother and I to ?S****?. We all sang songs.” (I checked there is no such place as Simhole unless it is someone’s house)

“Read “Roman ?**?” – is that Ides?

“Then they took us and ?***? to Christchurch for a drive.”

“?B****? croquet. To supper at Dodd’s”

“Mother signed agreement let this house. Hedgehog. Lejeune”. What on earth is Hedgehog. Lejeune? Anyone? Please?

“I read to Alys “Nothing ?to dress?” – Is that it? Can anyone find this book. I can’t.

Last line -Mother and I to Vernon’s to tea. Miss Boodle. An ?***? night.”

“After supper we walked to Con’Cum to seek Con”. What is Con’Cum? Somewhere in Bournemouth.

“Saw conjurors ? ? ? ?” – is this etc, etc, etc or x x x x?

“Saw Box (family cat) ? ?. Slept at….” What is the symbol? Does it stand for etc, etc, etc or x x x x?

So there you are.  Any help, like I say, greatly needed and appreciated.  I am skunnered with this writing, at times.

9 thoughts on “Quiet Day

  1. Celeste Nossiter

    On the very last page, I bet that symbol is etc. I’ve seen something similar before. Also, she may have created her own abbreviations for lots of things, so how can we ever know what they mean. If you are going to publish this as a book, I suggest serious editing so it makes some sense. No need to publish every single word. That’s just my 2 cents and worth about the same.

    1. Frances Post author

      Thank you. At the moment I am just getting it all down. There are no plans for a book. It is what it is, at the moment.

  2. May

    You might try cutting-and-pasting some of the repeated words (like names) into a sort of visual dictionary. On pages where it gets a bit blobby, if there’s a strong resemblance to a previous word, it’s more likely than not the same word. Also, collect variations of some of the letters that aren’t so obvious ( b, g, m, n, S).

    – 2nd Image: Sometimes your pencil gets dull or your hand tired. I think it’s supposed to be “for.” The next one looks like “netted” and matches “netted,” which show up twice in the 3rd image and also the 6th… Slang? Spent time making netting by crochet/knitting/lacework? It looks like a repeated behavior done so often she reduced it to one word.

    – 3rd Image: What mother read is in quotes, so maybe shorthand for the title of an periodical/article/poem?

    – 4th: “Bertie and Eric played with Faurty. In afternoon Mother al… and… Help to form Sh… ” The name starting with “F” appears again in the 8th image. “Fogerty”?
    Maybe try holding a light at an extreme angle to the page and see if it retains the indentation from the pencil?

    – 5th: Looks like a period after, so maybe an abbreviation? (Like “min.” for minute.)

    – 6th: Maybe “Simbole”?

    – 7th: Quote mark before “Roman” and another quote mark could be buried in the margin. A poem or story called “Roman Ides”?

    – 8th: “Louise”?

    – 9th: “Bowls,” short for “lawn bowls.” See https://fvbcc.com/

    – 10th: There’s a period after each word, so some sort of abbreviation. Maybe take care of the hedgehog in the backyard before letting the house? Contact Mr Lejeune to take care of it?

    – 11th: This might be an article in a magazine.

    – 12th: “An…,” so should start with a vowel. “Aey all” makes no sense, though.

    – 13th: Maybe a park or hotel? This might help: https://www.francisfrith.com/us/bournemouth/photos

    – 14th: “etc., etc.” makes sense if saw several performers in addition to a magician.

    – 15th: The same set of letters, which might be “oc oc” or “etc, etc” written quickly. A very compressed “e” and “t” follows it, so “etc.” isn’t a bad guess.

    I hope you have a nice cuppa tea after slogging through these pages.

  3. Michelle

    I think the first one is “Stunned.” The second, definitely “for.” The fourth might be made clearer by altering your photo of the page with greater highlights and contrasts, and even changing it to black & white (this method might help on many pages). The fifth looks like an abbreviation for “minute” or “moment.”

  4. Robyn

    Image 1 – STRUMMED
    Image 2 – FOR
    Image 5 – NET? MIN {MINUTE}?
    Image 6 – Looks like SIMHOLE.
    Image 8 – TREVSE or FREVSE although that doesn’t make sense.
    Image 9 – BOWL {s}
    Image 10 – Hedgehog. LE JEUNE in French means young, or the youngest -BABY HEDGHOG?
    Image 11 – AN —-ALL NIGHT.
    Image 15 – SLEPT AT CAN—
    It is very pleasant to read a young Victorian girl’s diary. Thank you for sharing it and I hope this has been helpful to you. xx


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