Introduction to Louisiana Rose Appleton
Mum bought me this diary for Christmas so, I'm finally going to use it. My name is Louisiana Appleton and I am 15 years old. I live in London with my Mum, Dad, two brothers and two sisters. Yesterday, I overheard my mum telling my dad that one of her great, great aunt was a servant in the Kensington household. She told him that her old diary was in the loft, so I ran there and found it. It is amazing. Life has changed so much. It's obviously been passed down through the years. I'm trying to read it every day and comment on one thing or another. So, here we go. A rollercoaster of a ride.
Introduction of Helen Rose Appleton
Monday 13th January 1834
Here I am then. A servant in a rich person's house. Lucky me. Let me explain. I lived with my mother, father, two younger brothers and older sister. My mother worked hard to get the little money we had. This money was for food, our schooling and other needs. For the last few weeks father has been shouting at mother, he would take all the money she had worked hard for and went and had a few drinks. Mum worked very hard to get this little money. This was when I decided I needed to go out to work so my family could eat. So here I am a servant to earn money for my family. My brothers can continue to go to school and they can eat proper food. I'm going to be the children's nanny while I am here. If I work hard they said I work up the ladder. I advertised in the paper and did it via mouth. I got eight interviews in a week. I saw all the families in a couple of days. Each one was a no until I met Mr and Mrs. Kensington, they were very friendly. I knew there were nice employers out there. They said they would look forward to seeing me today. I said yes straight away as I love children and as they will only be a few years younger, I can relate to them. I am so tired. At least I can go to bed now, it is not much but at least I can sleep. I have to stay up late to make sure they went to sleep, then I ate my dinner in the kitchen. Oh, I'm so tired. Goodnight,
Parents and their children
I can't believe she is one of my family. I can't imagine having to do that. I'll always think differently now. I kind of have a nanny. Well, she's our house maid. She's been here as long as I can remember. I'll have to ask her whether she likes living here. Considering what Helen had to go through. I wouldn't be surprised if she had something to complain about. Life's different now, isn't it? Her diary is really emotional; I'm trying to read it every night. The next bit in her diary is the relationship between the children and their parents. I have a really good relationship with my mum and dad. In the mornings when my alarm goes off, I run and jump into their bed waking them up. It is amazing. Then on weekends my bros and sisters take me out and we have a blast. It's really cool. I love them to pieces. I couldn't survive without them. If I had to work away from my family I couldn't live. It would be a little bit of a shock. It's really strange. I'd like to see how Helen's employers relationship with their children was.
Mr and Mrs Kensington and their children
Tuesday 14th January 1834
I am so tired. I got to bed really late because the twins were crying. I had to make sure they went to sleep and stop, or Mrs Kensington would be rather angry. It was a nightmare. Then I had to get up at six in the morning to light the fire so the nursery was warm when the children woke up. Then I had to go down to the kitchen and eat my breakfast. I had ten minutes to wolf it down. Then I had to wake the children at seven in the morning. They were so unhappy. I had to help them get dressed. Master George said he didn't need help because he's 7 and is very grown up. Misses Emily and Charlotte wanted lots of help with their pretty dresses. The baby twins Misses Rose and Petal had to have me dress them completely. This took me about an hour in total. At this time Mrs Morgan bought up the breakfasts from the kitchen. I looked at the food. It was a spread. Toast, cereal and some fried food. It looked lovely. I went into the nursery and sat the children down at the table. Mr George and the elder twins sat down waiting for the food to be put in front of them. I put it in front of them and made them say grace. They tucked in straight away. I sat down on the floor with the babies in my lap and fed them from a bottle. They all enjoyed it greatly. I left the dishes on the table and took the children into the bathroom; I helped them to clean their teeth and took them to the drawing room to see their parents. I knocked on the door and opened the door.
"Master and Madam. Your children wish to say hello."
"Bring them in."
Then the eldest two walked in and I walked in behind with the twins. They looked so cute. The children just sat on the floor silent. It wasn't very nice. At home we always gave mother and father a hug and had a little chat. I handed over the twins and left the room. I went up to the nursery and began to tidy up. I made all the beds, pulled back the curtains and wiped the tables.
My bell rang so I went down to the drawing room. I and knocked on the door. I walked in the room and took the twins from the Misses. I was told that I was to prepare the children to go for a walk in the park. I walked out of the room following the children and took them up to their rooms. I got them into their coats and outdoor shoes. I put the twins in the pram and took them down the stairs. Master George took his hoop and stick to play with. He was really excited to be going out. We went out for about an hour. We went through the park and passed the duck pond. Miss Emily wanted to feed them, but I said we couldn't because we didn't have any food for them. When we got back we went upstairs and I got them out of their outdoor clothes ready for their mid morning snack. We sat down at the table and I got out a board game for them to have a go at. I heard a lot of concentration at the table, so I took the time to play with the baby twins. I got out their rattles and laid them down on the floor so they could have a kick about, they looked so happy. I'd better go. I'm a little tired. Bye,
Schools now and then
That is so cute. After I had read that I flipped through the rest of the diary, and I saw that Helen was a little bit of a artist. She wasn't that good, but when she didn't write she drew. Tears sprang to my eyes. Anyways, at school today I had English, History, Music and double Science. In English we had to write the beginning of our own novel. Mine started like this,
"In the darkened room Amiee was crying. She had been crying so hard that both of her pillows were soaked through, her top wet and her face covered in make – up. Why was Amiee crying? Her beloved twin brother had died. He had been in the Science block at NorthEast High school. There had been a gas leak, he lit a match and … you guessed. It started a fire and the firemen were too late.
Amiee got up and ran out of the room, to the bathroom. Her blonde hair was stuck to the sides of her pretty face. The area around her hazel eyes was red and sore. She ran the hot tap & grabbed her flannel. After the sink was full she pulled back her hair and washed her face. All the smudged make-up was coming off. Her pale skin was showing through all the foundation. Half an hour later Amiee was sat on her bed looking at a photo. It was a lovely photo. It was of her and her brother Dan at their 13th birthday party. They were standing together, hugging each other & wearing massive smiles. Amiee started to smile at the picture."
Hope you like it. Well I was just thinking what Helen's school was like. Back then weren't schools held in church halls and with like 60 people in a class? Claustrophobia striking. I can't believe it. Well, I'll right tomorrow,
Education, the differences between the rich and mine
Wednesday 15th January 1834
Today I was taught how education is handled in this house. Master George goes to school for two days and has a tutor for another day. Misses Charlotte and Emily have a person come to the house and teach them. It was a bit strange. For half of the day I got, a bit of a break. I still had to get them drinks and look after the baby twins, but it wasn't as hard work. It was very strange to see Miss Charlotte and Emily sat at the table writing in these really posh books. When I went to school we wrote on pieces of slate that could be rubbed out and re-used. Ms Daley, my old teacher, would write on a big blackboard that she had from being a teacher for years. We would write on this little tables as we had a lot of people in the class. I was one of the eldest. It was a little strange. Sometimes Ms Daley would ask me to help a group of boys who really struggled. She said I would make a good teacher one day. I'm so tired. I haven't had a good night's sleep in ages, so I'm going to sleep,
Happy Birthday to me
It's my birthday. Wow! I had a party today. It was my birthday, today I turned sixteen. Sweet sixteen. I had a big party. It just my friends though. I suppose my party was a little better than Helen's master's one. I knew everyone there. I got loads of presents. My friends organised a surprise for me. One of their mums is friends with this producer guy in music, and she had organised my favourite band in the world to play for me. Only, I didn't know about until I was blindfolded during blind man's Bluff and marched outside in my red dress. I heard the music before I saw them. My favourite of their songs, being played for me. It was of course, TAKE THAT!!! Whoop, whoop!! It was amazing. They played all my favourite songs and sang Happy Birthday to me. I was crying with happiness. I hugged all my friends. It was the best present I could wish for. They looked well chuffed. It was the best day off my life. Helen would have enjoyed it, I'm sure. It was the best day in the world and now I can say I have met someone famous.
Still my birthday 1AM
I am still bubbling from my party. I can't get to sleep now. One of my best presents was three tickets to go and see Take That on tour and go back stage! Yikes! I mean, they are amazing. I have to say thanks to Alicia's mum for sorting it all out. It was amazing. I've got to try to try and sleep for school tomorrow. I'm still buzzing!! Happy, happy, happy.
My Birthday and my half day off!
Thursday 14th January 1834
Today was my half day off. Once a month, on a Thursday I get the afternoon off to see and do what I want. Today I went back to see my family for the first time since I got this job. I really liked going back to see my family. It was my birthday today. I turned sixteen. My brothers Jack and Ollie clung to me like a sore thumb. It was so cute. Mina talked to me about my job. She's married to a gentleman called Mr Paul Darlington. She truly loves him. Mother was fine. She made quite a feast. A lot of home grown vegetables and some chickens. It was very nice. The chicken was well done and the vegetables were roasted. Father came back after we had finished lunch. We had sat around the table and were talking. When father came in I stood up and jumped into a hug. He smelled of drink and of his pipe.
He just smiled at me. When I looked at the clock I had to go. I had been at home for three hours. It took me an hour to walk to the house, so I had to get going before it goes dark,
"I have to go."
Mother started to cry, the twins clung to me again and Mina just hugged me and told me good things. When I got back to the house, I found the elder twins playing with their toys. They looked very bored. When I walked in Miss Emily jumped right up and called,
"Helen! Your back! Can you play with us?"
I said I would. Her face lit up the whole room. It was lovely. It felt like I had a younger sister who I had just helped. We played three games and then I told them about my family. They listened like I was telling a story. When the dinner came up, I looked at them with loving eyes. I felt like a proud mother. When they had finished I got them dressed for bed and tucked them all in. Master George asked me to tell them a bedtime story. I said I would. I told them the story of Alice in Wonderland. Half way through they had all fallen asleep. I crept out of the room to go and have my dinner. Mrs Morgan and Elisa asked how my family was. I said they were fine. I am getting on well with them. It is nice to have someone who knows what they are doing to talk to. I had my food quickly then crept upstairs. I sat on the floor for about an hour and just watched them sleep. I felt like crying. I'd better go to bed,
Yo, yo, yo!!!
I'm still buzzing and I am so tired. It was so amazing though. Friday nights are when I go out with my friends. I doubt Helen had anytime to herself. I get loads. I have loads of hobbies and have too many friends to count. I do ballet, Morden, Tap, Ballroom, Gym, Choir and Orchestras. I'm a very busy person. I have loads to do with all of them. My mates from ballet and tap, we meet up on a Wednesday lunch time (that's when I'm allowed out for lunch at school), and have a big old chat. It's very cool. I've gotta go to bed. I am shattered.
Saturday 20th January 1834
Sorry I haven't written in a while. I've been a bit too busy. Today was, how do I put it? Interesting. The children have to be taken for an early morning walk, which meant I had to get up even earlier than usual. I each my breakfast and then get the children dressed into their outdoor clothes. They are very privileged to have two lots of clothes. I have only had one my whole life. At home I had my day clothes and then I had my Sunday dress, which I wore to school and to events. I didn't get invited to many of them, but even my Sunday dress was not in the best of shape. I have had it since I was about thirteen years old. The walk had to last about an hour and a half. I took them down to the park, where we walked through for half an hour. After we had walked through the park the children asked to go and see the market. I wasn't sure whether they were going to be allowed to, but I took them anyway. I kept them away from all the stalls, they could only look and smell. They way I wouldn't get in trouble. This took about the whole time of our walk so went back to the house. The master was about to go out to the races, so he was getting ready to go in the carriage. He was wearing a really nice suit. He nodded to me on the way in to house. As I walked the children up the stairs, I could smell their lunch being cooked in the kitchen. It smelt lovely. I got the children dressed into their day dress and sat Master George, Miss Emily and Miss Charlotte down with a game and put Miss Rose and Petal down for a sleep. They looked so cute. I have become good friends with the children, even though it is in my rules that I am only their as their nanny. Halfway through the game Miss Charlotte asked me to teach them one of the games I used to play. Luckily Mrs Morgan brought up the lunch. It smelt real nice. It looked a bit like my mum's old favourite it looked like Toad in the Hole. It was. Mrs Morgan, my good friend now, had snuck some Toad in the Hole for me. It tasted lovely. After lunch all the children settled down for a nap and I went down to the kitchen's to speak to Mrs Morgan.
"Hello Mrs Morgan." said I
We had a long chat and then I asked the question I had come to ask.
"The children want me to teach them one of the games I used to play. Am I allowed to?"
Mrs Morgan nodded her head, fine! That's all I can say for now. The children have woken from their nap and I need to feed them.
Religion and Church
Hello. I have to admit something here. I am a Christian. My school friends think I am mad. Believing that God created the world. If they don't like it, it's their problem. Well anyways, at my church we have a really cool band and sing and dance and chat and lots more. My leader is called Becky. She's really nice. My favourite song from church is 'I give thanks'. It uses sign language for some of the moves. It's really cool. I love it. Helen would have had to go to church with her family, to keep looking after the children. To make sure they didn't fall asleep or cry. That would be so hard. I have to go, to church!!!
Church – with the Kensington's
Sunday 21st January 1834
Today I had my first rich church service. As the same time as yesterday I got up to have my breakfast. I asked about the service. I've been to church but never to a big church like this one. It was very strange. The master and his wife had a family pew in the church really near the front. When I was with my family we always had to stand at the back and couldn't see anything. I was the only one who could read so I was mainly telling my mum what it all said. The children looked really bored. Miss Rose and Petal sat on my knee. I had to make sure that they all stayed awake. If one of them started to cry and I couldn't stop them, then I was allowed to take them outside to calm them down. The service was so boring. I really wanted them to cry, so when they both fell asleep, I purposely woke them up so they started to cry. Yes! They wouldn't stop. Mrs Kensington nodded to me to take them outside. I don't usually miss out on church, but I was so bored. I am so tired. The hymns and sermon were so boring. The vicar was a bit of a show off. I need to sleep so I'm going to go to bed.
Writing this whilst watching Dancing on Ice on the laptop. Mama Mia!! Go Zoe! We have so much stuff to keep us entertained now don't we? We have television, computers, radio, phones, iPods and mp3 players, Nintendo DS'. Play station, Xbox 360, Webcams, DVDs, CDs, ITunes, Chat rooms and cameras. That's a lot. We get bored with them a lot don't we? I mean we use them every day but we will never keep one for at least more than two years? My laptop will last me until I go to Uni and my phone, I get a upgrade every year but I recycle my old ones. I wonder what Helen would have had. She wouldn't have TV or anything. Her employers would get to go the theatre and go to parties but she wouldn't would she? I'll read her next one to find out.
Monday 22nd January 1834
I've only just realised how bored I get when I have nothing to do. When I was at home we would always play games and talk and just have fun. Master George and his sisters have rich toys and get to go to theatre. I would love that. The family went to the theatre today with their parents. Mr and Mrs Kensington said they didn't need me to accompany them. I got the evening off. Mrs Morgan and I spent the whole evening in the kitchen. We had such a laugh. We talked about home and what Mrs Morgan did in childhood. She told me that she was the youngest of five children. We also played a few card games until the family got back from the theatre. The children were so bubbly and would not go to bed. They were loud! I had to try and calm them down, that took me a while. After about an hour they all got to sleep and I watched them for a little bit. They looked so cute. I'm tired but happy at the same time. I'm going to go to bed,
Nothing else to say
Well it's the end of my diary. It's been emotional I can't think of anything to sya. All I can say is that you have been my friend through some tough time and I can always count on you. Oh, I'm going to tear up in a bit. So I'll be quick. You are the best friend I could of wished for. Always there to listen and for me to shout at.
Tuesday 23rd January 1834
Well it's come to the end of the road. I have run out of things to write and space to right them in. You've been an amazing friend for me to talk to and for me to express my feelings. Thank you, and thank you Mum and Dad for getting me this.