Oh joy, Mr. Rochester has decided to take a day off from whatever it is he does and spend the day “helping” me around Thornfield. There just isn’t anything I need more than my blind, one-handed husband doing chores his way when I am trying to go about my day.
He started in at breakfast by asking to see a list of things “we” were going to get done today. I dutifully listed out my day:
2) Write shopping list with Cook
3) Assist Mrs. Fairfax in removing dust covers from furniture in Library
4) Adele’s Piano practice
5) See to the Buttery
6) Go to town for shop items
7) Pickle cucumbers
8) Finish needlepoint pillow for the Darcy’s new baby
9) Find a more suitable location to house the insane relic in the attic who is currently eating my hope chest
Mr. Rochester leapt up almost as soon as I finished reading it, inquiring as to what we should do first – Shopping list? Dust covers? Well, no, generally I take my tea into the sunroom and get a little reading done; the list is mainly for show. However, since I certainly didn’t need any more suggestions for hobbies from my husband (taxidermy, honestly!) I figured I should probably get some of the items crossed off before Mr. Rochester thought to add a few of his own.
We did take our tea to the Sunroom and began our correspondences. This actually proved a bit more fun than I had imagined. Mr. Rochester, being at a slight disadvantage for this task – what with his sightlessness and no writing hand, asked if I would kindly take his dictation for his notes. Of course I would, I am nothing if not his devoted wife who lives to assist him in any way I can. Well, that and I realized he could not read what I was actually writing. For instance, he asked me to pen a note to Blanche Ingram and her wretched mother, asking if they might come for their visit at the end of the month instead because the enduring rains have made travel to Thornfield tricky. What I wrote instead suggested that Blanche might prefer to wait until spring when our orchard was in full bloom; unlike now when it is fruitless… much like her womb. I don’t think we’ll need to be setting an extra place at the table anytime soon.
Mr. Rochester was surprised to learn that we are able to obtain flounder this time of year and that Cook was unaware of the Governor’s current ban on consuming strange looking fish because it gave him the willies. Cook is going to find her equipment budget halved for that.
Why Mrs. Fairfax insisted on acting confused when I told her I had come to help remove the dust covers, I am not sure. The spiteful old bitty knew my winking wasn’t due to the dust! And for heavens sake, “never lifted a finger?” I think that was a bit of hyperbole; I have rearranged the couch cushions plenty of times.
At this point it seemed prudent to split the chores. Since Mr. Rochester could not understand why we needed to see to the Buttery (because it is the only place I can get a moment’s peace, Mr. Nosy) I suggested he and his precious Adele have some quality time together in the music room. Upon listening to the praise he heaped upon her playing, I am now convinced; in addition to be blind and cripple, he is also deaf. We have got to get that girl a new instrument – perhaps a sextant.
I sent Grace to do the shopping because if I am not allowed to go out of my way to see what dreadful lawn fixture Emma Woodhouse has looming in her front yard, what fun is it? For all I know, Mr. Rochester would have asked to take tea – be gracious guests – and then where would I be? Purgatory, that’s where.
I told Mr. Rochester the cucumbers were on strike for unfair pickling practices. By the time he figures it out, I should be tucked snuggly in my bed.
Mr. Rochester puttered around the Drawing Room as I completed my needlepoint. He asked to read it when I was through – his sense of touch is really quite keen. And yes, I think “funny, she looks much like your milkman” is perfectly acceptable for a baby pillow – I put ducks around it.
Dinner was called just as I was about to address number 9 on the list, how terribly convenient. I swear – I am so far behind from all this “help” I will have to read my stories while in my bath tomorrow just to catch up.