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Story Notes:
Some of these may be a little younger / older than their age, but I am taking the view that the illnesses might have hindered some of the 'babies' which is partly why Bride is actually a bit better at writing than her older brother and sister. Also obviously children often develop with writing and spelling skills at different rates anyway. The timing might not quite be right for Margot Venable's death but I THINK it works.

I do have deja vu, so might have done something similar before, apologies if am repeating myself!
Note attached to envelope containing collection of slightly crumpled small bits of paper:


Dear Madge,

I'm sorry to hear about your broken leg, what a horrible start to the year. I hope it doesn't take too long to heal.

I was trying to think of a good distraction, and came across these in the Kindergarten archives. Each form mistress has obviously kept up your first day of January term tradition, in the kindergarten at least. I was a lot older, obviously, but I still remember the first "My Year" essay effort from many moons ago, and I'd completely forgotten about it until I found this pile.

I thought you might quite enjoy reading them, some are too funny for words, very good teasing material for your Oh-so-elderly-brood !

I've mainly sent the babies in this packet, though there were a few essays from the middles that were worth including. Some of your own nursery crowd seem to have their own efforts too, I'd guess that they wanted to copy Robin, as I think I recognise her handwriting on a few of the "corrections". I do have memories of them all playing 'School', so I wonder whether that is where the very early ones come from.

Apologies for some of them all being mixed up, I'm guessing that at some stage the cupboard was cleared out and they were all jumbled together. That might be another distraction for you, guessing what year they were written !

With love, and best wishes for a swift recovery,



My Year. By Robin
(With picture of a few Brown Splodges with two black splodges for eyes and one for a nose, and a red splodge for a mouth. Careful lettering below the picture says "RUFUS" )

My Year was good Joey saved Rufus who is a Sant Beanard and is fluffy. I was a chairub in the play. I love Tante Margareet and my Joey and we had a bon Noel and I got a doll. Robin


My Year by Amy Stevens

this year we went to school, and we got stuk in a hut with a man who smelt like animals but he was nice really he had a ziver which look s like a sort of guitar but you use a metal ring too play it. We slept in the hay and went home the next day. i had hayseed down my bakc and didn't like it. There was a snake and I don't like walks like that really though Margia said she did as it was an advenchure. I wrote some poetry and Juliet started helping me, I thought she was scary to start with but she is nice and she needs looking after now as her mummy and daddy have had an accident in a car. It was a good year apart from the things that weren't good.


(Older Robin's handwriting) My Year by : (big letters) RIX

We weNt a Long way iN a Car to move howse, I was iN charge.
U ncle Jem told me to look after the girls and david and Jackie so I did. (Few crossed out words and and drawings of a car) we moved (word traced in pencil) house aNd auNty JO dozeNt live with us aNy mor. (Big scribbles across page in crayon) SYBIL IS aNNOYIGN AND I MISS aUNtY JO.

(Robin's handwriting) My Year by (slightly neater big letters) PEGGY

THis Year we came To GuRNSaY GaRNSee (written in pencil and copied over) Guernsey and iT is nice I like (pencilled and copied) Gache cake iTs chokolaT. (drawings of cake and glass of milk) I am GoiNG To Go To The CHALET scHool if I practice my wRiting. PEGGY BETTANY

(Robin's handwriting) My Year by : SYBIL

RICKS (pencil copied over) RIX
PEGY (pencil copied over) PEGGY

(Robin's Handwriting) My Year by : BRIDE

We liVe here now, I meT new frends here called Jewly and Nanci and we are Going swimming when iTs summer iTs too cold now

(Robin's Handwriting) My Year by : DAVID

W E H a D a B I Z Y Y E R E.
M U M M Y H a D a B A B Y S I S S T E R
S H E I S. C a L L E D J O S E T T E.

My Year by : Primula Venebles

It wasn't a good year. We had too move because of the Nasties, so we now live on Guernsey. Mummy has gone to be with our Brothers and we live with Auntie Madge. Auntie Madge says next year will be beter I hope so.

(Robin's handwriting) My Year by : JACKIE

JACKIE RIX AUNTY MADG (Scribbles and a big face with legs coming out of it with no body)

My Year by Robin Humphries

This year has been a difficult one. We had to leave the Tyrol and the school hasn't started up again yet. Aunty Jo and Uncle Jack got married and they live near to us on Guernsey. We had a horrible time escaping from Austria, and things have been very difficult, but we have a nice home now and I'm hoping that we can stay here for a long time. Aunty Madge says that she might start the school again soon, and I hope we do, I miss everybody. There are a few families living near here with children who could go to the school, though most of them are quite young.

I am looking forward to being able to swim in the sea later in the year, and hoping that we can try some sailing too. Daisy and I are going to go cycling and camping by ourselves as our friend Beth Chester knows everyone, and I am looking forward to that too.

(Rest of the essay blank except for more crayon scribbles, and the words SYBIL and JACKIE)
Chapter End Notes:
(It might just be my neice, but at approx Sybil's age she was obsessed with being shown how to write everyone's name, and showing that she could do it, so that's the reason for the name lists in case anyone is confused ! )

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