I am not needed at the wash to-day, and bring my writing materials into the kitchen, where I may scribble my diary and watch the oven at the same time. It is seldom at any time that I can write for an hour undisturbed. This morning a tap comes — “A pennyworth of milk!” Probably with a sixpence, and I must go for change. Then somebody wanting to know if the master is in and if not, exactly when he will be in.
I get a good start with a paragraph when somebody comes to inquire if we can oblige him with a “lep o’ straw.” and I must search for someone to serve him. Next my studious meditations are broken in upon by a tax collector whom I pay, knowing where the money is kept. (lep — a small amount, as in a lap or mouthful).
By this, it is time to see after pudding and potatoes, after which I count upon a good three quarters of an hour. But alas! A tramp girl comes looking for boiling water to make their tea “and will I put some sugar in it? And here’s a bobbin of thread for payment.” Then a member of the family comes in, and, heedless of my contracted brows, will talk inconsequently of everything in general.
I haven’t written one sheet and it is time to set the table for dinner. The morning has been so fine and drying, so speedy that I am able to get the stockings darned in the afternooon. That is the sort of thing that puts one in a good humour with one’s self.