As we are able at present to sell all the butter and eggs in the house, it is not necessary for one of us to go to market. This convenience has its little inconveniences for we used to get our shopping and business done on market day without a special visit to town.
For instance, for some weeks we have been in urgent need of getting an umbrella repaired, and there is no one to be found in any of the neighbouring villages to undertake the task. We haggled with two gangrel bodies to put us in a new rib for sixpence; and they cunningly diverted my attention to another part, till they had got safely down the road with their sixpence, when we discovered that the broken rib was mended with a bit of wire.
At present, it is in town, that umbrella. We got it there by a lucky chance, and it was to be ready for a certain train; but of course, it was not ready. Other mischances befel us over it, and when we shall again handle it, heaven knows. “For goodness sake stop talking about that broken umbrella! It has been a daily topic of conversation for six weeks.” But if you do not talk about things which interest and worry you, what are you to talk about?
Eggs are scarcer with us than they were in November and December. To-day there were only six. We sell them readily at the door at seven for a shilling. Butter is still at eighteenpence.
To-day we heated the smallest boiler — or “set-pot” as it is called here — for the calves’ meal. It is not always possible for one of ourselves to see to the daily — twice daily — scalding of the calves’ meal; and there is not a servant who can be trusted to do it properly.
They all know well enough, but they labour under a simple delusion that one will not know whether boiling water has been used or not. When a sufficient quantity to last a few days has been boiled, and remains in the boiler in readiness, there is no danger of a calf being fed with half-raw meal.