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December 1st


It is Saturday afternoon and the girls are engrossed in their new Hobbies Club. They want to have a show and a concert at the end of next term – we shall have to see whether their enthusiasm lasts so long! In the meantime, Elise and Mollie think I am making a few last changes to The Youngest Shepherd. It’s quite extraordinary how different the lines sound when the girls are saying them aloud. However, I have worked hard enough today to earn myself a few minutes’ rest and do some writing of a different kind.

December in Tyrol is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Perhaps that is because we have been here for some months now, and I feel that Tiernsee is not only one of the loveliest places in the world but also home. Most of the Tyrolean girls take it for granted, of course, but some of the English ones are beside themselves with excitement at the sheer quantity of snow and are thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. We are having snow fights instead of hockey and skating on the lake in place of netball. I must see about getting a Christmas tree for the School. Joey assures me that it would not be Christmas without one, and I’m inclined to agree with her. And now I must do the work I am supposed to be doing. The life of a Headmistress is far busier and more unexpected than I ever imagined it could be!


December 2nd


Snow! I can never quite decide whether it’s a blessing or a curse. It gives me a wonderful excuse to get the entire School out of the building for a few hours and to catch up on my paperwork, with which I am rarely if ever up-to-date. But it can also be a terrible nuisance, especially when the girls are cooped up inside for days at a time. Grumpiness isn’t the word for it.

For now, though, the snow has frozen well and the girls are ski-ing and tobogganing and, I hope, refraining from injuring themselves too severely. Rosalie is writing letters to parents and Gwynneth says she is taking an afternoon off, although I suspect that what she means is that she is going to do some task which she thinks of as relaxing, such as making lists of all the first aid equipment required in the next order, or tidying the linen cupboards. And I must decide which of the twenty-three jobs in my ‘very urgent’ pile is the most urgent. A Headmistress’ work is never done.


December 3rd


Just got off the phone to Joey. Not entirely sure what’s going on, but it seems to have involved a large bag of flour, an indeterminate number of children and a lot of screaming. Still, will probably hear all about it soon.

Right, what else has been happening? Girls all pretty sensible. Went out ski-ing but no-one got injured (thank God am not still at Chalet, would probably have killed myself or someone else by now). We’ve just had songs sent through for carol concert. Adeste Fideles again.

Bugger this diary lark. How are you supposed to find something to write every single day? It’s all Hilda’s fault, for betting I couldn’t keep one for an entire month. Oh well, should get a nice bottle of wine out of it.


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