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Author's Chapter Notes:
This was by Blue

15 December 1946

Dear All,

I am writing to everyone as group as I simply do not have the time to spend on individual letters at the moment and I wanted to wish you all the joys and blessings of the festive season. You have heard me before discuss the amount of paper work I get inundated with every term and I’m afraid to report that it has simply gotten worse.

Is it not enough that I have to decipher Nell’s scrawl and take over as much of Hilda’s work as possible to stop her working around the clock which adds countless hours to my day? No, this term my lovely friends and family as well as sorting and reading through all the incoming mail, typing up the outgoing mail, I have to draft and type every single piece of official work in triplicate! Triplicate, as you see our lovely school has decided to return to its roots and re-introduce trilingualisim. I was all for this at the beginning of the term, I mean I had to learn French and German in school and I enjoyed it so why not try it again now that hated war is well and truly over. This of course only lasted until I realised what it meant for me in regards to my workload. I now have to do the same work in English, French and German. It’s been years since I used German and now I’m expected to be word perfect instantly. Did I get offered a pay rise, some extra staff to help out with the increased work, even a simple thank you? No.

I do not think that Madame and the heads have really thought this decision through. People are still upset when they hear German after that horrid war and now every Tuesday and Friday I have to answer the phone with “Guten Morgen/Tag”. You can hear every person who rings inhale sharply and then silence. It puts me in a truly uncomfortable position and I’m not sure how much longer I can cope with it. It is not as bad on Wednesdays and Saturdays when I have to answer in French, the response in generally confusion instead of offence. I really believe the heads should have the girls and the staff speak and use French and German but leave it out of the admin work and the stop exposing the general public to it until they are comfortable with it. We are located in Armiford not mainland Europe where hearing other languages is common, most of the locals had only ever heard a smattering of German in relation to the war and have no knowledge of French and now a girls school is using it on a weekly basis and forcing the locals to be reminded of times they would rather forget or excluding them completely from conversations. I’m really beginning to wonder if my future is still with the Chalet school. What happened to that lovely school with its strong ethos of family, caring and inclusion that I remember? Or did I simply overlook how all staff aside from the teachers were treated in my naivety?

I really must wrap up my tale of woe here as work beckons, but once again I would like to thank you for listening to what I cannot speak aloud here and sharing my burden. So I will wish you all a Happy Christmas and hope that the New Year will find you all well.

Yours contemplatively


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