Ahoy there Admiral,
Please let me know when you and the rest of the crew are venturing to the lake this winter? Susan mentioned it to the First Mate last time she wrote, but you know that Peggy is a mutton-headed galoot when it is things like times and dates. And she can’t find the letter now to check them.
We would invite you to Beckfoot, but the GA is indicating that she is descending on us for the holidays – why can’t she stay at home and not bother us? – so we have to be on our best behaviour. It’s hard though, I have to keep biting my tongue and minding my words. No giving her any more chances to make Mother cry.
Captain Flint will be here too, he’s promised us Adventures! Different types from summer adventures, but still on the lake and Wild Cat Island. No camping, Mother won’t let us stay out overnight in the snow. Plenty of ice-skating and snow-shoeing during the day though.
All the best to the rest of the Swallows. Tell Titty and Roger that Captain Flint has been to visit Polly the parrot and Gibber the monkey last week when he was traveling through London, and they are both well.
Mother has just told me that we are going to be staying with her old nurse while she and Father go on their newest expedition. It seems that Aunty and Uncle are travelling around the Continent (doesn’t that sound just so romantic? Imagine seeing all the places one only reads of in books. I would go to Rome and see the Colosseum, and Paris to see the Louvre and Notre Dame, and Vienna to see where Mozart played, and Venice to travel on a gondola), and can’t take us in this year.
We are going to be staying on a farm called Dixon’s Farm, which is on the shore of Lake Windermere. I’ve dug out our ice-skates, and we will have to practice skating before we go. I feel that I’ve forgotten all about how to skate, and while it would be ever so exciting to fall in the lake and have to be rescued by a St Bernard (or is that only in the Swiss mountains?) I don’t think I would like the taste of whiskey that they carry around in the little barrel under their chin, what do you think?
I bought a brand-new notebook for our holiday, I just know that I will find plenty of things to give me inspiration there.
Your loving sister,
Good-o about the notebook. Make sure you have a penknife in your pocket. You never know when it might come in handy to sharpen your pencil.
I wonder if the farm will have somewhere I can study constellations from. I had planned on asking Uncle if he knew somewhere close that I could use. Old Stinky has lent me his star map for the hols and I’m determined to learn them all before going back next term. I’ve got to remember to dig out the pair of binocs from last year to take with us too, better for looking at stars with. Remind me to pack them when I get home.
Only two weeks until hols start, this term has dragged on. I did all the required science experiments in the first two weeks, and I wasn’t allowed to start any new ones until next term. Hope next term will be more interesting.
The St Bernards are only in Switzerland, but there may be other rescue dogs on the lake. No idea about the whiskey though, I’ve never had any before.
Dear Mrs Jackson,
To confirm our arrival date as per the previous letter. The children and I will be arriving at Holly Howe on 26 December, and the Bridget and I will be leaving on 12 January to meet with Commander Walker’s ship in Malta. The other children will be remaining for a further week until they need to return to school.
John and Susan already have their instructions on what trains to catch, and Susan is in charge of their tickets for their school return. They all will just need to be taken to the station and made sure they get on the right train there. John and Susan are quite capable of organising Titty and Roger on the train.
The children are looking forward to experiencing the lake in Winter rather than in Summer, and trying out ice-skating and sledging for the first time. They have also been invited to Beckfoot to spend time with the Blackett girls. Mrs Blackett also mentioned her brother Mr Turner is visiting and has already made some plans to entertain the children if the weather is particularly bad.
Ahoy Captain Nancy, Dread Amazon Pirate,
Admiral Walker has requested that I, Able Seaman Titty, convey the troop movements of the Swallows in the forthcoming Winter expedition.
Expected time of Departure: train leaves home at 0800 hours on 26 December. Crew of Swallow, plus Mother and Ship’s Baby
Travelling time: Unknown, this is dependent on weather conditions. Delays due to snow or trees down on the tracks could mean sleeping overnight in the train carriages.
Expected time of Arrival: train due to arrive at 1400 hours at the Rio station. We are then collecting local transport for the final troop movement from Rio to home base, designated as Holly Howe Farm for the duration of the expedition.
Mother says we may not run off immediately to Beckfoot after we arrive as we will be exhausted after the travelling. I don’t think we will, we are just sitting in a train all day, but if this is what Mother wants, then we shall have to agree with it. She may be the best of Natives, but she doesn’t always remember what it is like to be explorers and sailors like we are.
I have been reading about the Polar Expeditions of Nansen after John finished with them. They are interesting but have no pirates in them. Maybe we should be Polar Explorers instead of sailors and pirate as we won’t be able to sail if the lake stays frozen.
Counting down the days before we travel.
Able Seaman Titty Walker