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© Rob McGibbon, 2013

Notes on School

Never been in such a large school before. Everything very nice. continually loosing myself along the passages. In a very nice class-room, each class has its own colors, mine is “one of many colors.”
Tremendous hall for study, but rather uncomfortable desks, at least, for “long-legged Liz:”! [?]
Very nice food, am fellu got use to it after a time, the refectory a tremendous room, leading out into the playground, at least one of them.
The practising rooms right at the top of the house, one could get quite thin climbing the stair if one were not so well fed!! some pianos very nice, others flat in the bass + in tune in the treble! sounds ensuing, to say the least of it, somewhat weird!!
Very nice studio on same floor, some of the things done bu by the girls simply beautiful!
Fête days seem to be the most weird affairs, one class gives it to another, the “it” being a kind of glorified mother’s meeting with an ounce of sweets divided between some 40 girls.
Notice of the school’s removerel [?] has been given out, should think a few carpets in the next place would not be unacceptable!!
The food is splendid but takes one a little while to get use to, also comfortable beds that do not take one long to get use to!!
The building is built in a square with a large court-yard in the middle, owing to the scarcity of ground, this way of building, for some unknown

2. NotesonSchool2

reason is more satisfactory, most of the large buildings such as offices, museums etc are built after this style.
The gymnasium somewhat resembles a hen-coop! I don’t think they’ve much idea of this kind of thing.
The chapel is very pretty, but frightfully overheated, + the benches none to comfortable, a small organ, worked in the old-fashioned-style, by the feet, sends out weird sounds assisted by the old fat french woman al Mdlle who puffs and blows in time to the music + makes one feel quite hot!!!
On account of the government + this school belonging to the Convent next door, as far as I can make out it has had “orders to quit” otherwise the nuns from next door will fair badly, the new school is neal nearer civilisation (ie: it takes a good half an hour from here to any decent shops + people) + is to be much smaller, only taking day-girls at present, I don’t know whats going to become of me! I only hope + trust I am at home!!!!
On fête days we go to mass twice or once a day wearing long white veils (on other days we wear black veils) + all looking most bridal-like, I only go to mass, Sundays + fête -days.
They seem to have a good many holidays here. I mean 1 day holidays + 3 days holidays, there are 3 days. the beginning of lent, nearly everyone goes out to sleep, + the first Thursday in every month we have the whole day holiday, not as usual, from 11.30, many go Wednesday night + return Friday morning, also Saturday night + return Monday morning.

21st January

frightfully tired this morning! have an extra quarter of an hour in bed, +, in consequence, terrible rush to be down. feel much livlier to-day, near thursday, that is the reason, I suppose, usual lessons, music lesson with music-murderer, lesson with the little ones for French! some of them very nice, preferable to many of the big ones!!! find out about the zoo, would rather like to go there with Lily to-morrow. Can’t think whats come over “old Beery nozzle”, trying to be quite polite all of a sudden. just noticed a little girl exactly like Eileen, wonder if she ever feels like me I, pity her if she does, quite expected Father MacCarty to-day, evidently too busy to come, wish he had, usual evening. Bed.

22nd January

feel quite gay on waking, looking forward to going out. very cold but feel warmed after hot cup of coffee. practice piano + work till 11.30. get ready then to go out with Lily, go to Cheâteau Briand + have a lovely déjeuner, can’t decide where to go, at last arrange to go to the Louvre, on way home buy some cakes for tea, look longingly in Rumplemayers but pass on, meet two priests from the college, have tea + return to school with them as Lily is going to the opera. usual evening. Bed. exit 16th day

12th February

A precious Thursday is circled because it meant a day out with Lily. But Olive’s diary falls silent…

13th February

Olive’s condition worsens and she is moved from her “petit dortoire” to the school’s infirmary.

Oblivious to his daughter’s illness, Thomas Higgins continues to oversee extensive renovation works at The Hydro Hotel, which has been closed since early January.

16th February

A telegram to Thomas and Peggs brings reassuring news that Olive’s condition is improving.

17th February

Further news from Paris reveals that Olive’s condition has worsened overnight, so Peggs leaves on the earliest boat for France.

Much later, most likely after Peggs arrives at the school, an emergency telegram is dispatched to Thomas Higgins, who is urgently located in Margate town. The telegram states Olive is now gravely ill.

Thomas is able to arrange for his friend Sir Maurice Abbot-Anderson to accompany him immediately to Paris. Sir Maurice is the leading physician to Princess Louise, the Princess Royal, and her family. She is the eldest daughter of King Edward VII.

When Thomas and Sir Maurice arrive at the school they discover that the two doctors treating Olive – one French and an English doctor resident in Paris – have all but given up hope. She now has double pneumonia. Sir Maurice begins to treat her…

18th February

This day had been circled by Olive.

With hardly a break from the bedside, Sir Maurice continues to treat Olive, with Peggs and Thomas in constant attendance…

19th February

Today is Thomas Higgins’s 50th birthday.

Sir Maurice continues to work around the clock trying to save Olive’s life…