From the diary of fifteen year old orphan Laura Troubridge in Norfolk, England, in 1873
Monday, October 26th 1873
I was thinking the other day how I should spend my day if I was allowed to do as I liked and if it was possible. First I should get up whenever I felt inclined, then I would do no lessons all day (except perhaps sometimes read a little history), but I would not be idle - on the contrary, very industrious, for I should draw all day long and when I was sick of it, I should get a comfortable armchair by the fire and read a novel.
For exercise I should have a sort of double velocipede, consisting of two armchairs, worked either by hand or foot, which would go about a hundred or fifty miles an hour*. But I should always have the second armchair filled by somebody who I really wanted to drive with me and I should like to have the power of wishing any person to be in it I wanted. (I know who would be there very often), and we would go long drives about, spinning along, almost like flying. In the evening we would either take a long moonlight drive or else go to a dance or the play, whichever we felt inclined for. I should always have loads of money and loads of new novels. I should always be exquisitely dressed and never wear old slonche fouffes҂, and should also have hair over my forehead! I forgot to put I should be awfully kind and should always be giving everybody heaps of splendid presents.
Would not that be a delightful life?
I forgot to put I should very often travel, always with my velocipede and my companion and I should also sometimes go to London, the two last of course with the others too, who I should be awfully jolly to and who would adore me.
An extract from the book 'Life among the Troubridges' edited by Jaqueline Hope-Nicholson, 1966. I shall tell you what was really Laura's 'The Day of My Life' on another occasion.
*Sixty years later a 1937 Bentley 4¼ litre could reach 50 mph in just over 10 seconds and top out at 95 mph. How Laura would have loved it.
҂ In the book 'slonche fouffes' is simply described as ‘a family word for clothes’ but I suspect its origin was in the French word fouffes meaning old clothes that have seen better days or cleaning rags and slonche was a way of saying for slouching around in.
9 minutes ago