It took a very long time for me to realise that, no matter how organised I was, the time between the end of school and supper was always going to be busy. For years I had visions of sitting down after tea with a spot of sewing or knitting, and while it does happen from time to time, those times are few and very far between. There are simply too many people around in the early evenings, all needing me for something or other: to listen to their scales or their reading, to mend skirts which somehow got caught on a branch on the way home, or simply to chatter to about their day.

So I’ve given up on making supper after lunch or in the morning. They’ll come rushing in and out of whichever room I’m in, so I may as well be in the kitchen, chopping carrots. Which leaves a little bit of time vacant in the day. And now that it is getting dark so early, there’s only one thing to do with a bit of silent sunlight. I can knit and make beds and roll pastry by electric light, but in the sunlight, I’ve been counting threads and making tiny, tiny crosses, over and over again.

Lots of people have been saying how satisfying this is, and they were right. With or without a murder mystery on the wireless, half an hour with some cross-stitch and suddenly the world is a wonderful place. In fact, I can’t imagine why they call it cross-stitch, as it’s the least cross thing I do, these days.

By the time the children roll home from school it’s time to draw the curtains and begin on the next round of tasks, but that’s alright by me. That little snowflake is proof that the sun did rise, today, and that I made the most of it. It’s fast becoming a favourite time of day, the early afternoon. Sitting in the window seat, stitching while there’s light enough to see.

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— November 22, 1931

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