The birth of Alienor.
Aenor seems to have got through it okay. It doesn’t seem to have been a traumatic birth. She hasn’t been wiped off the extremes of feelings. She’s quite satisfied. She’s looking at the little baby and seeing that all the limbs are there. She’s quite a catch this little baby. She looks like a miniature person rather than a baby. She looks more like those pictures of Jesus as a tiny man, you know the kind of pictures. Very long fingers and long thin arms. A delicate little face. She responds very quickly to any noise, especially mellifluous noise. She’s like a magical instrument herself. You only have to touch the feet and the whole being is in movement and waving about. She’s a very responsive baby – like a toy you can play with. Knows its own mind when it’s fed it knows how much and when it’s finished – it has table manners! Born refined. Yes! Aenor is quite enchanted with the baby and quite proud of herself, but passes it off nonchalantly. She is glad that the child is in her domain. It doesn’t need to be shared by the outside world. Not that you would guess that from her body language. It’s more of a deep knowing. And especially that she can lock the door at night and lock them inside and at last she has a companion, someone who understands her and is like her and can be with her. And she thinks this will make her life become bearable.
What does William X think of his daughter.
Well it’s a girl. He says I suppose we have still got time to remedy that, but what if we have more girls. She will have to raise her game. He’s wondering how soon he can get Aenor back into action. Like one down, nine to go. This was just a blip, but never mind, we can get on with it. So he’s not in this marriage to get girls. I think as well as the passing on to an heir, it’s also sharing his learning, knowledge and education – that’s what he was hoping to do as well.
So go to her when she’s a bit older with her dad. She is very quiet with him when she is little. She is a bit afraid. She has been taught to be distant, quiet and well behaved, a bit like her mother when she was curtseying and putting her head to one side. I think she’s been taught to do that from her mother.
His viewpoint? He’s looking at a basket which is bow shaped with a handle that goes across the middle. It’s got flowers in. He’s saying ‘No, you shouldn’t do that.’ She’s climbing up some carving to put flowers high up on top of columns. He’s saying ‘Come down here.’ She has to climb onto his shoulders to get down. He puts her down quite forcefully on her feet. She doesn’t look very little even here. (probably tall) He says ‘You must never do that again, never! What came into you?’
Alienor is quite calm. She thinks ‘Nothing came into me.’ She wasn’t afraid when she did it. She doesn’t understand why he’s all upset, so she just stands quiet and passive.
An earlier incident than that? William is just seeing her walking across the courtyard. She is very beautifully dressed. A miniature little person. His heart warms and he thinks she’s very sweet. He calls her to him and she doesn’t respond at first because it’s unexpected. It reminds me of being in school when you’re very small and everyone seems very big and the head mistress or head master is a massive, massive person that nobody talks to. That’s the feeling I get about her and her dad. She knows he is there and she knows he is influential but she daren’t talk to him.
So what happens when he calls her over? He says ‘What is that that you’ve got on?’ She thinks ‘Oh crikey, and she brushes the front of her dress and says ‘My blue dress, sire.’ And he says ‘It is mighty fine work.’ And it is. It’s got all like teardrop shapes outlined in gold across the front. He says ‘Do you like to wear nice things?’ She says ‘Yes, sire.’ He says ‘Then I will have a garment sent to you when I return.’ He says ‘Fare you well for now.’ He picks her up and he kisses her temple. When he picks her up she feels so light. When she was on the ground she looked heavy because she had got all those heavy clothes on. He feels a bit of magic when he picks her up. It’s a similar sort of feeling to the way her mother felt. It’s sort of a mystery beyond his normal expectations or experience. It’s like something dropped in there from somewhere else. It’s quite an odd feeling. He puts her down and feels quite wistful, but tells her to run off and be with her mother. There was quite a group of them walking across the courtyard.
To an ordinary day in the relationship Between Alienor and Petronella her sister
Alienor wakes up in a sunny space. It’s a really big room. She can swing her arms and walk about. It’s beautifully sunny. Petronella is reluctant to get out of bed but she’s very playful, and she’s got these very playful big brown eyes. She is hiding, playing rabbits under the bed-clothes. Alienor is putting her hands under the bed covers and tickling her and then wrapping her up in the covers and hugging her. Then she gets in beside her. They lie face to face talking. It’s everyday things. What they’re going to do, things that they like. It’s just chit-chat. Now a woman’s come in. I take it to be be the maid. She says, ‘Are you in there together again?’ She says ‘Come on, let’s have you out, let’s have you dressed.’ She sets about dressing them and doing their hair. Hair seems to be a really important thing. There’s more time consumed working on the hair than anything else. And Alienor’s hair colour?’ It is that same goldeny colour I saw before and it has a slight wave to it. Her sister’s hair is dark. And her eye colour? I can’t see at the moment I am only getting the back of her head. Well just keep an eye out for it as we go on (Pun intended). They are going downstairs. Everything is so fresh and open and light; it’s lovely. There’s a long table and it has lots of food, piles of fruit in bowls. It’s like when there are lots of French windows open to the sky – that sort of effect. It’s really lovely. They take some fruit and go outside to eat. They are very together. It feels natural and normal for them to be a pair. Alienor wants to go riding. Petronella wants to go along with her. It’s the feeling of freedom as much as the riding that Alienor wants, but it’s not that easy to get. She’s got to find someone who’s willing to take her. The woman who looks after them doesn’t want to take them. There’s no one in the household she can really ask. She’s tried to ask the stable assistants and it seems that they have been told not to, so it seems she has been pretty frustrated. Does it occur to her to ask her uncle Ralph? Well yes it would, but she knows he wouldn’t go. It could well be that he is the one who’s instructed them not to take her.
That surprises me because I would have thought learning to ride would be part of the curriculum so to speak. I think it was, but not when she wanted to go.
Now there are rows of things. At first I thought it was writing, but it’s weaving of some sort. She’s getting solace from the colours which she likes. Petronella's sitting next to her. She’s not actually doing the weaving, but she’s winding little balls. Petronella is leaning on Alienor and Alienor is saying ‘Get off, because I can’t use my hand if you do that.’ Petronella is a bit like a kitten. Sometimes I can see her sucking her thumb. She just wants some comfort from Alienor. This is done outside on a veranda as well, half in and half out. Some other ladies come to join them. They’re admiring the work. They have drinks with them and the talk turns to grown up talk. That’s when the girls get wary. Petronella in particular tenses up and switches off and Alienor separates herself from it. Is it risqué grown up talk then? It’s adult talk in the sense that it’s all about grownups and in the sense of who fancies who as well – the goings on in the household. It’s gossip. And this makes the girls wary? Yes, it makes them tense. A lot of it is because they don’t want that sort of attention attracted to them and Alienor has already had that sort of thing – men being attracted to her. She finds it really creepy; she doesn’t like it. She finds she has to defend herself against it all the time and that’s why they like to keep themselves to themselves if they can. The weaving goes on all day more or less. The food is brought in to them. Petronella is getting quite drowsy in the afternoon. Alienor has stopped weaving. There is a beautiful flower scent all around. Alienor seems to be just wandering around and Petronella has gone to sleep. Like a siesta then. Yes. Alienor has found some young people in the garden to talk to. It seems to be a mixed group and she’s laughing and joking. Then she leaves them. She’s not giving herself away as in not giving her emotions to other people. It was an interaction that was quite pleasant but she’s still herself. She walks off and she feels really quite constrained. It’s got edges and although those edges might be fluffy and beautiful like clouds or like trees in full leaf, she can’t go beyond that and that makes her feel constrained. She’s not happy there. I was going to say she particularly doesn’t like the people who have power over her, but it’s not as straightforward as that. It’s not that she doesn’t like them. She accepts that they have this power, but it makes her feel sad. She’s kind of indifferent to them. It all feels kind of dreamlike as if it’s real but not real. She’s going back to her sister now and she’s waking her up in a really playful way. She’s taking the thumb out of her mouth while Petronella is still asleep. She’s getting Petronella to get up and to come out into the garden with her. They go out to a different part of the garden and have a bit of runabout. Then they go to another quiet part of the garden and have a sit down on stone seat with an arch over it set into a wall, but the wall is just part of a garden and is one level up. It’s tiered and the wall with the seating is very high. They just sit there, kicking their toes and being children really.
It’s starting to get towards evening now. Alienor’s starting to feel tired and they are in that room where they woke up now and are being brought warm milk and bread. I can see some people hugging. A man and a woman. These are not nobly dressed. They are more household people. The servant who looks after them has brought her man friend up, thinking that the girls will sleep. She’s always told them to keep very quiet about it and it’s their secret. But this is a more normal relationship. It’s not full on. It’s more of a sociable, convivial relationship. Then they go to sleep. End of day.
So Alienor is close to her sister. Yes, she seems responsible and almost maternal for her.
Alienor’s happiest time as a child before her marriage.
It’s not full on happiness. It’s a glow in the solar plexus that is warm and bright but below that there is some anxiety. There is definitely a smile on her face. She is looking down at her hands clasped close to her body. She is looking down at something small and fluffy in her hands. I think it might be a nest of tiny fluffy chicks. They are so beautiful and vulnerable and she is really moved by it. She thinks how easily they can be crushed. She is seeing it as an analogy for herself and her sister with no parents. Hmmm, well that’s not really a happy time is it? No. So perhaps she wasn’t happy as as child? No, and this feeling of being incarcerated, that really came full on later in her life didn’t it?
Her education? Her sister is quite a distraction from this, because when Alienor is studying, it means Petronella loses her attention. I am seeing again the weaving but that’s not really what I want to see, so I’ll retune. This is quite a good feeling. Calm, deep, meditative. She is listening carefully to a story, following it through. It’s being told but there is music as well, some musical instruments being played. It’s as if Alienor is imbibing the whole thing and it’s very satisfying. The story is rounded and whole and complete – perfect. Which fills a whole gap in her life. She loves things like this and they make her want to write her own and she does spend some time writing out her own versions of these. She even makes tunes to go with them. She does play them sometimes, but generally they’re private. This is the same sort of age as I saw before – young adolescent.
Right, that's all for now. More later. I'm not sure how often I'll post - at least once a week though.