Settlewick Manor
Term Begins
I new I was destined to go to boarding school, but I never thought it would happen. My three older sisters all attend the same school, a beautiful school, Settlewick Manor, and I remember even from when I was very small being in awe of the school and all my sisters in their uniform.The uniform at Settlewick was simply wizard! Well, simply marvellous my wise, formal sisters would correct me! It consists of a dark green and white stripped pinafore dress, with a crisp white under coat. Depending on which house you were in, there were four different colour sashes, trimmed in a beautiful gold coloured thread. And then we have a dark green felt blazer with the schools crest on the breast. The cuffs were the same pattern and colour of the pinny dress. Creme woolly stockings would be pulled up our otherwise bare legs and we then had either a green felt hat with our house sash or a straw one, depending on which term.
My whole family and I look identical, if we stood together in age order it would just look like a timeline of age of the same person. We are all brunettes and our dark, thick, curly hair all cut below our ears. In the sun we get freckles on our tanned faces. My father says though that he can tell from each of our faces our personalities. According to him I have a rather cheeky glint in my eyes, which is most probably true for I am one for pranks and jokes. My eldest sister is called Alexandra, and is turning seventeen this year. She is in lower sixth and is striving to become head girl. She is very mature and sensible and I hear from Rosa, the second youngest of all of us, that much of the girls at school were in deep awe of her.
Ivy is the second eldest and is very much like me. We both love pranks and jokes, and she always gives me hers after she had finished making mischief with them. She is only fifteen, but she is already in the first team in hockey playing alongside Alexandra, which usually only the upper sixth are in! Me and Ivy are very much a team, and I hate to admit that she is the sister I miss most when they all go to Settlewick for weeks on end.
And lastly there is Rosa, who is only a year older than me. She is a marvel at art and in the school brochures her work seemed to be displayed endlessly in gilded frames all around the school. I have no doubt that when she finishes Settlewick, she shall be a worldwide famous artist!
I am very proud of all my sisters, and I feel rather nervous that I shall not live up to the family name. I hope that Claudia Bay Bracken shall be a name everyone soon knows at Settlewick Manor School, just as well known as all my sisters.
And now the time has come for me to actually go, all my excitement has vanished and has been replaced with nerves. Before now, I went to a day school, where I would see my parents every day. But now I am thinking it all through and the thought of not seeing my parents for six weeks has just hit me. I have never been homesick before, and I am not the kind of person who becomes homesick. Alexandra strolled over to me. She had noticed my anxious face and came over to comfort me.
“ Don’t worry, everyone feels like this when they are about to leave a place they love, but you get used to it, you really do!” She smiled gently and hugged me as tears ran down my face like rain drops. “ Just remember, we shall always come back home, no matter what. You also have us, we will always look out for you so don’t you worry!”
“ Thank you Dra,” Which is what I sometimes called her. “You have really helped!” I wiped my tear marks from my face as I hurled my trunks from our magnificent country house into the car which would take us to the station.
My mother was going to see us off on the train so I went to say goodbye to my father. I never wanted to part from his warm arms but I new I had to go. We all piled in and the car went of, all of us waved goodbye to Papa as it sped towards the station. We had a train to catch, and not just any train, the Settlewick Manor Express!
All my anxiety’s vanished into thin air as we entered the platform. How could I be so melancholy when all that surrounded me was, chatter, laughter, jokes and madness! A rather strict and nasty looking Misstres came over to me.
“ I am Miss Dauntly, your house mistress and tutor and judging by your looks you must be a Bracken!” She smiled and I no longer saw her as mean and nasty. I now saw her as a kind and stern misstres! “ You can say goodbye now and I shall take you to your carriage”
I said goodbye to my dear mother. I said a sensible goodbye, not a silly one where I would cry and moan and not let go.
She then lead me through the bustling platform to the bottom of the train. Sat in the carridge were fourteen other girls, all sat nervously at tables for four. One of them smiled at me kindly. I also noticed a cheeky twinkle in her eye and I smiled back. “ You can sit anywhere you want you know,” Miss Dauntly said, her young studious face smiling. “ It doesn’t matter!”
“ Ok!” I said and walked confidently towards the table where the girl sat. She moved over so I could squeeze in next to her. She had an a mischievous face, a bit like mine I suppose. She to had a bob, but hers was blonde and wavy and slightly longer than mine.
“ I am Claudia,” I held out my hand for her to shake.
“ Patricia, though do call me Pat. I do find my name rather ladida! I would of much been preferred to be called Enid of something!”
“ Same here, my friends from the Prep school I went to before called me Clo, you can to!” I rummaged in my Blazer pocket and pulled out my trick gum pack. “ Want any?” I offered to Pat. She seemed like she wouldn’t make mind a joke.
“ Oooh goodie!” She pulls one of the ‘pieces’ and then SNAP! It snapped on her finger like a more gentle mouse trap. “OUCH!” She exclaimed. Paused for a second. And we both lolled our heads back laughing.
“Nut?” She said pulling out a can.
“ No thank you!” I giggled, pulling out the same trick pack.
“ Oh yes please!” Said a voice behind them. They turned there heads to see Miss Dauntlys face staring down on them. Pat and Clo went red.
“Miss, you really don’t want one you see, I umm found them on the floor?” I said uncertainly.
“ Hmmm well I am sure Patricia didn’t.”
“ Pat tried to smother her giggles in her hankie as she handed her the can.
Miss Dauntly pulled the lid open and to her greatest surprise and fright, out popped a snake! “Aaaaaggghhhh!” She exclaimed before she started laughing. “ Better not show that to Mrs Turnhall!” She whispered and gave it back to Pat. Mrs Turnhall was the headmistress and was known to be wise above her years.
“ Thank you, Miss!” Said Pat.
I was so glad I have already made such a good friend, and I hadn’t even arrived at school yet! Pat and I spent the rest of the train journey planning pranks for the term ahead. There are fifteen girls in our year. I already now all the girls in my year, and I have made more friends with a couple of them. Poppy was a sensible girl, Pat and I think she seems rather clever for she read a whole book in an hour, a rather fat one to!
A chatty Italian girl devoured almost everything in her tuck box, and brought out Italian Meats and produce for us all to share. It was the most delicious thing I tasted!
“ I would be friends with Eloisa just for her food!” I sniggered to Pat
“ Or for a free holiday!” Whispered back Pat. All the other girls sat on different tables. I liked the look of all the girls in the my form, except from a sullen, miserable girl who was always bragging called Isabella. Nobody paid any attention to her and her vain ways, which almost made her brag even more. My form and I all know that riches isn’t everything, and I need to teach her a lesson to stop her being so stuck up twins. Pat and I nicknamed her Miss High and Mighty! After what felt like hours, we arrived in the Yorkshire Dales and the Settlewick Station. ‘Alight here for Settlewick Manor School’ read a sign.
“Right girls, gather your night cases, and follow me please!” Said Miss Dauntly who seemed especially cheerie for the long train journey was over.
Like on the Platform in London, it was crowded with girls, trunks and hockey sticks. You could not put a foot down without the danger of tripping. Pat and I followed Miss Dauntly like a pair of clowns. Luckily, the box men were to take our heavy trunks up to Settlewick Manor and into each of our dormitories. I bumped into Alexandra and Ivy on the way up to the coaches. They were both with the first team hockey, discussing who would be captain this term.
“Alexandra, Ivy!” I exclaimed over the noise
“Right girls, gather your night cases, and follow me please!” Said Miss Dauntly who seemed especially cheerie for the long train journey was over.
Like on the Platform in London, it was crowded with girls, trunks and hockey sticks. You could not put a foot down without the danger of tripping. Pat and I followed Miss Dauntly like a pair of clowns. Luckily, the box men were to take our heavy trunks up to Settlewick Manor and into each of our dormitories. I bumped into Alexandra and Ivy on the way up to the coaches. They were both with the first team hockey, discussing who would be captain this term.
“Alexandra, Ivy!” I shouted over the noise.
“Clo! Enjoying it?!” Ivy asked
“ Yes thank you!” I replied
“Shall we all meet in the music room next to your dormitory tonight?” Said Alexandra
“Ooh yes! I shall tell Rosa!” I started to get tugged away by the rush on the platform onto the steps which led up to the coaches.
“ Goodbye!” Ivy said and have me a quick hug.
I then got dragged of by Pat in the sea of girls. From the sky, we must of been a sea of green I thought.
I managed (in the end!) to get on the coach in one piece. I sat next to Pat, our night bags on our laps.
“Clo, were they your sisters?” She exclaimed “ My sister Adelina says that Alexander is the greatest person in the school, and Ivy the youngest ever person to play on the first team for hockey!”
“Yes, they were my sisters!” I said. I was quite taken aback. I knew my sisters had achieved a lot during there time at Settlewick Manor, but I didn’t know they were THAT good!
“Oh and not to metion Rosa, in the second form who is so amazing at art that she already has a place in the worlds most amazing art school!” Pat stared at me. “You must be a marvel at something!”
“Stop!” I said “I really don’t think I am at the same standard as my sisters in anything!” I said. I was starting to get annoyed at Pats bragging. She seemed to realise what she had been doing and stopped.
“A wad of gum?” She asked handing me the packet. I went to pull the chunk completely oblivious of the fact it was...SNAP! Trick gum! We both started laughing again and were back to our usual selfs! It was a short journey up to the main school. I stared in wonder at the magesty of the building. It had grey bricks and turrets and a creeper which was entwined into each nook and cranny. It was a very old building, but very beautiful. The inside was even nicer. It had a cozy attmosphe, it felt nothing like a school. Fires in every room, even the school rooms. Gilded framed paintings lined the corridors proudly. Pat and I ran around the place, trying to find our dorm. Each dorm was named after a famous person, and ours was Bronte.
“Bronte, Bronte ,Bronte!” Said Pat getting annoyed. She was holding a map.
“Oh Pat!” I said “We are looking in the wrong tower! See we are in Sparrow, this is Robin!”
“Oh dear, how stupid of me!”
“Come on! We are next to Hockney!” I Said and I pulled Pat along the corridor and up, up, up the stairs to the top of the turret.
“Bronte!” Pat exclaimed excited.
We went to open the heavy wooden door. What met our eyes made Pat and I sigh when we opened it. A large window at the end of the room overlooked the most beautiful view over to the Yorkshire’s three peaks. Hockey and Tennis courts were laid in a little dipped valley. The gardens which surrounded the school were lush, with cherry and apple trees in an orchard. And to the rear, we saw the kitchen gardens were thriving.
Two beds had been put right in front of the window, and withought even hesitating, Pat and I claimed them to be ours.
“Now this is the life!” Said Pat as she stretched out on her bed.
“I am so glad we got these beds before the others!” I said and then realised...”Where is everyone?” I said to Pat. Pat looked puzzled.
“We weren’t meant to go anywhere were we?”
“I don’t think so,”
We sat back on our beds and looked outside. Clunk, clunk, clunk! A noise came from outside the dorm. “Thank goodness that must be them!”
We ran to open the door. But it wasn’t them, no it was the boxmen bringing up the forms trunks and tuck boxes.
“Deary me!” One of them exclaimed. “Aren’t you meant to be in tea?”
I suddenly realised.
“Pat! We are meant to be having tea now! We aren’t meant to be here!” I was afraid we would get into deep trouble, which s not what I wanted to do on my first day.
“Where is the dining hall, sir?” Inquired Pat.
“ Down this turret, turn left and at the end of the corridor go through the court and the first door on your right.”
“Thank you!” We chorused in unison.”Golly! I am never going to remember all that, I have about the memory of a fish!” Muttered Pat to me as we made our way down the turret. We got to the bottom when Pat said “Now did he say right? Or was it left?”
“ Gosh! You really do!” I teased turning left. We burst out of the corridor and the crisp winter air nipped at our faces. The court was in the centre of the building and was like a beautiful open air conservatory with plants thriving, even in the winter. “Right, it’s here!” I said spotting the door the boxmen said was the entrance to the dining hall. We opened the double doors and walked in. Four long tables stretched the length of the hall. The floors were marble and the walls, like the rest of the building were wood panneled. A magnificent chandelier hung from the high ceiling. Food glourios food was set in the most amazing spread on the tables.
“Wizard!” Pat exclaimed.
Miss Dauntly walked up to them “Got lost?” She questioned.
“Yes extremely sorry Miss,” I replied trying to make it up to her.
“Don’t you worry, you have made a punishment for yourself, for all the best cake and buns have been eaten!”
We both groaned for we were extremely hungry. “I shall bring you bread and butter though to eat in your dorm when we get back for dinner is over now!” And almost on queue the bell was rung.
“First form, please go to your dorms and unpack. Follow Patricia and Claudia, I should expect they know the way!” Miss Dauntly winked at us and we giggled. Poppy ran over to them.
“Where have you been?” She asked “You missed the most smashing supper!”
“We didn’t even know it was supper so we went straight to the dorm!”
“We would of stayed there completely oblivious if the boxmen hadn’t of come and told us!” Me and Pat awnsered.
“You know you to should be called the Bobbies! Look at you! You could be sisters!” Everyone laughed.
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