Turenay, Anshein Hanre of the ninth week of Anshen



I was already feeling unwell when I got up the day after the wedding celebration, but at first I attributed it to going to bed too late and drinking perhaps more wine than I should have. I did manage to introduce Aule to Maile, and then went to the hospital. Leva immediately saw the spots on my face, especially near the throat and ordered me to bed. I went to Lara to ask her to borrow the nightshirts I had given her and to tell Arvi and Aidan that I would be in the hospital for at least two weeks.

Aidan was very sweet to me, and came to bring me books about herbs from the school library. There came one other guest in the children's ward, a boy whose ribs had been crushed by a wheelbarrow: his sister had pushed the wheelbarrow downhill, and he happened to be in the way when the wheelbarrow escaped from her hold. It is sometimes very difficult to decide whether I am a child or a grown woman in Valdyas: it did not feel right to lie with the builders in the adults' ward, and it was a little strange to lie with this boy in the children's ward, but on the other hand, I am just two years older than this boy, and the builders are more than ten years older than me.

Then Aidan had to go on the summer campaign with the regiment of Turenay. Two weeks camping out in the forest. He had high hopes of catching bandits and having a proper fight, but this did not happen. At least, there was no group of bandits, but they did find an Iss-Peranian spy hiding in the forest near Turenay, who was however not after me, but trying to track another Iss-Peranian, someone called Rahul, Aidan tells me. It must have been a spy because he took poison when he was approached by the soldiers of the regiment.

Note: I must give Aidan the chance to tell more about the campaign, since it is clear he enjoyed it a lot, and should not be made to feel guilty because he went while I was ill. I am not a pleasant companion when I am ill, I am afraid: when I have a fever I don't remember anything, and when I am getting better I feel very grumpy.

Leva tells me I cannot work yet, because I am too tired and because I would still make other people who haven't had this illness sick, but she has given me the task to read and compare the books on herbs the School has and the Hospital herbary; and I am making notes about agreements and disagreements between the authors. This is a very worthy work, and I am learning a lot from it.

Turenay, Dochein Hanre of the tenth week of Anshen

This was a bit of a shock: Rhanyn, Torin and I went to the Guild School -- well, actually, just Rava's small group of people who had missed the chance to go to another school and are now to old to go to, for instance, the Temple School, but who still need to learn to read. And there were two Iss-Peranian boys from Il Ayande. One spoke a little Valdyan, the other even less. I was so surprised and distressed at finding people from home in Turenay that I didn't quite know what to do.

But I learned that they had come with an Iss-Peranian woman who had adopted them and that their adopted mother did not leave her house or suffer visitors to enter her house. I did discuss this with Leva, who decided that tomorrow we will go to the poor quarter and will make sure to visit her. I think that the spy Aidan and his regiment have caught came for her, not for me.

Turenay, Naighei Hanre of the tenth week of Anshen

This has been a very busy week! Today was not so busy, I was able to go out and order new shoes to be made for me. The second-hand boots I bought in Veray when I arrived in Valdyas are now thoroughly spoilt, there are holes in the soles and they were too large for me anyway. Also, the sandals I am wearing now are too large for me, I must have very small feet compared to Valdyan people. Rovan, Erdan's master, will make new shoes like Raisse's, that encase the feet but still show my ankles.


I have kept a very strict schedule for myself, so I have not been just working: on Anshein hanre, after the morning service and some work in the hospital, Aidan and I went to visit sergeant Lyase, who still has some weeks to go with her twins. I had hoped that Lyase and Aidan would have fun talking about military things, but Lyase has no care nor interest in the world but for the children in her belly, which is understandable, so Aidan went to see how the watermill works with Lyase's husband, while we talked women-things.

And in the evening we danced at the Unicorn, and we took Ayneth home for a last glass of wine. Ayneth had confided that she was a bit unsure about her ability to keep Raith with her, and I proposed to teach her how to dance. After all, if a wife dances for her husband, how different would it be for Ayneth to dance for Raith? I am more and more learning to handle the Valdyan way of thinking about these things. Perhaps I should not have shown Ayneth a dance, but her love for Raith is strong enough that she was not seduced by it, though Aidan was, and Ayneth had to go home immediately afterwards. But I will reinstate the dancing lessons on the evenings Aidan has to fight with his regiment. I do not have to organize it: Alyse and Ayneth will make sure of the room, and they will fetch me from whatever I am doing.

On the morning of Naighei hanre, I went to Lord Vurian's lessons in making seals for only the second time this season. It's not that I do not want to attend, for the lessons are very good, but I have been ill and the season started very late. We had to penetrate a seal Lord Vurian had made: the first time it was of soft glass, and trying to burn a hole in it made the whole seal disappear. The second time the seal was like a straw roof, and I made a mouse out of my spirit and looked away carefully while the mouse nibbled its way through the straw. This was a lot of fun to do, and the mouse was very small and cute. Maybe I should have tried to find a real mouse and steer its little mind, but I am not sure whether that is at all possible and besides, the mice have been nearly exterminated by all the cats we have now in school, house and hospital.

This afternoon I have helped in the hospital, got new books to read for the children in the children's ward from the school library, gone to order new shoes (it was also very fascinating to see Ervan and Rodan work on leather to make shoes, but the glue stinks and gives me a headache), worked on the comparative herbary and also went out to learn about painting things, Dimani having expressed a desire to go outside and paint.

There is one painter in Turenay, who also paints all the signs at the inns. I found him repairing the sign of that very disreputable inn I caught Lyan at: he took me home to look at his things. He seems very nice and will come to dinner tonight, to talk with Dimani about painting (I have asked Selevi to have Dimani's sons for dinner), and to ask Aidan to allow him to paint me.

For when we were walking to his workplace (which is a shed with big shutters in the roof that when open allow the daylight to enter), he suddenly stopped, looked at me in a way that make me blush from ankles to headscarf, and said he wanted to paint me. He even made a quick sketch on a slate while I was looking at his paints, which I was allowed to take home to show to Aidan. It is very nice. I am not sure about this painting though: we probably cannot afford to buy it, and if someone else buys it then someone will look at me all his life without me knowing, and I do not know what that person will be thinking when he looks at me. It would be inappropriate if it were improper thoughts, I think.

I have seen only one other painter, and that was Queen Raisse's Shab Hafte, who likes to paint women and their children. He mostly chooses a moment when they are unclothed but his paintings are never improper. This painter, Jilan, also paints portraits of nobles with their horses, and there was a painting of Arin's father (Selle's Arin, I mean). But they were all clothed. I do not know anything about painting, I am afraid.

Dimani thought the sketch on the slate very good (I was still holding it when I was back at the hospital after running my errands). Maybe she can become his apprentice: she has enough money to support herself and her boys for quite a few years yet. Ceti has put her money in the temple coffers, since Dimani was carrying it with her, and it is a large sum, about 600 riders.

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