September 11, 2007

11 September 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

The garden is a maze of colour with our local Parrot

One can be tired and despondent in one's diary, even though in private one must be cheerful. The parties that gather have worn me down, I'm afraid, and it is especially hard to maintain one's composure in the face of the party spirit, when one is also planning a major event to which all the contending parties are invited. It would be simplistic to suggest that it is only the weather that concerns me, worrying thought that is. The dinner and dance I have planned requires compliant weather - little wind, a warm night, no dew - and Spring is such a changeable season. Who to invite can be surprisingly complex, although so few women are eligible - Mrs. Atkins has been asked, and I hope she will attend. She is haughty, as befits her antecedents though hardly the current circumstances, and the officers wives will come, but then we have those officers who are not wed: are any of their housekeepers suitable to invite? John insists that no emancipists may be invited, but then what of Mr. Fulton, our appointed minister? At Home he would be, but here is very different. And some hosts seem to enjoy excluding people, whereas that does not suit me. So my despondency is surely understandable - and those who would laugh at a "the great woman, with naught to do but plan her pleasure", should walk a mile in my shoes!
I have sent the servants to Sydney to prepare the house, and am keeping Elizabeth active outside, for her health.

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