It's a new year, and that means new beginnings. New beginnings for all of us. Jacob and I landed in England the other day, and it is beautiful here! Last time I was here, I was nine years old. My last memory is stepping onto a boat, holding my mother's hand, and waving a teary goodbye to all of my friends. Maybe I will see some of them during my stay here. I have already seen one, but I shall talk about her a bit later.
Now I want to talk about the boatride here. I haven't been able to write in this journal for quite some time, because I spent most of my waking hours on the top deck with Captain Jack Rhodes and Jacob. Apparently my brother is one of the hardest workers. Maybe he's just trying to impress Captain so he'll keep him longer. But there's really no need for that, because I think he's planning on keeping him for as long as he can.
I am the only girl on the boat, so sometimes things get a bit tough for me. I am given hard work, just like all the boys. Many of the men and boys were very seasick, so they stayed below deck. They, of course, could not work, so us young people above deck got all the hard work.
Now to talking about life here in England. Jacob and I, along with a few other boys around our ages, are staying in a vacant, old schoolhouse. It seems as though it used to be used for an etiquette class for young girls, which made me think of the gowns and books I used when Tatiana taught me and my sisters. But I need to put all that stuff behind me. Remove the beautiful dresses and hairdos, lovely meals and city delicacies, and fine furniture made of fine wood and even marble.
I went out to see if the water pump outside our door would work today, and a group of giggling girls passed me. I tried not to look when I heard one of them start whispering. I could hear what she was saying. Something about the oddity of a girl wearing breeches. I finally did turn around when I felt a tap on my shoulder. The same girl who I'd heard whispering met my face and her expression lit up like a candle. "Evangeline Hillman!" She exclaimed. Well, that was quite unlady-like. I thought, then remembered that I'm the girl wearing pants.
The girl's name was Laurie Gerard and I think she shall be my girl best friend. We used to take tea lessons together, but of course I will not take that up again!