Arvi's sums seem to be working out. I hardly have time to look at the accounts these days, besides I do not know how often Aidan gives money to Arvi for the household or for her wages. I spent about thirty-five shillings on the poor children in the poor quarter whom I gave Síthi sweetmeats and the really undernourished children a shilling each. And then there are Dorush and Javan, Dimani's children who have been eating at our table, as have Ruzyn and Halla, Hylti's sisters.
But I did go to Aylith today to ask for some money for these expenses for me, and also for Selevi, because these four children eat at their table as often (or more often, I do not know what they do for their noonmeal) as at ours. I got two riders for myself and one for Selevi, which is very ample and generous.
Also, there should be money, at least two shillings a week, from the bath-house, which pays for Arvi's wages. And Aidan is now a full sergeant and draws some money for that, too -- but it is not pleasing that my accounts are in such a state of confusion.
Also, I have bought a pair of shoes for myself, since the ones I bought in Veray this summer are not suitable for the rainy muddy weather we are having, and I will have to buy pattens, too. Tomorrow I will go to the cobbler to pay for these shoes, they are very well made and fit me better than anything I have ever worn on my feet (that is, the boots Lyase bought me in Veray when I arrived there with her and the two pairs of slippers made from deerskin.). The amount I owe the cobbler is one rider and fifteen shillings.
Also, I bought new stock of makeup for myself, which amounted to twelve shillings.
Also, on presenting the painter Jilan to Aminasi, the Síthi shopkeeper where I buy my makeup, he bought much materials to make paint from, which materials are much the same as the ones used to make paint for my face. Aminasi gave me a commission for bringing her this custom of 5%, which earned me another rider and five shillings.
All in all, there are now two riders and sixteen shillings in the jar for household expenses, and I have twenty-five shillings in my purse: I have not touched the money I keep in the temple, but will do so next week, I expect.
This is for Hylti's sister Ruzyn, who will go tomorrow on trial with the saddler Teran. I still have eighteen riders left from the inheritance of Jeran the miller; twelve are for her, six for her sister Halla who eats with us, and who sleeps in Lyse's room. More about them when I note down this week's cases.
I will have left with the temple the sum of 163 riders, the difference between the 177/4 I mentioned last being the 18 riders for the apprenticing of Ruzyn and Halla and some money we needed to buy things for the house.
Also, when we will be gone for the hunt, Jeran the builder (whose shoulder I healed) will ask some men to dig out a cellar and lay a wooden floor in our house: in the summer, the earthen floor is not a problem, and Arvi keeps it very neat and fresh, but now the rains have started, it is not neat, especially not since we have many guests. Also, I will ask him to make a roof over the little yard alongside our house, which is too small to keep a pig in, but big enough for a little guest room, especially if we make a window at the back and front and a door opposite the door to the weaving workshop.
I expect that we can have this for twelve riders: this will leave me with:
Starting next season. Maybe I will invest something in the papermill idea, if Lord Vurian will let me.
Yesterday, I made my rounds with doctor Jeran for the second time. There were no cases that need to be written down, but there was a lot of work to do, because it is now very busy in Turenay, with the nobles and their courts having almost all of them arrived. The King and Queen are not coming! It seems the King will leave for Aumen Síth very soon after the festival of Mizran. I do so hope that he will not take Aidan with him, although, if he does, I will of course be brave and not protest, and only cry when he has gone.
This reminds me: I had a very good conversation with the painter Jilan and Dimani yesterday, when I took them to visit Aminasi in the Síthi Shop and also Ram, and we came to talk of marriage. Jilan once did love a girl, but she died of the pox, and he is both very shy and touched by the gods, so paints with a passion that precludes many of the niceties women expect of men.
Dimani and I agreed that there are two sides to our Iss-Peranian backgrounds: either an Iss-Peranian wife would bear the work habits of her husband with obedience and patience (at which point Jilan sketched a caricature of me as an obedient Iss-Peranian wife. It reminded me very much of myself when I looked in the mirror back in the Palace), or she would understand about the passion, and obediently support her husband in his endeavor -- to the measure that, if present, her own passion would allow her to do that. I, for instance, cannot be the perfect soldier's wife Beguyan's Mehili is, but I will neither try to form my husband to my notions. Which is something I have seen in Valdyas, to be honest. (But I only know the theory of being a wife in Iss-Peran, apart from my Elder Sister, I have seen very few married women and no husbands, and only heard the gossip.
Dimani has as good as offered Jilan her help in selling paintings and negotiating commissions. That will come as a surprise to Jilan's customers!
I also have gotten from doctor Jeran a jar with an Iss-Peranian herb I did not recognize, I will investigate it with Raisse, and the last little bit of the Palace Apothecaries' stock of Dark Spring Willow Bark.
Paint and paper: The painter Jilan wants to paint me, and Aidan has given his permission. The idea was originally that he would be making sketches when I was weaving, but that hasn't happened yet. He also is in need of paper. He told us there used to be a papermill, upstream from the Lyase's corn mill, but that it had fallen in disrepair. I have suggested to Lord Vurian that we form a group and bring money together to fix up the mill and ask one of the paper millers in Veray whether they have a suitable young master miller to send to Turenay to work in this mill, on the same principles we have founded the bath house. I would like to put some money in this venture, too, but I have not much left.
But Lord Vurian is a very thoughtful lord, and he has sent his daughter Erlyn with a stack of paper from his office, used on only one side, and on Timoinei hanre, Jilan has been sketching and painting in the hospital. Also, Jilan has collected his courage and asked Halla, who has weak and infected lungs and too weak blood, whether her father might bring him paper from Veray. Halla's father is a drover, so he can easily do that, and Jilan has given him a portrait of his daughter, reading, which is, I think (but I am not knowledgeable) very good.
Sinaya and the samosa boys: Two Síthi boys have started a venture: they have put up a stall at the crossroads of the street towards the Temple of Death and the street the school is at. They sell hot samosas, with a delicious filling and dripping with oil. Many people from the temple school, our school and the Síthi quarter go their for a quick bite between work or at midday.
But the elder boy, he is 16 years old and called Jhuro, he is interested in Sinaya. Mostly I am very eager to see people fall in love and get together -- maybe too eager, when I see how quickly we seem to have achieved an understanding between Dimani and Jilan -- but in this case I am not sure. Sinaya is still only twelve, her mother needs her, but more importantly: I don't want to lose her as my bath attendant. This is very selfish, but then, I think I am very selfish. Whether this is because of becoming Valdyan, or because I have always been selfish but that which is selfish in an ordinary woman is still graciousness and liberality in a queen, I do not know. In any case, I haven't heard Sinaya talk about him yet.
He also wants to start a shop near the bath house; and Aminasi from the Síthi shop is thinking of that also. And they earn good money: in a year or so, or perhaps even sooner they could afford a small house for their business.
Lessons: I went to Lord Vurian for lessons on Naighei hanre and hanre nafur, that is, today. Today I was too late, because we had so many guests last night, and Dimani and Jilan stayed to sleep on pallets downstairs, and Arvi stayed and slept in our bed, so I went with Dimani to the hospital, and had forgotten I had to go through the lessons.
I have already written about the lessons on Naighei hanre: today's lesson was not as exciting. We had to make a seal that would stay around us when we walked. There are two things worth noting:
Dancing: I have given two dancing lessons. The first on Mizrein hanre, the second on hanre nafur. Ayneth is learning quite fast, and my pupils have not forgotten much, indeed, one girl, Arni, is now dancing a lot better because she has a man of her own now and dances for him. On harne nafur, Dimani came too, she has learned to dance, too, though she is not gifted. But her style of dancing is very improper! She is not properly naked but uses veils to cover and hide parts of herself, and even is used to undressing herself while she dances. Besides, her hips make wider, choppier movements. This is apparently the style of dancing ordinary women in Iss-Peran learn.
When we came home from dancing, there were still Orian and Raisse in our house, and Arvi was washing up. And I had brought Alyse, Ayneth and Dimani. I had thought to have a glass of wine and chat with our guests, but when Aidan had given me my stockings and his shirt after I had washed myself and had taken my place on his lap, I felt his hand on my breast and I could not but ask my guests to leave because I wished to be alone with my husband. Fortunately they were not insulted but wished us goodnight.
I danced with Dimani's hip movements a little bit for Aidan when I had kissed Raisse goodnight and closed the door to the workshop, and he did not wait, but undressed me very quickly and threw me down on the pallets that Dimani and Jilan had used the night before: we made love downstairs, we made love upstairs and then we made love again. And Aidan then wanted to try to shave my rose, which he did with lots of oil and we made love again, though not as tempestuously. And in the morning, Aidan wasn't even awake, but interested, and I had just perched myself on his interest, when Arvi came in and the cats started climbing on me! I did not wish to stop, so I called Arvi to come and remove the cats -- who can climb up the ladder, but not down, so I could wake my beloved lord husband properly.
I do not know why this is, but sometimes I desire to make love my lord husband very much, and sometimes I desire it even more. As I am writing this, I feel my desire could not possibly grow stronger. I only hope I am not a bad wife for not always desiring him to the utmost of my ability.