Of course she has no watch or clock, only rich people could afford those, so she judges time by the movement of the sun and the peal of the church bell. Time is measured by the hour, half-hour, quarter hour and eighth hour but not by minutes – there are no minute hands on watches and clocks.
She works hard until 11 o’clock when she is allowed an hour for dinner, which she eats outside the kitchen door or in the stables if it is raining. This is usually pottage – a porridge of grain with whatever vegetables and herbs are in season and occasionally some meat or meat bones stirred in, eaten from a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon, usually with another piece of the dry, rye bread and a cup of small beer. This is her main meal. During the afternoon she is allowed another half hour break for a nap or a drink but has to work until sundown, which is about 5 pm on the shortest day but not until 7 or 8 pm in the summer. She has supper around five. It is a light meal, maybe bread and cheese or more pottage.
Cess walks home in the dusk and falls into bed by 9 in the winter - it’s the only place she can keep warm, and by 10 in the summer. Candles are expensive so she and her mother use them as little as possible and have to make the most of the daylight. If she or her mother must sew or brew by candlelight (their drink has to be brewed for water is not usually safe to drink until it has been boiled), they blow it out as soon as they can and then there is no light at all in the cottage for the embers from the fire are covered...
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Heiress of the Earl of Montacute