Penelope Wellington's Book of Adventures.
For my loving mum and dad.
Nobody would say that Penelope was a bad child.
Nobody would say that Penelope was a good child.
Penelope was a mere lamb, but sometimes, quite naughty, too. She was the best pupil at her school, but she was rubbish at tutoring other children.
Her friends were Annie Rose and Lavender Daffodil. Also, Derek Frolic and Alexander Sash. Her enemies were... She had no enemies.
Adventure 1 - Making a new doll.
" Daddy," Penelope would say, when her dad came home, " I am about to do the special assignment."
Her special assignments were different every day: to make a birthday party for Sandrina the doll, to sew a suit of clothes for Paddy the bear, to build a go-cart for Redville race, to make a designer henhouse for Esmeralda the hen and her little chicks called Midi, Heidi ( Adleheid the First), Heidi-Two ( Adleheid the Second) and Marshmallow Brownie.
This was the day when she declared:
" My special assignment is making a sister-doll for Sandrie!"
She drew a plan. The doll had long, golden curls, sapphire-blue eyes, pink cheeks, slim body, rose-petal coloured lips and beautiful freckles. The plan was labeled 'Rosalind-Katherine-Veronica-Alexandrina-Francesca-Galina-Josephine'.
" Penelope," dad said," don't you think that this name is too long for a doll?"
" No," Penelope answered.
Penelope found pieces of golden thread, two blue gems, a brown pen, pieces of cheap, pink velvet and skin colour cloth.
" I'll sew all the pieces together to make a doll," Penelope thought, " and then, stuff her with goat's fur. Then I'll plan a dress and sew it. Then my doll would be ready."
The doll was beautiful and looked very French in her new dress.
The dress was azure and was trimmed with turquoise bobbin lace. Penelope made a cap out of sea-blue silk and sewed 'R-K-V-A-F-G-J' for the doll's initials.
" Now, dear Sandrina," Penelope said, " you have a sister. Meet... Hum, eh, oops... Josie-Rosie! "
Adventure 2 - Birthday, birthday, birthday.
This was the day of Penelope's 11th birthday. She was given a £1000 pound note gift from her richest friend and relative - Auntie Valentina, a pair of ruby slippers decorated with 10, 01 carat diamonds from her another rich relative, who married a person of " blue blood" - her eighteen year old sister Rebecca, a treasure island themed playground with a slide, swings, see-saw, roundabout, treehouse, rope and other things from the relative that she loved the most - Uncle Roger. The present from her parents was an amazing scarlet dress with green and white frogs as a pattern, with a collar made of white Italian lace and the sleeves were trimmed with white lace, too. Josie-Rosie and Sandrina got the same dress, but just a smaller size, because they were dolls.
Penelope wrote the invitations herself. The writing was curly and the invitation paper was olive-green.
Dear ...........................................! ( here Penelope wrote the name)
I invite you to my 11th birthday party. You must come in your most beautiful clothes ( dresses for girls, smokings for boys ).
Address: Redville, Framboise street, house called ' Felicita '.
Telephones: 2222 22 22 - Penelope's mum
3333 33 33 - Penelope's dad
1234 56 78 - Rebecca Dresden
We are waiting for you on Penelope's birthday party at sunset, approximately eight o'clock or nine o'clock.
Mrs and Mr Wellington and Penelope.
The party was brilliant, superb, fantastic, charmant, extremely good!
First, they had a speech by Mrs Wellington about Penelope's birthday. After the speech, they had waltz masterclass. Then, they had a ball. After that, they had a Royal Feast: black caviar on toasts, quail egg salad, truffles with lettuce, prune pudding, guava tarts, pawpaw slices with icing sugar and, of course, four-layered chocolate fondant cake with marzipan flowers and animals and melted chocolate inside, which was served with either mango sorbet or vanilla ice cream. Finally, they had a ballet show, performed by the Russians, in the concert room in the Wellingtons' house.
" Penelope," Lavender exclaimed, after the last ballerina's bow, " it aw amazing! The ball, the food, the speech and everything! I think that Georgia McKay had never had such a wonderful birthday party!"
" Yes, " Derek said, " it was ever so cool! Especially the ball..."
Derek blushed. He liked Annie and was very happy when she asked him if he would be her 'dancing partner for tonight'.
Adventure 3 - New school.
Penelope was sad.
No, she did nothing bad.
She was going to a new school.
Westcottage High School.
Nobody else was going there. Annie and Derek were going to Andrew White School. Lavender and Alex were going to Evergreen Garden School.
Everybody was going with someone they know. Everyone was going to senior schools in Redville. Everybody was going to mixed schools. Everybody was going to day schools.
Penelope was going alone. She was going to a senior school in another town, in the town which was in the middle of nowhere. She was going to a girls' school. She was going to a boarding school.
" Don't you worry, " Rebecca reassured her, " I went to a girls' boarding, but still, my husband is kind, nice and wealthy. It would be fine. You'll learn new languages, Latin and French and Italian. You will learn to cook and sew and learn how to horse-ride. It is nice in Westcottage. I know! You must believe me! It's fantastic and girlie there! I was really impressed by it."
But Penelope was still sad and was feeling as if a thousand-kilogram cloud that held billions of raindrops in it.
Adventure 4 - New school is awful!
The dormitory of the boarding school was a small, dusty room. It contained four bunk beds, two wardrobes, two cupboards, a little toilet room and a table.
" Your bed, " said the monitor Lulu Lull, " is the first floor of the second bed. You wake up at ten to eight in the morning tomorrow and change to school uniform. Okey?"
" But isn't it Saturday tomorrow? " Penelope asked
" Yes," Lulu agreed, " but boarding schools have Saturday school, too. Well, now this is the Year Seven room."
The monitor pointed at a little room with vomit green walls and vomit yellow floor. The Year Seven desks were old and broken. The room had no Smart-board, but a minuscule blackboard.
" Hey," Lulu Lull said, as Penelope stood like a sculpture with a disgusted expression on her face, " this is not Ripley's Museum. Come on. You have to be here at a quarter to nine, breakfast room is downstairs, sorry, dining hall. For the first two weeks, I am going to be your, I mean your in plural, you and your roommates, companion. I am going to make you know every corner of Westcottage. You'll like it. "
" What's your name again?" Lulu asked her as if she had discovered America.
" Penelope" Penelope said
" And the last name?"
" Penelope Wellington."
" You are Rebecca's sister! Wow," monitor Lull exclaimed, " you know Rebecca was the best pupil in all of the Years. She was a great... Oh, never mind. Here is the sport hall and the pool is there..."
Adventure 5 - New friends.
Two weeks went by and Lulu was now just Penelope's friend and monitor.
She made friends with other girls from her dormitory and her class.
From Penelope's record of friends:
Daisy: Welsh, knows Hebrew, has short hair, her eyes are brown.
Madison: English, speaks fluent German and Japanese, has long hair, her eyes are azure and a bit green.
Vervella: Scottish, knows a bit of Spanish, has medium-length hair, has chocolatey brown eyes.
Catharina: Spanish, speaks fluent French and Greek and Celtic, has the longest hair ever, has lake blue eyes.
Hermione: English, speaks fluent Dutch, has short hair, has greenish eyes.
Polina: Russian, speaks fluent Russian, speaks a bit of Hindi, has the shortest hair ever, her eyes are very bright yellow.
Jerry (Jermione): English, speaks fluent Irish, has long hair, her eyes are green.
Timmy (Timmiarahid): Arabic, can read Egyptian hieroglyphs, her hair is in a black cloth (it is impossible to know her hair length), has black eyes.
Mirioto: Japanese, knows Mandarin, has short hair, has sapphire eyes.
Mirioto and Timmy weren't in the same dormitory as everyone else, they had a dormitory each.
Mitioto had to do special religious things in the morning, but nobody was allowed to see her do this. Timmy had to take the cloth off.
Adventure 6 - " Penny "
You would have guessed who started to call Penelope " Penny ".
Well, I give you three guesses.
LULU!!! Yes, it was Lulu.
" Penny," Lulu would say, " is it you who broke the glass in the Mistress Walsh's window when you were playing a hockey match against Eastcottage?"
" No," Penelope would say meanly, " it was not Penny, it was PENELOPE!!!!! MY NAME IS PENELOPE!!!"
Everyone started to call her Penny Wellington. She liked Penelope more than Penny, a lot more. But when the boys from the boys' school came, one of the 'men' asked her:
" What's your name?"
And Penelope answered:
" Nice to meet you, Penny."
But then Penelope forgot that SHE introduced herself as Penny and yelled:
" I AM NOT PENNY!!! I AM PENELOPE!!!"
And then the boys ran away from her, as they considered her 'a mad bulldog'.
Adventure 7 - Oh the sweet French smell!
" Bonjour, mes petits amis!"
" Bonjour, Madame Champignon."
" Comment ça-va?"
" Très mal, Madame!"
The girls were having a rehearsal of 'Oh the sweet French smell!' by Sarah Brown.
Sarah Brown was a local playwright aged fifty two. She wrote this play when she was twenty one.
Penelope played Judith, Madame Champignon's daughter, who changed her name at the age of eighteen from Clémence to Judith because she studied in England.
" Oh, my beauty are you hurt?"
" Billy, go away, you nerd!"
" Judy, Judith, o la la!"
" Billy Trotter, ha ha ha!"
Billy, the gardener who liked Judith a lot, was played by Polina, as her hair was in a boyish style.
" Not again, this ex or zed,
It's itching my head,
The mathematic ratio!
I don't want it, no and no!"
The maths teacher was Daisy.
The main part, Princess of Spain, was played by Catharina. Catharina was so slim and beautiful, and she was a royalty.
" Ah, my princes.
Oh, please go away.
O o o o o o o o o o o o!!!
No more can I say.
These French weirdos
Are making me yawn,
I'd rather marry a beetle
Or an aquarium prawn!"
The other girls played either Arabic kings or Provence peasants.
" Just a little coin,
Crown or down,
Dusk or now,
I'm keeping the crown!"
" Our mothers are feeding the pigs,
Our daddies are playing the fiddle,
Our grans are a-cooking, our granddads are a-milking,
Our siblings are only the bees,
Adventure 8 - Going home, going abroad.
It was time to go home for the Half-term.
Catharina's mum invited Penelope to spend a week with them.
" You'll like it," Catharina said, " my brother Fernando is inviting his friends, too. I know them - there is Rodrigo, Fill, Phillip and Balthasar. We are going to see Maria and her dad and..."
" Who's Maria?" Penelope asked.
" Oh," Catharina said, " she's the Infanta, but for me, she's my cousin."
" Who are Infantas?"
" There is only one Infanta. She is a Spanish princess. "
Catharina talked about those things as if everybody was a princess.
" Oh, okay." Penelope said.
" And we to eat black caviar..."
" BLACK CAVIAR!"
" You like it? I consider it as a disgusting thing. I like prune and lime pie more. Do you like it?"
" Yes," Penny exclaimed, " it's fantastic! Don't you love chocolate jelly?"
" Oh my, you have no taste at all! I love oysters, these little thingies from the north. But I like carrot stew the most. "
Penelope remembered Miss Lull's carrot stew.
" It depends," she said, " I don't like Granny Bunny's stew, but Lulu's is ever so nice. "
" Now, I hate food talks. Tomorrow you're going to Spain. We are going home, to my dear castle. Have you been there, in Spain, I mean?"
" No, but I've been to Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Australia, New Zeland, Canada, Brazil, USA, Wales, Greece, Vatican, Luxembourg, San Marino, Monaco, China, Japan, Turkey, Arabic Emirates, Argentina, Portugal, Philippines, Israel, Egypt, Albania and Belgium. But it is quite queer that I've never been to Spain."
But Catharina didn't care. She looked at Penny with amazement. But of course she wouldn't tell Penelope that her parents do not allow her to go anywhere except for Spain, Portugal and Great Britain.
Adventure 9 - Letter to mum.
Date unknown, place unknown.
I am having such a good time with the princesses! They like me and they treat me like I am a princess like them, too. They talk about dresses and look at my frog dress with wonder. The Infanta gave me her old ball dress to me. It is red and black and is all trimmed with white bobbin lace.
The Infantas are dears!
I shall tell you a secret now, okey? Maria's brother, the Spanish heir, I think, likes me. He gives me roses every day and plays his banjo under my window! Imagine me being a princess!
Cathy thinks that he likes me a lot, because Maria's other brother likes Cathy. But no one sang songs to her!
I know a bit of Spanish now. Catharina gave me Spanish lessons every day in our school. I can't speak fluent Spanish, but I know most of it.
With best wishes ever,
Adventure 10 - Bye, Spain, goodbye!
It was a sunny Sunday. The trees were covered in peaches and apricots.
Nobody wanted to go back to England.
Penelope, Catharina, Maria and her brother Zachary were having a breakfast in the Patio. They had strawberries-and-cream, homemade lemon yoghurt, chocolate cake and vanilla-blueberry smoothie.
" Ah," said Maria in Spanish, " what a lovely time we had! We will write to you, Penelope, and you, Catharina. We won't forget this lovely week!"
" I'll miss you, Penny," said Zach in Spanish, " and you, Cathy. This was the best holiday, usually we cannot talk to un-royal people..."
" Zachary," Maria said angrily, " it's so not polite to say that, oh! And actually, Penelope is a duchess's daughter! How dare you! I will certainly tell Padre and Madre about you!"
But then Catharina's mum said that the girls had to go.
Zach said goodbye to them and gave Penelope a little kiss.
" A little girl is worth a million women," Penelope's mum used to say.
" A woman's treasure is her youngest child," Catharina's mother said, when kissing Cathy good-night.
Penelope ran to the royal limousine with tears in her eyes. Then she stopped.
She started to run back to Maria's villa. Penny's skirt was now dirty and her white blouse was now grey.
She found Zachary in the grape garden.
" I'll write to you, I promise," she whispered in his ear, " nobody'll know."
Then, she gave him a very light kiss in his cheek.
" Wow!" thought Zach, but didn't say it aloud.
" Catharina," cried Mrs Tarantino, " Penelope! We'll be late for the plane!"
So the girls opened the car door and jumped in.
" Thank you," murmured Penny, waving at her Spanish friends, " and goodbye Spain!"
At her twelfth birthday, Penelope put Josie-Rosie, Sandrina and her other toys in a big suitcase and locked it with a key.
She didn't need them anymore. She only needed her iPad, iPhone, iPod and her Mac, her books and her other teenage things, even if she wasn't quite a teenager yet.
She labeled the suitcase 'to Spain' and called the Queen of Spain.
Maria and Zach had a little two year old sister called Janne. And Penelope wanted to give her things away.
She put the key in the cardboard DHL box with the suitcase.
" How I wish I was the suitcase!" Penelope sighed.
She wrote Maria and Zach a short email and sent it.
The life was about to change...