Vienna 1880 - 1 The Start Of A Day

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When Elisabeth woke at the sound of the alarm clock it was still dark outise. She stretched and emerged from under a heap of duvets. Her husband Georg grunted as he got up. The room was cool, as the stove which had been heated in the evening lost its warmth during the night. Behind the thick curtains winter had drawn icy flowers on the window glass. She heard her husband fumbling with the matches in the dark, then the kerosene lamp was lit.

The warm light dimly illuminated the bedroom. The two identical beds made of dark wood were placed next to each other at one wall. Their heads were decorated with a few simple carvings and knobs, fitting to those on the bulky wardrobe. There was also a large dresser with marble top and a mirror.

Elisabeth shivered as she got out of the bed and started to get dressed. She sighed as she closed the hooks on the front of her corset. She would never be fashionably thin, but she had the feeling it shifted her body to vaguely the right proportions. She put on her chequered stockings, that nobody but her husband would ever see and the warm winter under skirt and a chemise. Above all that she put on a long, slender dress, with long sleeves and a high collar. Its upper part was tight and closed with many pretty buttons.

Georg meanwhile dressed in long underpants, wool socks, a white shirt, jacket and dark suit. He liked colorful ties, of which he had a small collection.Finally, he combed his hair and tidied up his beard.

When Georg left the room, Elisabeth was still busy with pinning up her brown hair to a tight knot. Only the curls of her short pony covered her forehead. When she had put on her boots, Elisabeth went over to the children's bed chamber – which was accessed through a door in the parent's bedroom - to wake the kids.

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