Emma Peel rose at 7 a.m. the next morning. Or at sieben uhr, as the Germans would have it. As was her daily routine, she changed into her leotard and spent the first fifteen minutes of the day doing her stretching and meditation exercises.
When finished, she padded to the front door and retrieved her newspaper (tagblatt) where the doorman of her security building placed it every morning. She liked to do the crossword puzzle while eating breakfast. (She saved the reading of the news for later in the day.)
Today, she decided to go with a breakfast of bread and cheese (brot mit käse) and fruit (Frucht, oder Obst) -- a couple of apples (zwei apfels).
Emma glanced at the date on the newspaper...March 2, 1965. That led her to wonder what the names of the months and days were in German...and that led her to wonder about time. March already. Two months to go before her sabbatical was over and she'd have a decision to make.
Up until a year ago, Emma had been a nine-to-five woman (or to be strictly accurate, a seven am -to-seven pm woman,) as the director of Knight Industries, an immensely successful industrial firm. But after the death of her husband in a plane crash, she had decided to take a year's leave of absence, appointing her second-in-command as temporary director.
Only three months into this sabbatical she had met John Steed. John Steed, a "top professional," as he called himself, a special agent for "Motherland Security" - a division of MI5. Steed had asked for her help on a case which had tested her skills and courage to the utmost. She had enjoyed it so much that when Steed needed her on another case, she had joined him willingly.
Altogether they had worked on three cases so far, and now that time was running out she was wondering if she should return to Knight Industries or if she should not. Working with Steed was not in any sense a full-time job, but she needed to be ready at a moment's notice - and disappearing for weeks at a time on a mission would not give her stockholders or her employees fair dues. But it had been her father's company, and now it was her company, and she had enjoyed her work there immensely - not to mention having been very good at it.
Der Zwölfe Monate, oder ein Jahre
|Not that she was idle even when she wasn't on a mission with Steed. She had thrown herself into her research work, writing articles for various science magazines...she was seriously considering the plan to establish a foundation to encourage more women to go into the hard sciences...and she'd gotten back into her fencing and bridge - all things she hadn't really had time for as Chairman of a major company.|
Decisions. Decisions. Emma looked that word up. "Entscheidungen. Entscheidungen." she murmured.
Finishing both breakfast and crossword, Emma brought her teller and tasse into the küche, rinsed them off in the sink (die Küchewanne) and stacked them to dry on the counter.
She stood in the kitchen for some seconds, arms folded, looking at the cupboards, the ovens, and other furnishings.
She'd learned French in school - she knew how to learn a different language. One tool was to place little notes on every item of furniture giving its name in the appropriate language. But did she really want to bother with learning the names of everything in her kitchen? After all, according to Steed, her mission in Berlin would have something to do with space exploration. And she had only a month. Surely it would be better for her to concentrate on the technical words of science rather than the mundane words of everyday living?
On the other hand, she liked to be thorough. And the mundane words of everyday living would probably be the easiest ones to learn...it was only when one got into the technical words of science that it would start to get difficult!
|Emma returned to the living room and sat down with a small spiral notebook, to make a list of what she wanted to do that day. Emma was a great one for making lists - it was the only way to ensure that one accomplished things each day. Time was a precious commodity and not to be squandered. At the end of the day Emma liked to look back at her lists, each item neatly ticked. Evidence of a day well spent. Indeed, this particular notebook was almost half-full, the record of two months of daily accomplishments.
And now that she was supposed to learn German, and the latest space technology, as well as honing her bridge skills for the upcoming tournament, it was more important than ever that she manage each day.
|Die sieben Tage, oder Woche
She started by moving a couple of unfinished items from the previous day to this day's page. Then she started the new list.
1. German cassette tapes - buy? Library?
2. Library - latest spacecraft technology
3. German rocket scientists
4. Steed's manuscript
She decided to leave it at that for a few minutes, and went to take a shower and get dressed.
After her break, she returned and decided that her list was complete as it was...until she'd started her preliminary research and discovered how much she didn't know.
She hadn't had a chance to read the manuscript Steed had brought over - he'd provided both the German and the English translation. She'd read it as soon as she returned from the library. She intended to spend the whole day reading, as Steed would be picking her up for dinner at six that night. Or, at sechs uhr, as the Germans would say.
Excitement at being on a quest for new knowledge filled her. Emma put on her coat and checked her watch. Time to be off.