Sunday, November 23, 2014

How the wind howls in the parapets as I write my notes and diarise my life. It always surprises me how quickly time passes, especially when I think back to the first ever entry I wrote.

I was a different person then.

I never would have thought I would find a man of stature to claim my heart - I fantasized about the musician and various highly lauded men, but since I found my very own Duke of Albany in the depths of Bohemia, whose charms beguile me so, I care not for the suitors of ages past. 

Happy to while away the hours in his company and discuss our penchant for disguise, the Duke and I have a relationship that has transgressed space and time. We have survived long distance and made commitments to each other as we have built a home together. 

Of course there are tense moments, but just because the lioness will not always bow down to her lion does not impede the love we have for each other. Though sometimes it amazes me that I have followed this domestic life at all after the travelling I have done, the places I have seen and the people I have met. 

But, I couldn't be happier.


I just blushed as I reread this morning's entry - what a soft heart I do have when watching the Duke at work. 

In other news Africa is still on the cards but more tentatively so. I doubt we will make it there for the end of the year, so I am once again looking at travelling across the Continent to enjoy the snows of Austro-Hungary. 

Though my writing has taken a slight rallentando in my life, I am pleased to announce that the esteemed publisher is still interested and hasn't given up on me, for which I am eternally grateful. My writing is still something that gives me great pleasure and I don't spend a day without thinking of a new way for words to marry, but my actual writing time has decreased dramatically from this time last year. 

As I've said many times before... How time flies!

D. S.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I definitely spoke too soon! Minutes after I wrote my last post I ventured outside and was stunned by the freezing nature of the wind. The sun was certainly much more deceptive than I'd anticipated, and I have yet to leave my premises without my furs ever since!

It has been a tumultuous ten days; my workload is bearable if continuous, and there are not often times enough to relax in between. Despite being in close quarter with the Duke of Albany, it has been far too long since last had the opportunity to do nothing but lie in each others' arms. This weekend, we shall savour the time we have together and make the most of the cold winter mornings  before Monday looms again.

I'm hoping to hear from Belle today, we have once again managed to go a month without seeing each other, and I miss her optimism and her opinions ~ I must confess she is a master manipulator with the Duke, whereas he can see straight through me, and more often than not ignores me! It is not out of spite, but out of over-familiarity, or at least I assume as much.

The question of Africa still has no answer; my brother is not to fond of the idea of the expedition and quite rightly my Father doesn't want to go without both his children... Indeed, even Mother (though she is 12, 000 miles away) has given her tuppence worth and doesn't think such a massive jaunt is a good idea.

If it were up to me I'd have made the arrangements weeks ago when the invitation had first been opened, but then I am a little more spontaneous (and it hadn't ever occurred to me that the Duke may not want to leave his family for Christmas). So now I wait in Limbo, though travels are a must for the fortnight of escape I have to look forward to. Whether the Duke and I journey over to the Continent or further afield doesn't dampen my spirits, as long as I am not holed up in the South Wing watching the snow fall.

It is far too cold to not have something to look forward to!

D. S.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

To think we are on the cusp of winter and it is still warm enough not to wear fur in the day time! It is a stark contrast to the Bohemian winter I endured last year, when the snows were already threatening and the days themselves were grey and dark.

It is a time for seeing old friends as the end of the year creeps upon us, and I had the wonderful pleasure of the Duchess of Tuthershire this past weekend. It is always a pleasure to see her, we laugh and chatter like no time has passed, and it is a delightful feeling to know that some friendships are forever.

She kept me up to date with her life in the Capital, and we gossiped about our last night out together where we made a secret cellar our home for the evening. She talks about her need to travel, with which I can completely sympathise, though she doesn't have the responsibilities that I do to tie her down ~I must admit I am a little envious, for there was a time when the world was my oyster...

Do not think I am discouraged in my own endeavours! I still adore my position as Lady-in-Waiting and the home that the Duke and I have built together. I don't think I will ever 'grow out' of my need to explore, my wanderlust.

Speaking of journeys, Christmas is still the talk of the household. Of course the servants want to know if they have to prepare for the Duke's family to come here from Bohemia, or if the Duke and I are to return to the Shire, or indeed if we are to go further afield to the Sub-Saharan plains.

I'm afraid I still cannot answer this question for there are too many variables to take into account, but no doubt all will be decided at the last minute. Thankfully it is not I (for a change) who is holding up the decision-making-process, for I have cast my vote for Africa. I want to go back after all these years. I want to feel the red soil and yellow grass beneath my feet and listen to the vastness.

It has been long enough.

D. S.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Of course a decision regarding the Christmas tidings has not yet been made. There is not enough time to squeeze everything in, and I have never been any good at prioritising. My two main concerns are making sure I get to spend some of the fortnight with the Duke and my family. With his family still travelling to the Shire from Bohemia I don't have to worry about seeing them on the Continent for when I see the Duke I shall see them, but it may be fleeting if the Duke and I decide to continue on to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I don't want to have to choose between my family and the Duke of Albany's family, or even between my Father and my lover. I couldn't think of anything worse! Nevertheless, I feel without a very strict schedule, this Christmas may be a lot more trouble than last year's.

The Duke has actually left me to my own devices (no, not for good, only for a few days!) because he's seen how much work I have to do. He's making the most of his jaunt to see a few friends in the Shire, and though I wish I could have joined him, I'm enjoying the solitude. 

I say solitude... This weekend past I had the immense pleasure of throwing a Ladies Only Ball. I invited those who are in the same position as I and made them promise to dress up to the nines, even if it was only for ourselves. We also made a pact not to talk about the position of authority we shall eventually be undertaking, and just revel in being alive in a time of greatness.

The delightful ladies not only dolled themselves up so much so that they were almost unrecognisable for their beauty, but we drank and danced like it was our last night in this world. I had a delicious night and certainly felt a closer bond with those fabulous ladies as we twirled and frolicked to our hearts' content. My head may have been pounding the following day (and even now, two days later I don't feel one hundred percent) but it was completely worth it.

I just can't wait to do it all again, though we may have to wait a few months to recover!

D. S.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The weeks are flying by and there is more and more talk of the Christmas festivities. Father has even introduced the idea of travelling South for the winter and meeting up with friends and family in the Southern Hemisphere. Not the Antipodes however, Mother will stay with her new found 'friends' on the side of the ever-expanding world. Father is talking about his beloved Africa. His home. And what was once my home, my childhood home. 

At first I was very excited to return; imagine going back somewhere you haven't set foot in fifteen years! But now I have a few trepidations ~ what if I fall back in love with Africa? What if it is not as wonderful as I remember? What if I want to stay?

I know myself well enough (now!) to fear my spontaneity. Only sometimes. But this could be one of those times. 

The Duke of Albany and I had talked about spending the new year in a castle amongst the Austro-Hungarian Empire and he's already expressed his disappointment if we do not go. There isn't enough time to do everything! The two of us only have a fortnight to include as much of his family, what's left of my family and our friends. Let alone trying to fit in three countries and two continents! 

The traveller in me instantly jumped at the chance to go to Africa again, but would a week suffice? If I have this longing should I not explore it further and stay for longer when the time is more convenient? Also the Duke would not follow me to Africa - one continent is more than enough, and it is unfair to ask him to abandon his own family at such a time as this. But do I want to spend my Christmas without him?

There are too many questions and the clock is forever ticking...

D. S.