Duchess of the Shire

This blog is a fictional account of a semi-Georgian Duchess. It was inspired by the love of all things 18th century and is purely the work of my imagination. All stories, themes, names and addresses http://duchessoftheshire.blogspot.com/ are fictional but also under the UK copyright laws. © .

I hope you enjoy everything that you read and it gives you some insight to a troubled, scandalous and rebellious Duchess.

D. S.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Once again I have barely found the time to eat and sleep, let alone to write and be more creative. Only one more week has passed, but the workload has increased tenfold! I am still in my own early days, so my enthusiasm and self-motivation are at an all time high, but I can't explain how wonderful it is to have a morning to myself.

Even the Duke of Albany knows to give me a little bit of freedom because I have been on edge, and he too is tackling his new venture in a foreign land head on. He's disappeared to the city this morning while I try and make head or tail of all the information I have collected over the last fortnight. 

I suppose it doesn't help that the Coxswain, her gentleman Number 5 and myself partook in much merriment last night. The Duke declined his invitation, and I was a little put out by his apparent rudeness, but he was already asleep before I got in last night and away before I woke up. He's certainly keeping himself busy (doing what, I do not know, but he corresponds daily with his family in Bohemia, and there are talks of having an Embassy here in the Northern counties... So we'll see).

But last night was utterly delightful. The Coxswain no longer has to disguise herself for her lover and she's actually taken a back seat from rowing ~ though I doubt that will last long. It's a passion of hers, and I know that nothing could take me away from my writing, even if I do get swept away by the current of life every now and again. 

I did actually have to foray in to Londontown this week to sort out some bureaucratic mess that followed me from Bohemia. The Duke could have sorted it instantly had I asked him, but there's nothing like a little independence and responsibility. Also I made my jaunt to the Capital worthwhile by dining with friends from many years ago. I always adore London when I am there but I cannot deny the sigh of relief that leaves my lips once I have said my goodbyes. It is such a bustling city, there is no time to just 'be'. How I would hate to live there! I much prefer my calmer, more friendly Northern town. 

D. S.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

What a week. I am utterly exhausted from the to-ing and fro-ing I've undertaken. There is nothing like taking upon a new role to keep you busy. Unfortunately, because of the nature of my role as a Lady-in-Waiting to Royalty, I shall have to keep details to a minimum as discretion is key.

Discretion, subtlety and sincerity are all characteristics I have found lacking in my own personality throughout the years... Nevertheless I have survived my first week and shall strive to be more and more consistent in the following months.

It is exceedingly delightful to have the Duke of Albany to hand. We haven't had the time in our relationship to discover all of each other's nuances; what makes him tick, and me purr, but we are certainly making the most of the time we have together. This first week has been relatively relaxed, but everyone I have spoken to in the royal household has warned me that the work will only accumulate.

I wish I could say I was daunted by this challenge ahead of me; but like my time in Bohemia, the Shire or the Antipodes, I welcome the new experiences and fully intend to tackle them head on. (Sometimes I do wish I was a little less headstrong, as I often forget to look before I leap, which as we all know can lead to disastrous results!)

Belle and I have conversed and enjoyed each other's company with a fervour; it is wonderful to be around friends, especially ones who have known me for as long as she has. As always she is full of wisdom and touching advice, and I need her to be a barrier between the Duke and I when we have one of our tumultuous arguments. 

The disputes are not as common as they once were (thankfully) but we both still have a fiery temper, and a stubbornness that is unrelenting. 

Actually I do have some exciting news... My writing has taken a turn for the unexpected. A reputable publisher is interested in one of my stories! We are only in the early days, but it is brilliant to even have my work read, let alone considered for publishing! How I love the life I am living!

D. S.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Can you believe where I am darlings, after all these years? The place where my story began. Somewhere that holds dear memories and most of my regrets. The place where I made the firmest of friends and learnt heartbreak. Somewhere I cultivated my interests and aimed a little higher. The place up north that I have longed to once more call my home.

I'm back.

Nevertheless, it's a little different this time round... I have the Duke of Albany on my arm for one. There was a time when no less than two men would have kept my ravenous appetite at bay, but now all my extra-curricular activities are more than satisfying, and I wouldn't want it any other way. 

I have had my wild and rebellious way with the world and though I did not lose that battle, I will admit defeat. I no longer want to stay up all hours of the night only to wake with a head that burns with the aftermath of lust and gluttony. I have grown, and it is only wonderful to see my old home with new eyes. 

Of course it has changed, haven't we all over the years? I do not have the Court Jester to listen to my heartache, or the Duchess of Tuthershire to drink red wine with. There is no Lady Lina to remind me of my mistakes or Harlequin to guide the attention his way. Nor do I have the musician, the Brewer and the Gameskeeper, that wonderful trio whom I miss sorely. I shall have to have them all to visit, but when I do not know, for my position begins in four days!

Thankfully I do still have the wonderful Coxswain and her gentleman. They have not left the shores of the Northern counties and I look forward immensely to reacquainting myself with them. And of course, how could I forget my darling Belle. She was half the reason I applied to return to this side of the world. It will be like old times and I cannot wait to listen to her words of wisdom.

Living with the Duke is, in itself, rather daunting. Our personalities clash and we are far too independent to easily fit into one another's lives. For example, I like to have my evening meal rather late, however he is used to having dinner two or three hours earlier. Compromises are rife, though the internal battles I don't doubt are more so. In some ways it feels like we have lived under the same roof for all our lives, but in other ways I'd love nothing more than to push him down the stairs! But I cannot deny my happiness, with every step I want to thank the world I live in for my happiness. I feel so blessed.

To new beginnings and a return to a county that stole my heart all those years ago.


D. S.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back in bed with the Duke and there is no where else in the world that I'd rather be. We are certainly enjoying our last few days of freedom before the great move North ~ and though the packing has begun, we are both a little apprehensive ~ it is no little thing for the two of us to make this sort of commitment to each other. 

The days are shortening and as I look out at the dimming of the sun, I know I will have to light the candles before I finish my writing this evening. The work I have started to indoctrinate myself to the finest arts of a genteel lifestyle are far more harrowing than I first expected: and I have only just begun to scratch the surface. The philosophies of those who are much wiser than I will ever be are interesting to read, and I'm enjoying the process of learning, though I know there is so much more to learn.

For me to become a Lady-in-Waiting to my Royal charge; three infants whose names are spoken with with hushed whispers as their progress is tinged with rumours. To think that I, someone who has had very little to do with children, will be involved in their development? It is an honour where I shall strive to be the greatest inspiration and motivator to these darling children. 

I cannot wait to meet them.

Until then however, I have the Shire to call my home, and the Duke and I are certainly making the most of the freedom. We are pushing our own boundaries in ways I didn't know were possible... To think even I have blushed at some of our extra-curricular activities is unheard of! But I wouldn't change a thing... In fact, I can hear him calling my name...

D. S.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Another sunny day in the Shire, but rather than waking up next to my beloved Duke of Albany, I am reclining on the chaise long of a Lady of the Shire. The same Lady who incidentally visited me in the lands of Bohemia many months ago. The Duke is having a weekend to himself - this is no philosophical retreat for some 'soul searching', nor is he reconsidering his imminent conjuncture with myself - rather he is making the most of his time with other Gentlemen and Lords as they prattle away after too much whiskey. 

I made the wise decision not to question his motives, and the wiser move to vacate myself from the premises. I can only imagine the drunken horror the men will give inflicted on themselves and I do not want to bear witness to it. 

Instead the Lady of the Shire and I have conversed merrily about the changing times, politics and love affairs , as well as a few more sordid details that I will keep secret. It is so refreshing to spend time with someone whose friendship spans over a decade so there can be no misgivings about who we are as people. I suppose this must be what it is like to have a sister. 

I have heard from my newer acquaintances - the Irish princesses are home safely and send their regards from across the Irish Sea. I still laugh at the thought of the scandal that erupted out of Brighthelmstone but I wouldn't have exchanged it for all the world. In all honesty I am missing those volatile vixens most keenly and hope to see them again before the year is out. 

But for today I intend to mark the most of my freedom and jaunt around the more familiar streets of my home town. 

D. S.