Monday, May 18, 2015

I have started and redrafted this post so many times I cannot for the life of me remember what it was I first wanted to talk about. 

Nevertheless... Weeks have once again sprinted past, without so much as a second glance, and as usual I have had very little time to myself. I have been so overwhelmed by my busy lifestyle of late that I have sat in silence, doodling and daydreaming on my own all evening, trying to recuperate from the hubbub of the Capital.

I adore the Capital. I know I have mentioned this sentiment whenever I tend to visit, but I love the pace and the anonymity that comes with being just another face... That is until I leave, when I breathe a sigh of relief, anxious to get back to my life where I am known. Infamy certainly has its perks. 

I suppose I should start at the beginning. The Marquessa and Baroness joined me nearly a fortnight ago in Dearne Valley, dragging the Duke in tow for some belated birthday celebrations. We drank and were merry and it took me a few days to recover. But it was wonderful.

Until I realised the week ahead of me would be one that could have had a damning affect on my future. I had to prove my worth as a Lady-in-Waiting, every gesture scrutinised and critiqued, looking for a fault. Thankfully I passed with flying colours and have only the one more visit to contend with. I shall make a note NOT to drink as heavily the weekend before.

Because I was so fraught with nerves I was barely able to write anything coherent, worrying only about the observation that was to come. However, I was rewarded with my visit to the Capital. I socialised with friends and acquaintances whom normally grace me with their presence only during the summer months, so it was wonderful to reminisce about my time at the Convent in both the Shire and Brighthelmstone. It is an odd feeling to have an extended family, as such, that are in some ways closer than my Ladies of the Shire because of the concentrated time we spend together, yet we go more than half a year without much contact. It does not make much sense, but I thoroughly enjoyed the company over the weekend.

There was nothing I could fault. 

If anything... It has awakened my usual yearning for my summer in Brighthelmstone, before my journey to the Orient.

D. S.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The hours have slipped into days, which have in turn dissolved into weeks, so much so that I cannot for the life of me remember what came to pass since I last wrote...

Let me think...

Oh yes. A birthday. My birthday. How could I forget?

I ventured back to the Shire to visit my family and my friends. It was most delightful to fraternise with those in my closest circle, having the Duke join my side without so much of a whisper. We were all impeccably behaved (which truly makes a change) and we discussed many things, from my impending travels, to betrothals and reminisced about those who have been and gone. 

And I turned another year older. 

I have to admit at being rather laconic in regards to my latest age. It doesn't warrant more than a few words. It has been discovered that reasons are not always necessary when meeting with old friends, and any time I get to spend with the Ladies of the Shire, including the Duke's sister, is time well spent. 
It was a rather short weekend, I never spend long enough in the Shire, but my Duke and I managed to spend some much-deserved time together, even crossing the North/South border hand in hand. We are still debating about our future, and I suppose there is nothing more to say on that matter either. 

Que sera sera. 

I seem to be getting easily disgruntled in my old age!

The folk at Dearne Valley did surprise me on my return with many well wishes and plied me with various bottles of wine and delectables that I have yet to sample because I have been feeling a little under the weather. I was incredibly touched to think that they all thought to remember and take note of something so inconsequential as my birthday, but it made the return somewhat more poignant. Of course, I am as busy as ever, but I am enjoying my time in the North.

There are whispers that the Duke and Marquessa may visit me this weekend, and I shall hold my breath in anticipation.

D. S. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

One would think it'd be possible to safely assume sunshine this late into the year. It seems we were rather heavily seduced by the warm climate only a week ago, but it has dissipated into a rather disappointing drizzle that seems unwilling to abate. 

Just in time for my birthday celebrations. 

However, I refuse to let this English weather dampen my spirits.

I am to return to the Shire tomorrow for a few days of revelry and debauchery. I have even managed to convince Belle, Armiger, the Duke and the Duke's sister to make an appearance. I am more than a little excited, and am wishing away the next twenty-four hours before I can leave for my home. 

That's not even the most thrilling piece of news I have to offer on this chilly evening. 

I have mentioned the Far East countless times this year, and though it may seems a strange longing for some, I on the other hand, have somehow managed to make my dreams come a reality. The Orient beckons its dainty finger, and I have answered with a gusto that cannot be ignored. I have a few months left in Dearne Valley, before I sojourne to Brighthelmstone with my usual retinue, and then I have a mere week to say my farewells and depart for the Far East.

I cannot say what it is I am going to do once I am out there, only that I know it shall be my greatest adventure yet. 

'The Duke of Albany?' I hear you ask... We are still in the process of discussing the terms of our relationship. I cannot ask him to travel to another continent for me, and nor do I want to. Nevertheless, we are determined to make our unconventional relationship flourish, despite the distance. 

It was Armiger, my darling friend, who asked the pertinent question. I think it is because he is recently engaged (congratulations to them both), but he made me realise that my lust for adventure is rather selfish... However, the Duke understands. He loves me for who I am. And that is an impulsive, spontaneous wanderer. You can't ask me to change, for then I should no longer be the person he so admired. 

I do not ask for understanding from anyone else ~ on some days I even question myself ~ but rather I look to rejoice. My life is wonderful, and I am so grateful for all that I have. I cannot wait to share in the jubilations and celebrations with those whom I love. 

D. S.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I did say I was looking forward to the adventures Dearne Valley would surprise on me, and I have to admit that it has been exciting than I thought it would be. 

Living with four elder members of the opposite gender is surely not everyone's cup of tea, but it seems to suit me quite nicely. They are each of high esteem, reputable (though not necessarily in a genteel way) and complete gentlemen. I am honoured to have them treat me with such reverence and respect that I have not seen since my younger days when I was considered a damsel in distress. I have not lost any of my independence, but there is a courteousness that borders on chivalry in these Northern parts that I believe has long since disappeared down South. 

The Duke and I have been in regular correspondence though I have little time to myself what with my communal living arrangements and the role that has taken over my life. I am looking forward to next weekend when I shall return to the Shire for a Spring music festival. It has been two years since I last showed my face with everyone around me, so the prospect of music and dancing with my closest friends brings a smile to my face. 

In other news, the Far East is calling my name with a stubbornness I haven't been able to shake off. Who knows, maybe I shall answer it with three little letters... Y. E. S. 

D. S..

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A few hours short of a week have I inhabited Dearne Valley and I have to admit that I have never felt more at home and more comfortable in such a short space of time. I do have a tendency to adapt quickly to new surroundings, as is in my nomadic nature, but no more than a few minutes in my temporary dwelling, did it already begin to feel like home. 

I can imagine it would be a rather acquired taste: it is a far cry from the Shire where I am within walking distance of many friends and family; much more sedate than the busy lifestyle the Duke and I became accustomed to in the northern counties; it is a paradoxical comparison of rural and cosmopolitan next to the Antipodes; but I would say it were most like Bohemia ~ firm family values, with a few traditions I have never before experienced

This life that has been thrust upon me is currently being shared with four older gentlemen, each of whom who has made me most welcome. They vary in age from only a decade more than myself, to half a century older, and their stories are of the utmost compelling romances, trials and tribulations. I consider myself rather lucky (though I know that my situation is considered by many to be rather improper).

The Duke of Albany and I have continued our discussions about the future. He has joined me for the weekend, but still resides in the northern counties. His responsibilities keep him from travelling to Dearne Valley with me, but it is not so far to travel for a few short months. The future is looking rather exciting, the Far East is still calling my name and I eagerly await the moment it is all confirmed. Until then, I intend to keep silent about our future plans.

There isn't much more that I can say other than I am thoroughly enjoying myself. It was wonderful to have a few weeks in the Shire and Brighthelmstone. I don't get to spend enough time with the Ladies of the Shire and knowing that I am to add Brighthelmstone to my mantle during the Summer, means I will have even less time before I can no longer ignore the beckoning of the Far East. 

I look forward to the next few months here and the adventures to come.

D. S.