Friday, December 31, 2010

Two posts in as many days! The festive period certainly brings about a reminiscent perspective!

I've thought long and hard about the Duke last night. I know there are some of you who will laugh this off, thinking that this is nothing new, but I didn't come to my usual conclusion where we ride off into the sunset.

I wrote down a few of my thoughts in the dead of night, almost poetic that it has come to this at the end of another year.

I do hope that none of you judge me for the way my heart has led me astray! No one is more surprised at this outcome more than I! It never occurred to me that I might not fall into the Duke's arms at the slightest whisper of his availability.

Regardless, I wish you all an incredibly joyous New Year and hope that there is less scandal and more love in all of ours.


D. S.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How I do love the Christmas holidays! The last week has been spectacular with presents, family, friends, champagne and more snow than I could have imagined! (Yet not scandal free!)

I have had the most delightful few days eating FAR more than any lady should! But when can you indulge your senses if not at Christmas? Though I think I might have mixed my metaphors and the like.

My family hosted an incredible soirée two days after Christmas, inviting all the Lords and Ladies fortunate enough to be in the Shire and it was a glorious evening. Some old family friends surprised us by turning up halfway through the night - I do not wonder where I learnt my love for theatrics - and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of their stories of the Continent! It seems that everyone I know has spent a good part of this year abroad and I have travelled between two counties, trying to guard my heart from the clutches of unavailable men.

Speaking of availability it seems that the Duke and his fiancé are no longer! I received a letter and a small parcel from the Duke himself saying that he didn't want me to hear through the grapevine, but that his fiancé's conduct had been less than perfect and he wanted to to terminate their marriage contract! I find this most distressing at it may scupper all my new year's plans! 

I know I sound frivolous but I think I am in shock! I had put the Duke out of my mind, or at least felt that it was going about that way, however slowly. I am not prepared for this declaration; though I do suppose it is more of a statement for the Duke has not hinted at anything more between the two of us, it's just my heart skipping forward. 

We will see each other tomorrow night, or at least definitely before I return up North, but I do not know how to react! Should I expect anything, or be cold and callous, or ignore it, or sympathetic? I don't know what to do! And it frightens me, that he has so much of a hold over me even after all these years! This news has made me wistful for the past, before I had a reputation to uphold and an acknowledged responsibility to my family!

And there is a name a dare not mention, whose name I have never uttered in conjunction with my emotions. It is not 'him' who ruined me and ravished me in the same instance up North but rather a musician, a friend. Our current relationship is purely platonic, yet that I have thought of him now, when the Duke is apparently free makes me question my love, yes I've said it, for the Duke!

I didn't want to go into this tonight. I didn't want to talk about it until the New Year, but I suppose it's better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later. 

The snow that we had has all but disappeared, a grey cloud looms loftily in the sky, no doubt gathering rain for a deluge tomorrow night.


D. S.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to one and all!

I do hope that those of you who are fortunate enough to embrace the White Christmas are doing so! I have the sleigh at the ready for after lunch to go for a stroll with the Marquessa. I can only imagine what delights are in store for the rest of the day!

The last week back in the Shire has been rather eventful, even for me! There have been parties nearly every single night; I've had to miss the odd one or two to try and recuperate! But yes, I have seen the Scottish Earl, though we are currently no longer on speaking terms, I have been thoroughly entertained by the delightful Southern gentlemen and ladies, my heart has skipped a beat at the presence of the Duke and I quietly long for the North!

We had a delicious mulled wine evening with the most respected guests in attendance. I believe I was the most embarrassing companion as I had yet to sleep from the previous night's events, (whose events would no doubt horrify if I were to divulge!) and considering it was our first meeting since the Summer I should have let everyone acclimatise to my exuberant personality!

Being back at home has so far met every expectation. I knew who I would be seeing, I was prepared for casual conversations with the Duke and to see the Scottish Earl. Though I am disappointed at how our relationship has soured. It is too difficult to explain. (Or rather too humiliating, as it was an outburst of rejection, something I am not used to!)

But although I adore being back at home, that this is my final year in the North I can only hope to spend as much time possible with my close friends from the county that I have grown to love! I know that scandal has somehow followed me through the heart of this great country, but I am learning, if somewhat slowly, from my mistakes.

I cannot believe that it has nearly been an entire year of correspondence. How self-absorbed I am, and I know I should be ashamed of some of my more deplorable actions but I am happy with who I am. I only wish that this craving for the Duke would subside! He is engaged to a woman far greater than I am and that is exactly what he deserves.


D. S.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A few days is all that I have left in the Northern counties. A multitude of sins can be explored in a few hours let alone days, but I think that my deplorable actions over the weekend account for enough before the Christmas season.

The past week contained many hours of singing Christmas carols and enjoying a fair few different ales. Definitely nights worth remembering as we surprised many of the city dwellers when they realised who we were! I do believe that we are visiting a school to sing to this eve, and I am fair excited, for one never knows who you might meet!

This leads me quite nicely on to the weekend. I cannot deny the pleasure of the Rowing Ball and we know about my accidental meeting of the Foreign Minister. But it seems that all it takes is a slight touch of the hand to make me think about my relationship with certain gentlemen. 

Considering that the Foreign Minister was now on my mind, I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to see him once more before I leave for the Shire. I cannot deny the physical pangs that my body was suffering at the thought of giving in to his lust, but I knew that there was a large probability that the Minister would be with him. He, who tempted me nearly a year ago, who made me forget, momentarily, about the Duke. It would be disastrous if he found out about any kindling of a relationship with the Foreign Minister.

Fortunately, Harlequin, even in his absence, managed to conjure up the perfect excuse; the anniversary of his birth! Lady Lina managed to create an outing where we searched for the perfect gift for Harlequin. Of course it helped that we managed to coincide this outing with the Minister's visit to the town centre. The three of us wandered around the various boutiques that the North has, and we all went back to his dwelling to wrap the gifts and have them sent off poste haste.

Of course Lady Lina made herself scarce not soon after we arrived at his home, I was more than impressed with her subtlety! And so we were alone. 

There was obvious tension but I refused to throw myself at him. That I was so restrained to begin with definitely added to the undeniable passion that came over us. It was not the first time that this union had occurred, but that first time was many moons ago, and I had been distracted by the Duke, by him, to really notice the Minister. I don't know if it will happen again any time soon for I will be in the Shire over the Winter months (and I've heard from the Scottish Earl that he will be joining us over the Christmas period!).

Mother has sent up a few gifts for me to hand out to the dear ladies that spend all their time putting up with my romantic endeavours. I am looking forward to going home. A mulled wine evening has been proposed and I've heard rumours that a close friend has been with child! Ever so excited for the return to the Shire!


D. S.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Rowing Ball.

That isn't meant to be a title but rather a statement, a fact, a memory. It was everything that you'd expect and so much more, but I suppose I had better start from even before the Head Race.

After my unfortunate encounter with him, I was feeling decidedly negative about my romantic endeavours. I'm not asking for Prince Charming to come and whisk me off my feet, or even a prestigious gentleman to adore me, I suppose I would like some attention, male attention, and I thought that I would satisfy this craving by broadening my interests with rowing. Needless to say that that has failed.

I'm not one to give in lightly, but although I while away the hours with the rowers, their focus is on their sport and not me. They are commendable fellows and their dedication is incredible (and certainly pays off as they won their category over the weekend) but that they are becoming friends is only too obvious. I have male friends, no doubt more than my Mother approves of, but it generally denies any chance of romantic intentions...

This sounds terribly tedious, I know, but that is how I felt on the day of the race and the Ball, so my expectations of the entire evening were incredibly low.

Little did I know that I would find the most captivating suitor... He may not have been a part of the Boat Club, and he needs little to no introduction, but that he was there as the perfect antidote to my misery seems almost too much like fate.

The Foreign Minister appeared three spaces to my left at the table in the Grand Hall. I was terribly surprised to see him there; it has been months since I last saw him, and indeed I was shocked that he and his wife would be in tow. Fortunately I was saved that degradation as the Minister was the guest of one of the rower's wives, not a connection to him.

(Does it not seem worrying that a single, accidental meeting can affect my outlook on life?)

I danced the night away with the Foreign Minister and together we happily drank through the memories that we had of each other. I was careful to steer clear of a certain topic but there was no need as we had so much to catch up on. He had the most delightful news about Harlequin who is over on the Continent and thoroughly enjoying himself at court. There was talk of visiting him over the next coming weeks but I don't know if I can bear to be away from the Shire over the Christmas festivities!

As much of a delight as it was to converse with the Foreign Minister, the attention the rowers bestowed upon me was delightful. How shallow I sound for I know that it means little to nothing, nevertheless, that I could happily entertain an easy dozen gentlemen at the Ball is how I love to live my life.

I supposed I must have caused quite a stir amongst wives and fiancés, but they had nothing to worry about. It is purely the attention I craved that evening... My body's longings were still rather too uneasy after the brief connection with him to want any gratification.

So long for now. I hope to administer a great deal more scandal than my satisfaction next time... Actually before I leave, there was a rather unsightly incident involving one of my rowers and a scuffle with a rival woman. It seems that I am not alone in my need for attention!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Many an apology for the lack of correspondence. The weeks have been getting away with me I fear and I doubt that I will remember all that has happened but I shall try my very best!

I have been at home in the North for the last few weeks, appreciating the freedom that comes with living away from Mother and Father, although I do have to admit that as the nights draw longer I wish for simple home comforts. As much as I would like to divulge many a secret affair or scandalous liaisons, since the departing of the Earl of Steel City and his esteemed wife there has been little to cause any disturbances!

Of course I had the pleasure of the Scottish Earl whilst I was in the Shire but my acquaintances with men (other than the Jester) seems to have dwindled since my return up North. A rather depressing thought, especially as I have been socialising with the delightful rowers but it seems that I am not to their taste. Silly of me to have assumed otherwise, I know, but we are all jovial in each other's presence but I do not expect any more to come of it. And it saddens me to think that I am disappointed!

I did have a rather unfortunate run in with him. Not the Duke, (how I long to hear from him, or even just about him!) but he whom can be called none other than the catalyst of my degradation! Did I manage to hold my poise and give scant regard to my beating heart, honestly it is hard to say, for I felt that my heart was pounding in my throat and speaking seemed impossible.

There is no love lost between us, it is only the winter that reminds us of this time last year (or so I have to keep convincing myself). We spoke for barely a few minutes, as we exchanged a nod and a word about the weather. But we both know the connotations of those brief sentences and I dread to think how easy it would be for me to fall back in to his ar...


I daren't even think that suggestion, utter the words, let them seep into my mind. It is pitiful how weak willed I am when it comes to tender moments of the flesh! This year has not been going to plan.


D. S.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

How different in the Shire my life is. No wild parties, no unnecessary theatrics, not a whisper of a scandal (at least not this time round) and still it has been far from dull!

As my week at home in the new South Wing comes to an end, I am forced to acknowledge the depravity of my relationship with the Earl of Steel City. Regardless of the fact that I was the one intentionally being used, the fact that my reputation has spread so far and wide is a little more than disturbing.

One adultery, two kind men breaking their vows to their betrothed, and various other liaisons with suitable gentlemen and I seem to have acquired a reputation, something that I once remember caring about. I guess it is too late to change?

Well, another Masquerade Ball has come and gone, a birthday for a delightful friend and many a drink was consumed. Although I did have the pleasure of being introduced to a dark and brooding scholar; bright eyes and delicious cheekbones that are the most defining characteristic as he seems to care not for what he wears (dishevelled to say the least) but he has an intelligent mind, a thirst for knowledge, that I find intriguing. Not sure what more will happen as I return up North in the morn, but I am looking forward to my return in the Winter.

The Scottish Earl on the other hand has become a little too expectant of my part in his life. I managed to reacquire my ring and spent the day with him yesterday, even though he rejected my presence the day before. I do care about him, deeply; we laugh and play silly little games, sharing kisses and letting our hearts beat that tiny bit faster, have our blood pumping that much quicker.

I am looking forward to returning to the North. Bright fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes' demise this weekend and I do believe that there will be some form of drama. It isn't wrong of me to look forward to that, is it?

D. S.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in my darling Shire. Forgive me for not explaining sooner that I was to return for a short hiatus in the home county, but the last week or so has been rather hectic what with a new found... No not love this time, but a new found hobby! 

Watching rowing, or rather sculling, is the most delightful past-time and gives me the opportunity to meet so many esteemed gentlemen. No one was more surprised than I to find that I had an interest in sport! And not just the delectable view that comes with it, but it is so competitive and I do love to bet on the races, I think they are called Heads or Regattas, and it is a great honour to be a patron to more than just the Arts.

But before I continue with that vein of thought I should probably expand on the situation with the Earls. 

I was reprimanded by the cowardly Earl of Steel City's gracious wife for my behaviour. Rightly so I might add, but it was nonetheless rather embarrassing! I know I've said this before but I am going to stay away from married men, or at least not get involved unless it is the matter of my heart. All is fair in love and war, or so it is said. 

Apparently she knew about this 'proposition' herself; she had hinted to her husband that Steel City needed some Southern influences from my parents and she had heard about my reputation (gasp) and wanted to use her husband to win me round. Little did she realise that eventually I'd win him round with my ever-so-subtle charms and he eventually failed to mention more than the word 'proposition'.

I almost feel sorry for her. She knows that she has married a fool but he has wealth and secured her future and her property in Steel City. Why is it that this great Lady (for I cannot deny what she is) is hindered so by a bumbling husband? 

My other Earl, Scottish to the very core, is still down South. In the same county as I am. And is pestering me for... A relationship is too strong a word at the moment but definitely relations of sorts. And hopefully I will be able to collect my ring with this visit. Apparently his sister noticed it the other day so he has resorted to keeping it on his person. Or so he says. But after the disastrous understanding of the Head Architect's intentions I daren't expect anything!

I am home for now and am disappointed to be missing out on the lovely University boys rowing this week, but I fear that if I watch them too often I may become something of a spectacle myself! I would promise to try and behave, but I don't like telling falsehoods!

D. S.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It seems that with a lack of men in my life, (I will let you know more about the Earl of Steel City in a minute) I spend a lot of time with the Court Jester. The poor thing is doing his best to keep me entertained, but I long for passion, secrecy, and dare I say lust, which I do not get from consorting with the Jester. Though we do love to natter about our peers and he keeps me informed with the most scandalous gossip and I do love to hear his theories on everyone...

It is unfortunate, this matter with the Earl. He has disappeared back to Steel City in order to escape his wife who has responded to the rumours that are flying around the counties about the two of us and is returning to my Northern abode to confront me. I hear that she will appear in the next day or so and I'm not sure as to how I should react or how indeed I should feel. It was only out of boredom, something to amuse me and I never even heard about his proposition (though I do feel that if I'd pressed he would have mentioned the words 'annulment' which was not something I would have ever considered).

No one can prove anything. I burnt the note from the Masquerade Ball, and other than the Court Jester who is sworn to secrecy, the Earl, the coward, is safe. I cannot believe that he fled with no more than a glance goodbye. Though I should be used to this sort of neglect, some could say I even bring it on myself as I refuse to conform and find myself a husband.

Thankfully it seems that Mother has registered this and has stopped hassling me with suitors, and it could also be to do with the Scottish Earl's pledge to visit before Christmas. Now that is exactly what I need.

 D. S.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another weekend, another scandal? Thankfully not quite. 

I had the pleasure of the company of a few of my Southern darlings the last few days. The most fabulous and fashionably dandies and, not quite ladies, but the most entertaining of guests! We dined and danced, and it was a delight to introduce my Southern companions to my adopted Northern family.

It seems that the Court Jester took a shine to one of my Southern Belle's, quoting poetry and lines from plays that described her Beauty. He seemed to enjoy creating his own rendition of Lord Byron's 'She Walked in Beauty Like the Night'.

I haven't heard from my Scottish Earl in a while, I would like a distraction from the Earl of Steel City because he has been pandering to my every whim, seeing that his wife has faded into the background, or rather returned to her own home (it is clear that she rides her workers hard whereas the Earl has a softer disposition). I have yet to hear this proposition as it seems every time he plucks up the courage to ask it becomes too much for him and he fails to ask me anything. It is tiring hearing these words of passion when I feel nothing but tenderness for him. How ever does the Court Jester cope when everyone laughs at his proclamations of love? No one could ever take him seriously.

D. S. 

Monday, October 04, 2010

Of course it wouldn't take long for a scandal to emerge once the notion of work disappeared into the distance and socialising has taken the opportunity to return to vogue.

This weekend was a conglomeration of introductions and re-acquaintances at a Masquerade Ball. Almost ironic as I now remember people in relation to their mask rather than their title or rank, though there were a few people that managed to stand out. 

We were graced with the presence of the Earl and Countess of Steel City, whose disguise kept their anonymity for the beginning of the evening, but there is no doubting the impressive chain of gossip within our party and it was not long until we realised who they were. Being a Duchess from a foreign county I did not feel that it was my place to welcome them once we realised who they were but unfortunately what with our social conventions it became my responsibility to entertain and house them, as well as reveal who they were with the utmost respect. 

However, I was saved this ordeal as towards the end of the meal the two of them appeared at the end of the High Table with gifts and regaled stories of the expansion of Steel City. I was ever so flattered and there was a wee tinkle in the Earl's eye that made me think I could somehow end up in trouble again.

It's just as well that I have quite good perception because it didn't take long for the Earl to ask for a dance and as we swept along the floor he passed me a note, which read:

'Please meet me later. I have a proposition for you.
Your Earl of Steel City'

Of course I met up with him. I never thought that it would mean that I succumbed to his wily ways. I didn't give in to more than a kiss but now I feel that I could no longer be welcome in the Steel City. 

D. S.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ahh, the Northern counties. A drop in the temperature, new faces, new fashions, a harsher dialect. A variable concoction that I'd never dreamed would become an integral part of my life.

A good ten days have past since I returned to the North and it feels as if the summer was nought but a dream. A lifetime ago, or even a tale that occurred to someone other than myself! I have to admit that I am ever so enchanted to be back, contrary to what I orginially thought. It is surprising how easily everything falls back into place what with the return of my ladies, albeit lacking some of my darlings to furhter afield. I do wonder what the New World holds for them?

The ephasis in the North has somehow transfixed itself on the idea of 'work' both political and educational. I suppose it is for the best that we learn about the world but I'd much rather experience it (though my lifestyle is still managing to cause a stir).

There are far too many unrecognizable faces that I have to acquaint myself with. I do not know where all these people come from, there must be something about the North that entices people from all over the world. Dare I make the assumption that it is myself?

I was surprised to hear from the Scottish Earl already, it seems he may come this way on his way back up to Scotland and pay me a visit. It would be an honour to receive him, and also useful as it seems that he does have my ring and I would like nothing more than to have it back! We'll just have to see about what happens there, though I do not expect much. Not after the turbulence of the Head Architect. (Who, incidentally has a commission down in Brighton after the success of our South Wing, which of course I begrudge him).

There is not too much more to report. We are all just getting back into our old routines and I am enjoying spending time with my lovely ladies and hearing all about their Grand Tour of the Continent.

D. S.

Friday, September 17, 2010

How I am sick to death of all this packing! I cannot find anything to wear for my final night in the Shire and it seems I have misplaced my birthday ring from my ladies! I dread to think where I have left it... Though there is one place that springs to mind but I am terribly embarrassed to contact him after all we have been through.

No, this isn't that Architect I am referring to, but rather a Scottish Earl - the brother of one of my ladies - who I'm sure would be aghast to find out the licentious activities he and I partook the other night, just before the excursion to the capital.

The South Wing is to be unveiled tonight and our final goodbyes uttered. At least until Christmas. Here is a drawing of a piece of our gorgeous new furniture, the Hepplewhite that I mentioned previously.

Isn't it just like me to leave as another scandal is about to rupture through the end of a perfect summer. I accept that there have been a few blemishes along the way. I can only blame myself in respect to the Head Architect, I fell too hard and expected too much when I should have just considered him to be another lover, nothing more.

At least I know where I stand with my Scottish Earl... And neither of us are around for too long, we might not even have the pleasure of each others company during the winter months. I do hope he will be around, it is always refreshing to have someone keep you warm during the long nights, and I know I'd appreciate the length of those nights with him!

I have various items to return that I somehow acquired during the last few months. At least I can find other people's belongings, Heaven knows where all of mine have been stashed!

I will write shortly once I have completed the journey back up North. No doubt this year will be completely different, but no less delightful than the last and I am looking forward to going back but I haven't been pining for those amusements as much as I usually am towards the end of my stay. I wonder what my attitude will reflect of my thoughts, and my scandals...

D. S.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Where to begin? Autumn has started to encroach and that means the packing has just commenced, whispers of the North abound and once again we have to say our farewells.

I'm glad that I am able to keep busy, distracted, I do not want to think about saying goodbye or starting over again.

We will be having our final celebrations in the next week, coinciding with the grand opening of the South Wing. What should be a delightful occasion but is marred by the Architect.

The Baroness and Marquessa are going well out of their way to keep up my spirits as we are going to venture out to the Capital tomorrow. We will return in time for the final ball but not beforehand. I don't think I could cope helping to organise such an event, one that praises him.

No doubt you can tell by my tone that emotions between the Architect and myself have soured. It had nothing to do with our little escapade of staying out all night, but rather as the South Wing was drawing to a close, so it seemed was our relationship. I know that I didn't expect an engagement, but the end seems to have come too soon and I am unhappy with how easily he seems to have recovered from it.

This is why I try not get attached. I've had enough suffering with the Duke, Officer and Architect this year and I want to start afresh.

These last stressful few days have included the news from my Lady Lina that one of our close acquaintances is not returning from the New World. It saddens me to think that there will be fewer of us refined young women in the North and I am disappointed that we do not have another year to share together. But apparently the delights of the New World are too great an opportunity to pass by, so of course I wish her well. It's just a selfish thought knowing that I will miss her!

I will let you know how the visit to the Capital goes, hopefully nothing too dramatic, unless of course we watch something unfold on a stage!

D. S.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer is coming to an end and I don't want to write about everything because that solidifies all the past few weeks in my mind. It has been like a dream and I can't comprehend it's demise, so excuse me while I try to recapture my final memories.

D. S.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh dear... I am in all sorts of trouble! There is so much to tell about this last week that I don't quite know where to start.

I guess I had a relatively quiet week for the most part, it wasn't until this weekend that everything got decidedly raucous. The Duke finally held a ball inviting everyone that we knew to grace his delightful abode for the first time this summer. Shocking considering how late in the summer it is! All of us were there, an array of ladies as well as gentlemen, each of whom we have known for the last decade of our lives. I was surprised to see that the Duke's bride-to-be was absent, I may not be her greatest fan but I do love to observe people, especially a couple that has an effect on my life.

I'm tempted to suggest that it is because the Duke obviously has a great affection for one of the ladies! I dare not name her as it may jeopardise our friendship and indeed the Duke's relationship with his fiancé, and despite my jealousy I do not want to cause their destruction. My Officer was there, which was a surprise as I was led to believe that he was going to be away on the Continent. It seems he has three weeks leave, to get married and have a honeymoon before deploying away on whatever mission he is assigned. I may not have had the pleasure of the Duke's fiancé but sitting through the Officer and his bride-to-be's pandering behaviour was more than enough for me!

Unfortunately my Architect was unable to attend the ball so I had to find my amusement elsewhere and it was easy enough as we whiled away the hours catching up with the most scandalous gossip and reaffirming the foundations of our friendships.

Everyone was greatly intrigued to hear about my Architect; I have never been one to claim a man's heart for my own. Normally I acquire the usual flatterers, men who are hopeless romantics and foolishly fall for my charms, or indeed I fall for the impossibility of someone. This is the first time that I have acknowledged someone who cares about me as more than just a passing whim! My darling Baroness and Marquessa find this highly amusing and take great pains to tease me about him but all I do is smile and ignore them. Their jokes run a little too close to the truth...

For this weekend I made the grave error of staying out all night with my Architect! We did nothing overtly wrong, but because we were caught by none other than my parents we have been shamed and humiliated. I'm not sure I'll be able to forget my Mother's face when she saw us return through the gardens in the previous nights clothes all rumpled and askew from sleeping under the stars. We watched the most delicious shooting stars, and had the most romantic evening so in my eyes it was completely worth the debacle we had to suffer in the morning. But I am a little worried as to how my parents are going to react to having him around now, knowing how close the two of us have become, I dread to think that they are expecting an engagement but I don't think it's wise considering I will be going back up North in a month...

Speaking of the North, my Northern ladies are back from their travels on the Continent and had a glorious time, I am looking forward to hearing from them and seeing them in the coming months, the Shire's festivities are not of the same calibre as I am used to from the North. Lord, I had almost forgotten to mention my sweetest Squire has been keeping me informed of all the goings on, mainly because Harlequin is still gallivanting away in some delirious heat, and I have grown ever so fond of the Squire and I trust him explicitly.

Apparently the weather has been atrocious, I do prefer the Southern climate in the summer as the North is so temperamental, and there have been a few riots to do with the Church and other such discrepancies. I will need to reply to his musings at some point, silly Squire making me miss him!

I do hope this nonsense about my misdemeanour with the Architect dies down, I don't want to be harried by the rest of the household for gossip or indeed be subjected to it either! I'm hopefully seeing him this afternoon... The simple thought putting a smile on my face! I do wonder if he is brave enough to face my parents after this weekend... Wish us luck!

D. S.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Why is bumping into the Duke so difficult? An evening of fun and games at the Baroness' and who do we happen to bump into, the Duke. Though he was alone, rather without his bride-to-be and just associating with some gentlemen friends, of mine, I might add. But though I am normally at ease with each of those men I felt out of sorts, as if I wasn't wanted or required. Still trying to figure that out in my head. I'm quite angry at the Duke, especially as he has failed to respond accordingly with a ball of his own after Mother's return. But I know that is not the only reason... I don't have the strength to say it out loud because then it might ring true.

How about we just pause to think about the Architect who has surpassed the Duke in my estimations and just about any other lover or beau in my heart. Yes, I can no longer deny my feelings, and I will happily proclaim them from every rooftop... Once he passes a more physical test! Honestly, I am surprised at myself for the control I have managed to maintain these last few weeks. There have been many opportunities, it just hasn't felt quite right, and I don't just want a fumble in a haystack. I have high hopes for my Architect.

D. S.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Isn't it dreadful that in only a few weeks I can become so infatuated with another person? The most trifle of thoughts and I break out into a silly grin which is so difficult to hide as all I want to do is talk and talk and talk about how happy I am! These last few weeks have been a delight, as the Head Architect and I spend many an evening walking the gardens discussing our hopes and dreams.

There is no doubt that he is ambitious, the South Wing is coming along gloriously and I managed to sneak a glance through the doors just the other day and I can't wait to help Mother pick out the furniture. There is this new designer that I heard of at the last soirée; a George Hepplewhite. It will be a nice variation from the Chippendale that we have used and abused throughout the years.

I received many letters from my lovely ladies who are on their travels, they seem to be having the most delectable time, though I am worried that those who have ventured to the New World may never come home! Although I am intrigued as to what these far away countries are like I cannot imagine never coming home to my Shire. To my Architect.

It is truly dreadful that as I wrote that I giggled. I am not the giggling type and I usually scorn those who fall so easily in and out of... no I cannot say love. It is too soon.

The Officer is being dispatched at some point to the Continent, something to do with the French and Austrians. It is fortunate that I found out as I bumped into his young fiancé. Of course, there was nothing to say about the affair, we were gracious and courteous as ever trading small talk, but I believe I will have to write to the Officer to wish him luck abroad and let him know that he is in my prayers. I would be devastated if his life were taken. And because of this hasty call of duty it seems that my Officer will be wed in the coming weeks. I wonder if I will be invited...

There is more to say about the Duke, but I am pushing him out of my mind. The Head Architect can happily fill any voids in my thoughts.

D. S.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free at last to update you with the months occurrences. Unfortunately the Shire has been awash with the most abysmal weather so we have had to find refuge indoors, difficult when there are all sorts of workers trying their damnedest (how I love that word, makes me feel quite out of sorts!) to work against the elements.

However, this has meant that I have constantly had the pleasure of the Head Architect's company and there is no doubt in my mind that I have managed to charm him. He is the first eligible suitor I have had in many months and I am unsure as to how to act. He is in great demand from what I can ascertain, many of my contemporaries trying their hand at flirtation in order to capture his attention but even though we spend time alone during the day, at various dinners and balls we dance no more than the obligatory few dances and spend a scarce amount of time talking as we both know there is time enough for us to be together.

I was quite flummoxed this last weekend when I had to endure the Duke and his fiancé at our gathering in honour of my Mother's return. It was obvious, at least to me, that we were both trying to ignore each other as much as possible. I had heard that this was the happy couple's first public outing since their very public engagement. I suppose I shouldn't wonder what that means, because no doubt it means that they are indeed too happy! We had to endure a single dance together which wasn't so much as awkward as dull. No heart of mine should have to be subjected to the antipathy that I now feel for the Duke. Though there are moments late at night when I can't help but think I am hardening my heart because of how much I love him. Can you believe we talked about the weather?! This is the man to whom I bared my inner most thoughts, the man who moulded my dreams to fit like a jigsaw with his.

That is why I am so glad to have the attention of the Head Architect. Selfish or trivial at least my thoughts are kept far and wide from the Duke.

D. S.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm beginning to notice a pattern in my life. There are men that I rely on, that I constantly expect to be there for me without any thought of their actual feelings or what goes on in their lives beyond our dalliances.

I am back in my beloved Shire only to find that my New Year's kiss with the Officer was, yet again, an indiscriminate affair. Only this weekend at the summer fête did I hear from his betrothed that they had been together for the last two years! She was slightly concerned about my feelings, but other than the complete shock all I can think of is my utter reliance on my Officer. That, and how I want to tell this dear naive girl, for she is still so young, that her Officer is not just hers. He never struck me as the type to blatantly lie, hide his feelings or ignore his promises to those whom he has promised his heart.

My darling Ladies are not even around to comfort me, oh how selfish I sound! But I am in a dilemma! Do I destroy her innocence for I would want to know if my fiancé had been unfaithful. Though I know I would come across as bitter and jealous. I am not entirely happy about the relationship, but it is more to do with the fact that I will lose our friendship, for no married man is allowed to be alone in my presence. And that is something that I have kept to these last seven months.

I wish I knew what to do! All this umming and ahhing will lead to nothing and I will just let the relationship run its course, for I guess it has nothing to do with me and, as far as I know, the Officer has been faithful to his engagement for the rest of this year...

In other news, I have been back in the Shire for the last week. It has been a whirlwind of gatherings and picnics as we all catch up with each other. The Marquessa is tempted to go back to her beau but I have been advising her against it; he is not right for her and she does not love him, and she needs to be in a relationship where it has one of those fairy-tale endings. Another relationship has dissolved through, what seems like, every man's inability to be happy with what he has and to constantly have a wondering eye...

My darling Baroness will soon be back from her travels and I cannot wait to see her! It has been far too long and there are always constant giggles and nothing to worry about when I am in her presence. She calms me and manages to be the voice of reason even when I am in one of my rages!

Harlequin too has gone on travels, though every now and again I receive word from him and he tells me of the delights of the Continent. There is a part of me that wishes I were travelling, though my Mother was quite shocked by my appearance when I arrived home. According to her all I needed was to recoup, but she has already disappeared to go and see our Tata over in Eastern Europe, so I am left to my own devices...

Which, I might add have been relatively innocent, considering it's me. The work on the South Wing is nearly completed, but there still has been enough time to flirt with the Head Architect. He is very artistic and passionate about his work. I have watched him as he walks the grounds, his brow furrowing as he concentrates, running his hands through his sandy-coloured hair. I am fortunate that he dines with us as my father is so interested in the various new styles that the South Wing has developed. Though I am more interested in what the Head Architect thinks of me...

I will leave for now, I can hear my father calling me and that might mean I get to spend some time with the Architect and that is an opportunity I do not want to miss!

D. S.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I dare not write about the disturbances to my lifestyle these past few weeks because that would confirm their occurrences, which I doubt I can handle just yet.

So I will keep up you updated with what is to come, the future that expands the gap between now and then. The mere thought of it has me shuddering and closing my eyes, trying to forget.

We are currently packing and clearing the Northern abode to spend the summer season down South in my beloved Shire. Never before have I looked forward to the occasion with such fervour, but please don't think I am running away, there is just so much to anticipate in the next few months that the thought of wasting away in this Northern city that lacks our Southern refinement...

It's true I tend to believe that there is more opportunity wherever I am not, but I hope I am forgiven for as I make these two wonderful counties my home, I cannot help but regard the feeling of homesickness every now and again.

Mother finally got in touch with me; her and Papa went to the end pilgrimage of the Duke and saw the entire proposal and then ended up dining and staying with the happy couple and the Duke's family for a week longer than expected. Apparently Mother thought it was safer not to contact with me from there considering the return address would be the Duke's Cornish home. It startled me to find out that my Mother had more of an inkling than I expected, and although I didn't show it, I was, and am, extremely grateful to her.

Oh how I miss everyone! My darlings in the South, and my Northern beauties who have either disappeared to their various Shires or are spending their time hosting charity events and helping the needy rather than socialising!

How dreadful I must sound! But I'd much rather prance around in a fabulous pair of embroidered shoes and gush about a gorgeous pannier gown than lend a hand in the kitchens or hospitals. Even our current events have lost the sense of socialising for the sake of socialising, but rather we feel we need an excuse, to discuss politics and even raise money in the name of 'charity'. I feel that I am going to regret saying that, but for now let's just let it rest.

Hopefully I will be back in the Shire next time I write, or at least this packing and having everyone underfoot will have ceased!

D. S.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How strange it feels to be in the Northern counties when everyone else has departed on their various vacations. Each of my ladies have travelled far and wide for the summer season, Rosinda even going so far as the New World, I can't tell you how much I am going to miss them all.

I haven't heard from Mother in about a week which is quite strange, I'm hoping that the extension on the South Wing hasn't been hindered whatsoever... Which reminds me, I did have a short postscript from the Marquessa in her last letter that the Head Architect had been asking after me, flattering to say the least, and brought a smile to my face. Hopefully he will still be around when I return in a months time as there will be no one in the Shire to keep me entertained now that the Duke is engaged.

Yes, how dare I even have had a glimmer of hope when the Duke had so set his heart on this new Scottish bride? There was the most elaborate proposal, so I've heard, that as he finished his pilgrimage at Land's End (I'm so grateful that I had a prior engagement that heeded my appearance in the end) the Duke pulled out a ring and declared to his audience that he had been carrying it for the last 800 miles contemplating his love of his new country and the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

Of course she said yes, who wouldn't? He has good looks, charm, money that in itself is normally considered enough, but the Duke has class and breeding and a kindness that he brings to every aspect of his life. I know I can no longer fantasise about my life with him as it is never going to happen. I cannot become the other woman in their relationship, though of course the Duke would never even consider so sordid a situation. Yet I know that I would jump at the chance and that makes me doubt myself. I am becoming this unscrupulous woman, someone that I had always deplored yet I cannot deny that I everyday I inch closer to this immoral character.

I no longer want to think about the Duke. Maybe I need a distraction up North, a page boy or a squire, someone relatively insignificant that can fill me in while I wait for the One. Oh dear, I sound as optimistic as my ladies in the Shire. All of whom believe in the clichéd soul mate, whereas I have always scorned such impracticalities and fanciful notions, trusting the sensual cravings of my body and happily giving in to lust. How my reputation would suffer if everyone knew even half as much as what I do get up to. It makes me laugh to think there are those who look up to me... If only they knew.

D. S.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An impromptu visit home has been far more beneficial than I thought it would be. I feel so much more healthy and relaxed with the prospect of summer just around the corner. How I wish I had more to look forward to than spending the season in the North trying to be the epitome of the 'accomplished woman'.

I can't believe how much I am appreciating being home; I didn't realise how stressed I was and what with all the ridiculous theatrics that have become overwhelming I guess it's not that surprising! My Mother of course is harping on at me to catch a husband, as if it were that simple, and that sounds so unappealing, as if I'd have to wrestle with a fish! At least she acquiesced to my horror at the thought of an arranged marriage. I am only twenty, marriage hardly enters my thoughts - only love... Lust.

Speaking of which, my parents have taken on the task of expanding the South Wing and the entire manor is crawling with delectable specimens of the male form. The Head Architect has definitely managed to capture my attention, although I don't think Mother would approve if I started fraternising with the staff... But of course that makes it so much more tempting.

The Marquessa and I had lunch together yesterday, she is just back from her travels in Ireland. Unfortunately the suspicious situation with her family has been ignored rather than resolved, and that they are moving location yet again makes me worry about their finances. How I wish I could convince her to move up North with me just for the rest of the season!

Correspondence with the Duke has dwindled, I supposed I should be grateful as it means he doesn't conquer my thoughts nor cloud my judgements, yet if I thought there were a chance maybe I wouldn't make so many rash decisions... However, I do know that he is making a pilgrimage with his sister from John O'Groats to Land's End. Hopefully I will be able to appear with the final entourage as he arrives at his final destination, I might even get to meet the competition.

I am looking forward to my final stay up North, though I know that the majority of people won't be around, but maybe that will be a blessing in disguise?

D. S.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm sitting in the library, staring out of the window trying to understand how this turmoil came around. It must have been lurking in the shadows for quite some time now just waiting for my most vulnerable moment. Or have I just become so accustomed to the furore that is my life that I accepted it without a moment's thought? Unfortunately I think the latter might be more apt.

The last few months have been a haze of parties and alcohol, a lifestyle that I never expected to embrace with such ease, but nevertheless I am having more trouble than I thought in ending this phase of my life. This is the start of a new week, one that I have vowed will not include any alcohol or any other deviants.

I suppose I should keep you up to date with the latest scandals, but honestly my head hurts just thinking about them. You know how I hate secrets, I would so much prefer everything to be out in the open, but there are those who judge and cannot hide the scorn from their eyes. I cannot claim to be innocent of judgement of course, yet I feel that with the torrid affair and the various suitors that I have entertained my judgement is my only saving grace? No that's not right, but with so much contempt and disregard flung my way, the only protection I can muster is my own judgement. (Even though I know full well that I bring my own judgements on myself.)

On a slightly separate note it seems that the couples have all disintegrated before my very eyes. I can't even imagine being able to comprehend their pain, it seems that my own heart turned to stone many years ago, but it does make life difficult with social functions. I only hope that there is something good to come out of all this drama because it has been long enough!

Speaking of my lack of heart, the Duke and I have been corresponding ever since the Winter in the Shire. It seems his parents have found him the perfect wife, some Lady Caroline, and they are to be wed in the summer. I dread to think of the spectacle that will become, with the entire County invited just for show. Of course I will go and give the support that my dear Duke deserves but no more than that. We have decided that once they are married any correspondence between the Duke and I will have to become more formal for risk of another affair. I know that my wily charms could seduce him, but I want more than to be his mistress and as long as I know that in my heart I am happy with my decision.

Farewell for now, I feel that I need to do something more productive today than just look out at the sunshine. And seeing as it has now been a whole two days without the delights of alcohol I need another distraction.

D. S.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I know that it has been far too long since I have managed to post on here, letting you know what I have been getting up to and for that I apologise. However, with the gossip that I have I hope I can satiate your appetites...

Everyone I know has somehow managed to find the perfect partner; there are couples surrounding me and I am completely alone. So to alleviate my boredom while I am alone and to distract myself, I have been occupying myself with various activities... Namely, the art of attraction. It is far to easy but trying to lure different men with different tactics is most enjoyable. As of yet I have a one hundred percent track record, but obviously I don't particularly want to boast about my accomplishments, (though I think sometimes I even impress myself).

Right now I'm laughing at myself and my blasé manner. I know that my reputation would suffer if everyone knew, but I am succeeding in keeping it under wraps, barely. Apparently I need to acquire more of a history of my so called 'victims'; one of my successes is actually an acquaintance of one of the ladies I used to live with. But fortunately I managed to convince him to keep quiet about the little affair. What else can I do?

D. S.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We had quite the Ball a couple of nights ago. An evening to bring us all closer together after we had been away from each other over the Christmas holidays. I had such a lovely night. I was very high spirited, though I'm not sure if that's due to the company or the amount of alcohol that I consumed!

I cannot describe the fun that we had that night, we were all glowing with happiness and pure unadulterated love for everyone, it was such a good feeling. Unfortunately I did make the mistake of opening up and mentioning that I liked one of the foreign ministers, what makes it so unfortunate was the way that I proclaimed my feelings, which were not quite my own to say the least. He is now angry with me and thinks I am slightly pathetic, but really, I know when I have made a mistake but this time, he has just completly over reacted.

Spent the rest of the week brushing up on my study skills, and waited for Friday night's party. Once again the usual group of people, I had my darling Lady Lina as part of my ensemble and we had such a good night. There were games, drinks, eligible men... which Lina thoroughly appreciated! But I have a slight soft spot for her friend Lord Jones. Yet I get the impression that he thinks I'm silly and frivolous... Which I am, but I dislike having him think that that is all to me. But then again I have seen a less apealing side to him as he suffers from a lot of pent up rage. From what, I do not know.

I will keep you up dated but I think this is going to be a slow week. The next party is not til Friday, and though I have a few people to write to (the Duke) there really isn't that much going on, or at least anything of note.

Til then.

D. S.