Sunday, September 25, 2011

I have arrived. Twelve thousand or so miles have been travelled over land and sea. I now have the Antipodes to call home.

The journey was somewhat uneventful, only an Irishman for company, and amusing though he was, we parted ways as he diverged for the Southern Island..

I am now in the company of my relatives, their hospitality has been astounding, and I am truly revelling in the opportunity to catch up on years lost. Distance is a brutal thing when you want to spend time with those you love.

Over the few surrounding days, I have and will be getting used to the time difference; a whole twelve hours marks the difference between here and my beloved England. As well as acclimatising to the return of Spring. However, it is the Season of the Games, and though somewhat archaic, it is almost a religion in this part of the world, where nations fight against each other for the title of world champion.

It is nothing like I expected, it is far more civilised in some aspects, though their fashion is to be questioned. They seem to place very little social baring on prestige, but rather expect you to prove your worth. Of course I've brought a little intrigue to the city, but only because of the distance travelled, not because of my title. I'm tempted to return to my ploy as I did on the English Coast with the nun and disguise my identity, so as to take part in the frivolities.

There were times on my three day journey when I thought of the White Knight in battle... I passed not so very far from the country he is at war with and I suppose it was only natural that I prayed and hoped to see him again soon... Though with my plans geared towards the Antipodes, it doesn't seem very likely.

But for now I am enjoying the scenery and the company of my family. The country is beautiful and I have never seen flora quite like it. The Games are keeping me entertained and I look forward to having the Gameskeeper and his retinue join me in the next few days!

D. S.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I believe packing may not be my forte. I leave for the Southern hemisphere in less than a day, and I am still flinging my belongings into various cases. One can never be over-prepared, but because I have no idea what to expect, I'm packing for every eventuality. Including those I haven't even thought of yet.

Of course I daren't hope for the sophistication of my gentile Shire, nor the gaudy rambunctiousness of the Northern counties, on this unnamed Island, but I do hope it isn't as backwards as Armiger has made out... My dear fellow has abandoned the Shire days before me, to attend a rather prestigious academy and further his education. However proud I am of him, I was less than impressed when I realised that we had no time to say our farewells because he relocated while I dallied up North.

Ahh, the Northern counties. I have never kept my tongue still for praise of my home for the last three years, but it was truly wonderful to return over the weekend. The Court Jester and I made the journey together, catching up after the Summer months apart, and we joined our Northern friends for wining and dining, and many farewells. It was truly delightful to see Rosinda and Harlequin in the oh-so-familiar city settings, and even more wonderful to see Belle again. I do feel, however, she is terribly jealous that I get to see her beloved Gameskeeper while cavorting abroad, and she still has weeks to wait. I've promised to send her love, and I know that the two of them have been missing each other dreadfully.

So too was I mildly upset not to have the pleasure of the Brewer or musician while I resided up North. They were not at my disposal for the weekend, but between the two of us, Belle and I made many truffles, and I hope they make up for my lack of a 'goodbye'. I know I shall miss them over the coming months.

Home again and even more adieus! My Lords and Ladies gave me their undivided attention last evening and we all gave out more than our fair share of hugs and tears. My paternal Grandparents surfaced from Iberia to say their own goodbyes, with a parting opal necklace that I shall cherish. But now  it has come to my final day, and there is much to do.

Who knows when and where I shall next have the time to write, and in what condition shall my surroundings be? I am not scared, only apprehensive. And I know that whatever challenges arise, I shall meet them head on.

As one great Lady said, au revoir is not forever.

D. S.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I had the pleasure  of the Baroness and Marquessa along with the dearest of Ladies on Tuesday when we took a venture to visit a neighbouring castle.

They cheered me up immensely, and it wasn't long before the five of us were laughing at nothing in particular, each of us ignoring the fact that it would be the last time we were all together until the following year.

The Baroness, in her infinite wisdom, managed to part with a few pearls of her own, letting me know that I wouldn't be forgotten while I was a way, and I had the opportunity to start afresh. Something that I hadn't really considered before.

Of course she is correct, I have never known her to be otherwise, but it is helping me look to my departure with optimism. My mind constantly changes as to whether or not I am making a mistake. I want to see my family, my Nana, for it has been far too long, but will I ever return to my darling Shire?

I have scorned the countryside from whence I came in comparison to the livelier Northern cities that I have grown to love, but it is home. Even the most perpetual of characters are endearing, the Peacock gentleman making yet another appearance in my life, and even more remarkable an absence of note from the White Knight.

I haven't a clue what to expect on my journey afar, I only know that I have yet more goodbyes to say with my brief return to the North tomorrow, and I pray I find the courage to make the leap and leave with a smile on my face.

I cannot wait to see the Gameskeeper abroad; I know he will put a stop to any discouragements I voice, and Belle will no doubt have some token of her affection for me to take to her beloved.

To think I was enamoured with the Head Architect this time last year, how times have changed. I hope I do my parents proud on the other side of the world.

D. S.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The heart knows no pain like an unrequited love... Something I know only too well after my ever dwindling relationship with the musician. It is a quote I hear oft spoken by the Baroness, whose feelings about unrequited love bring a tear to her blue eyes, and cause her to choke back her own heart break.

Fortunately, I have a heart of stone, and though I sometimes beg to differ with my emotional attachments, I know too well that love is not something I have dabbled with too deeply. Or at least I hope that my unrequited feelings are not all that I'll ever know.

Unsurprisingly, I have not turned over a new leaf, and the last few days have continued with the summer haze of champagne, friends and dancing. I'm making the most of my time here in the Shire before my hasty departure to a foreign land. It saddens me to think of all that I'll be leaving behind, but it truly does feel like the beginning of an adventure! And maybe, in this unnamed land I'll find the love that I crave!

My quarrel with the priest has made me think more about my actions; I rarely consider the consequences but as long as I and my friends are happy I see no harm in a bit of raucous debauchery! The lack of my presence at the Church has been noted, but I have made acceptable excuses (I think) for now, and besides, there is only one Sunday left between now and my departure date!

I am planning to visit the Court Jester in the North before I leave. I don't think I could ever forgive myself if anything happened on my journey and I wasn't able to say goodbye or express my gratitude for his friendship. No doubt I will see Belle on my return, though I'll try and keep it a surprise until then, and maybe even Lady Lina and the Brewer!

The Gameskeeper, on the other hand, has proceeded to this unnamed country before me, but I know that we shall meet in due course. I look forward to it greatly, and to see my Aunts and Uncles and indeed, my Nana.

Until then I have to start thinking about packing and what is necessary on such a long trip. Apparently by travelling to the Southern hemisphere I am going back to Summer so shall not need coats or scarves. I do hope nothing unsavoury occurs between now and then, though I don't doubt something will arrive!

D. S.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Maybe a confession wasn't the wisest of decisions, but with hindsight I can lament the misdemeanor.

The priest, though it is a title he does not deserve, has scorned me in public, ruining my reputation and forsaking his own promises to God by breaking the seal of confession. I told him all the usual sins and, in a roundabout way, my slightly more deplorable transgressions, though in no detail, and he dared to oust me from the confessional and make an example of me! I was furious and humiliated, but I refuse to let a petty priest have that sort of effect on my life. I shall no longer attend Mass where he preaches and I look forward to my Southern hemisphere travels that will take me far away from his hypocrisy.

I don't even have the time to dwell on the priest for this week has been ever so hectic; I am trying to fit in various visits with all my wonderful friends before I leave for my Grande Tour.

The Duchess of Tuthershire welcomed me to her home with open arms and I cannot fault her hospitality. It was delightful to see her in her natural habitat surrounded by friends and family, and it truly cheered my heart to catch up after so many months.

Another Northern lovely that I managed to coax South was the ever exquisite Belle who was horrified at the prospect of me leaving without saying a proper farewell. I don't think it had entirely sunk in that I really have left the North. The last three years have been incredible and it pains me, knowing that I am not going to be returning any time soon.

Before I get too nostalgic and wander off into the land of dreams, I have to mention the secret suitor, the White Knight, that Mother had kept hidden from me these past few weeks...

I have finally had the pleasure of his company; conversing that soon led to kissing. But alas, the White Knight is true to his name and shall be leaving for battle, far too soon for me to even comprehend what could have been. So as I begin to organise my belongings for my own journey, I think about the different paths each and every one of us takes every day without even realising. It had never before occurred to me to live or travel abroad, but here I am, arrangements have been made, and only two weeks until I depart!

D. S.