Saturday, December 28, 2013

I do hope everyone had the most wonderful Christmas tidings and was thoroughly spoilt, guzzling on delicious eats and drinking to excess, for how else is Christmas to be spent?

My family and I celebrated accordingly and we were graced with the presence of the charmingly handsome Duke of Albany, who followed me from the mountains of Bohemia to the humble hills of the Shire. He has been most gracious and has enraptured my ladies of the Shire as well as my parents. The grin that adorns my lips has barely been absent as the Duke becomes an easy piece to fit into the jigsaw of my life. 

Plans are being made for the future... Travel is still at the forefront of my mind, but I am doing my utmost to convince the Duke that he wants to go on a Grande Tour with me. I know I am asking a lot, to leave his home in Bohemia for a few weeks over Christmas is nothing in comparison to an invitation for a year of journeying the world, but there is no one I'd rather go anywhere with.

I look forward to our return to Bohemia and gazing upon the painting in all its glory. The Duke and I have decided to throw a party in honour of the artist, though no doubt she will be less than grateful. But before we journey home in a week, we have to travel to the Northern counties and welcome in the new year with Belle and the Lady of Corcaigh. Only a few days separate me from my most beloved friends and I cannot wait to drink champagne and celebrate.

D. S.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I'm home. The Shire beckoned and I cannot ignore the familiar sound of my name as I am called to partake in the Christmas festivities. However, this time I do not return alone. 

The Duke of Albany has kept his word and spent the last two days journeying with me back to the land that I call my home. We squabbled like children over the most trivial decisions and I do think it's because we are both slightly nervous about how he will be received. He is a legend in his own right as the grandchild of Bohemia, but in the Shire we care less about your position and more about your heart and soul.

We left Bohemia in the most traditional of manners, following ancient protocol, only after we'd delivered the painting the Duke had commissioned of myself to his private chambers. He claims the likeness is uncanny, and I have to admit the artist is far better than her reputation give her credit, though her attitude is still somewhat to be desired. 

Aphrodite incarnate. It is a play on the Duke's carnal appetite towards me and though I blush at my state of undress in the painting, I cannot help but be a little proud of the work of art.

The Duke and I have been holed up for long enough, and today we shall arrive as is proper, receiving a welcome fit for the Dukes and Duchesses we are. Of course my mother shall be there, and I am interested to know how she shall react to the Duke... He can be charming but I do hope he doesn't antagonise her! 

I shall let you know how the whole event fares, but wish me luck, a foreign Duke is making his home in the Shire.

D. S.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What a weekend. Already three days have past and I am no closer to that elusive recovery, and I have a very particular lady to blame for that matter. However, because she provided me with more entertainment than usual, she shall be forgiven. Also, we were celebrating her birthday and it's only fair to be a little exuberant when the occasion calls for it.

I look forward to continuing these raucous celebrations well into the new year.

Despite my nonchalant response to the weekend's behaviour, I managed to get chastised for over exerting myself by none other than the artist! (No doubt some of you assumed the Duke would have been the one to scold me, but he allows me the freedom to act as I please, which is greatly appreciated). This artist, on the other hand, and I have been at odds since our first meeting and she reprimanded me for wasting her time as I was 'looking less than perfect' because of the previous evening's intoxication. This apparently meant she couldn't paint me. At least not that day.

So I was left to my own devices, in a state rather worse for wear, to wait on a lowly artist! I penned a rather scathing letter to the Duke of Albany, but thankfully saw the good sense not to send it straight away. It actually helped just to write down how I felt.

The artist and I have had two more sittings since then, where I have met her ridiculously high standards and I have to admit I am pleased with how the Aphrodite is looking. It doesn't feel like me, but rather as if I am seeing the birth of a goddess.

We only have two days left to finish the painting before the Duke and I journey to the Shire for the Christmas festivities. Winter has well and truly set into Bohemia's roots as everywhere I see people bundled up in their furs, but letters from home dictate a much warmer clime, even for this time of year. 

I have to admit I am rather anxious about the Duke meeting my entire family. Not since the farce of the blonde Esquire has a suitor met my parents, especially someone that they hadn't already chosen for me! The Duke is his usual reproachable self, and I wonder if I should worry more, but deep down I know he will delight them and have to fend himself against my Mother's hints of marriage!

Oh how I long for the Shire, and to celebrate new beginnings with Belle, the Irish Lady of Corcaigh and the Duke of Albany. Truly I couldn't imagine seeing in the new year without them at my side.

D. S.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

To accept the offer of having a painting commissioned of myself for another is no small thing. I know it will be of much talk once it is revealed, especially as it has been decided that we shall honour the gods of the Ancient realms, and I only pray that I can do justice to the beauty of Aphrodite. The artist must have a talent greater than the looks I have been blessed with so as not to anger nor misrepresent in any way.

The Duke has left me in the artist's capable hands, but I have to admit I was more than surprised when I first laid eyes on the creative candidate. The Duke of Albany failed to mention that the artist is no man, but rather a woman of great beauty in her own right ~ no wonder she pays such care and consideration to the female form. I am glad that I saw some of her work before it was revealed that she was a woman. I have heard of no respectable lady having the fortune to be blessed with the talent of more than a hand for drawing, but the Duke assured me that we do not swim in the same circles. What he meant by that, I cannot even begin to fathom.

The artist was dressed most modestly and I felt like a peacock on display as I waited for her arrival in all my finery. She paid no heed to the jewels that adorned my throat, and she meticulously pulled the rings off my fingers, the precious gems glinting in the winter sunlight, but even they could not catch her attention. It wasn't until I stood there in front of her in nothing but the body that God has blessed me with that she began to show any interest in me at all.

She walked around me, feeling the contours of my body, and I shivered beneath her touch, grateful for the roaring fire to keep me warm. She made a few notes and a few pencil sketches while I waited for her to finish her appraisal. Never have I felt so naked before another human being, not even after the scandal in Iberia, and I know that sounds silly, but the artist scrutinized me with an eye for detail that I could not ignore. 

Not many words were shared between the two of us and it is not often that I find myself speechless. I wonder what the relationship is between the Duke of Albany and this artist, how did they meet, where did she come from, what is her story? I shall have to interrogate him when I next lay eyes on him. 

I now have a weekend in the City of a Hundred Spires to look forward to before the artist and I meet again for our first sitting. We have a busy week ahead of us as the Duke and I continue to make arrangements for the Christmas tidings. Belle has invited us to her abode in the Northern Counties to see in the New Year, and I heard the wondrous news that the Irish lady of Corcaigh shall also be joining us. 

How much can change in a year. As always I get a little pensive over the winter months, but truly I am content. Even though this artist is a little disconcerting...

D. S.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Aphrodite. I taste the name on my lips. The Greek goddess of love and beauty. I know I should be more than flattered at the insinuations the Duke of Albany is making, and I am the first to thank him for his kind gesture

But the thought of having a painting of myself in the flesh, in the nothing but the flesh, makes the colour in my cheeks rise and I worry about the effect it will have on my reputation. If the Duke of Albany, this grandchild of Bohemia, heard about me across the Continent, what would be said if I were to accept his offer and drop my clothes to be painted in all my naked glory?

He is bold with his movements and has not let the matter rest since he arrived not two days ago. I adore his firm touch; tilting my head and arching my back as he whispers my name in my ear, but he presses me for an answer when I have not yet decided. 


Decisions are not my forte and that is hardly the first time I have said that. I have not been coerced to make my choice before I was ready, but rather the Duke showed me some of the artist's work. He is truly talented, and he shows great love for the female form. The Duke and I have discussed what is appropriate attire for a woman of my stature, and he assures me that I may wear as many or as few garments as I please. 

The commissioning of the painting will only begin once the artist and I have met and considered at length what my stance shall be, what backdrop I want behind me and what I want to represent in this painting. I have to admit that now I have accepted the Duke's offer I am rather excited at the prospect. Of course I shall have a few of my handmaids with me for propriety's sake, but should the Duke care to observe one of the sittings, it cannot be faulted to have just the one other presence, can it?

I have thanked the Duke in the only way I know how, and though he was due to leave this evening, it seems he longs to appreciate my gratitude for a while longer. This is not a decision I believe I'll regret. 

D. S.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I suppose I should be flattered, but the Duke of Albany's latest ruse has somewhat perplexed me, and I do find it rather bothersome to be perplexed by a man. It is nothing so sordid as others have asked, indeed it is something entirely different and because of this I am unsure as to what is the appropriate response. 

The Duke and I are so wonderful at sending letters to each other when we are not in the company of one another. Reams of poignant thought, speckled with caring words that are often plunged into the depths of a heart that is as twisted and confused as my own, litter pages while we wait for our next rendez vous. It was one such letter that gave voice to an idea of the Duke's; he wants to commission a painting of myself.

According to his letter, it would give him the utmost pleasure and delight to have a deity painted in my likeness to grace his walls. He knows just the painter, an artist of magnificent talent who would be more than willing to paint me, if I would be so kind as to sit for a few hours a day and become immortalised as a great work of art.

I cannot deny the blush that spread to my cheeks as I reread the Duke's letter. I don't know of a single painting of any deities that are even remotely clothed. I do not have to answer his question via letter as he longs to feel my touch and gaze upon my greatness for himself, so he shall arrive post haste. But he implores me not to disregard his wish, and promises that it shall be in the utmost taste. 

Flattered I am, but dubious too... It is far too convenient for this to be a passing fancy of the Duke's and I'd like to know more about this artist (I'd hate to become a laughing stock in Bohemia). I do not know what I shall say yet, but when I have the chance to look the Duke of Albany in his searching blue eyes, I know I shall find my answer.

D. S.

Friday, November 29, 2013

As December draws nearer I cannot help but recall the past year and what a change it has meant for me. A year ago I was living with the Duke of the Shire's sister and we were partying the nights away as if there were no tomorrow. It was oh so frivolous compared to the life I am leading now, however I have those memories that I will always look back on fondly. There was never a dull moment with the Duke's sister.

Now I am worlds apart in Bohemia, not completely alone, but certainly not the centre of attention in a tizzy of soirées as before. I had both the White Knight and the blonde Esquire at my beck and call, whereas now I am completely independent, only indulging my sexual appetite with the Duke of Albany. I spent long enough in the cloisters of the Convent over the summer that I think it is only fair to make the most of the winter months, wrapped up in furs and listening to the fires roar and crackle while we... Well, I'll leave that much to your imagination. 

I have finally asked the Duke if he would join me in the Shire over the Christmas tidings and he has accepted my invitation. I have had to write to my mother and let her know there shall be company for the festivities, but because it is a man of nobility my mother will have already started planning the wedding in her head. Poor Albany does not know what he has got himself into. 

It is sometimes unnerving to think that I met the Duke so many months ago without realising it was him. Those piercing blue eyes have a way of hypnotising me and often I think I'm sparring with the lowly messenger rather than the grandchild of Bohemia (his words, not mine).

Life is currently everything I could ask for; I have the time to write and have accomplished so much in the last thirty days, as well as having the Duke to converse with while we concentrate on fulfilling dreams I didn't even know I had. The Shire calls as Christmas should be spent with friends and family, but Bohemia is the perfect surrogate home. 

D. S.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

As I open my eyes with the winter sun streaming on to my face, I can't help but blink at the sunshine as I recall the despicable acts I was party to this time last week. How I wish it were possible to click my fingers and have my body worshipped once again and twisted into almost unimaginable positions, but it seems the Duke of Albany has other ideas. 

The week has been rather uneventful; snow has fallen atop the mountains and predictions have been made for the first snows in the cities over the next couple of days. The Duke and I have corresponded every day, and it is not all rainbows and sunshine. We discuss education and the welfare of the masses and how our two different countries choose to look after their own. 

He is rather old fashioned in the sense that women in Bohemia are only educated as far as it is deemed necessary to find a husband (or so the men think). But since I have cavorted again with the Sapphic delight from earlier this month and we conversed as well as feasted on each other, I have learnt that women in Bohemia are seriously undervalued. Not only do they run households far larger than I could even conceive, farm land and tithes and serfs are considered a part of a woman's repertoire. Men it seems do all the talking, but are incapable of getting their hands dirty.

Though of course the Duke of Albany refutes this position, and he even teased the notion that I was corrupting the fine young women of Bohemia with my modern views. It is true that I have been ever so fortunate to travel the world with only a small retinue of handmaids and chaperones. I cannot think of another woman who has done so, where as men are able to take a Grande Tour at their leisure, and nobody thinks anything of it.

I have four weeks in Bohemia until I return to the Shire for the Christmas tidings. I have hinted to the Duke that he would be most welcome to visit, but I do not want to give any indications that our lust affair is anything more than that. God forbid notions of love bury their way into our passionate embraces!

I look unruly as I stare at my reflection in the mirror. My hair is dishevelled and I need sleep; last night I found it difficult to fall into slumber as my brain played around with the words I have written for myself. Sleep is not what I crave, but as the Duke has once again disappeared, I turn to my musings and continue to write


D. S.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How can I describe the weekend I've had to bid a sad farewell to? More than fond memories of pleasures and pains are brought to my attention as my body aches with every step,  muscles having been stretched into familiar and oh-so-missed positions. It had been far too long; I do not negate the touch of a woman, she was everything I longed for then... This weekend however I was ravished by a man, and sometimes there is nothing like it. 

I daren't divulge any more of my licentious weekend  (though I fear I may have already said too much) but shall give a necessary insight to my less physical lifestyle choices. 

My writing has once again become the forefront of all my decisions. I write every day (when not consumed by passion) and I long to have my words published; if only I had the stamina and determination to finish something! 

So I write, more than little fancies and musings and diary entries. I write stories, praying if only one person ever reads them, they shall bring a short window of happiness. More selfishly I hope to one day read them to my children. It is impossible to think of my future without children, I spend my days with the future of Bohemia (when not in the Duke's company) and I long to have children of my own. One day, not yet. 

The winter nights lengthen and we've been shrouded in a dense fog for over a week now. Snow is on the tips of everyone's tongues as we count down the days, watching as the mountains seem to have topped themselves with a soft sprinkling. 

The markets are delicious with the smells of cinnamon and spices permeating from the town centre, they are most delightful. I am ever so happy here but I know I shall journey to spend Christmas in the Shire with my lords and ladies. The Duke has intimated his desire to follow me to my home, wanting to broaden his horizons. I have not yet offered a formal invitation but I do so want him to accompany me... I shall have to see what Jeeves has to say about the matter. 


D. S.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

To think ten days have passed since I last married quill, ink and parchment to declare the troubled thoughts in my head. I have been silent only because I have been enraptured by life, caught in its clasp and have not yet tried to fight against the inevitability. 

I am still ensnared, but while the body next to me breathes softly in their sleep, I am free to write and to give you a brief encounter of what has occurred.

The Duke of Albany and I have fought. And forgiven. And argued. And apologised. And screamed profanities to enrage the other, while letting the words melt away and making up most vehemently. It is exhausting spending time with him as I can never fathom what mood shall take him, yet the moments when I am in the presence of someone calm and predictable I long for the Duke's outbursts.

He has devised many reasons for us to spend more time together, and Jeeves has sanctioned to be a part of it no more. He claims he cannot watch over me for with every second I spend with the Duke I dangle deliriously close to a breach of fraternising, that Jeeves doesn't wish to be a party to. Of course I allowed Jeeves the freedom to disappear expertly when the time called, and the Duke has many excuses for us to spend time together.

It does continue to surprise me that the Duke knows my past almost better than I do; I had no idea my reputation had spanned an entire Continent (even the incidents in Iberia, and with the brunette) and for purely physical reasons I understand why the Duke seems infatuated with me. 

I don't know whether Jeeves knew what the Duke had planned or not, but it was a timely exit for his chaperoning, as the Duke presented me with a choice. The deviant games we play should not be made public, I know that much - for how else does a reputation travel so fast? But I cannot keep my pleasure to myself. It should be for the world to share.

We were lounging in his library, comparing ideas about the recklessness of Fanny Hill when the Duke mentioned his intrigue about Sapphic love. At first I rolled my eyes, for what man does not want more than he can handle, but as I tried to explain the love between two women, the Duke clicked his fingers and proudly presented me with a carnal delight of the female flesh. 

So beautiful she stood, fair hair tumbling to her waist, a simple cloak covering her desirable figure. I unknowingly licked my lips as I stared, not able to comprehend what it was the Duke was asking. He whispered in the woman's ear words that I could not hear, and she smiled, stepping forward and reaching for my hand, the cloak falling from her bare shoulders. 

Names were one of the few things not exchanged as the heat of the room made us forget any principles and we feasted on the electrifying lust between us. The Duke, ever the gentleman, left at some point, for I never felt his hands upon my body, and I have to admit I was rather preoccupied with the svelte figure wrapped around me to notice much more. She still lies in the bed next to me, and it has been more than three days since the Duke left me to my Sapphic tendencies. 

I'm sure a game is being played, and I'm sure I shall lose out in the end, but hedonism is living for the moment, and who am I to refuse the beauty of another woman? She awakes... I shall have to disappear again, for how long I do not know, nor care. I only wonder when the Duke shall return to claim what is his...


D. S.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Before I twitter on about the latest occurrences in my life, it has come to my attention that the Shire is taking part in some lurid competition with the rest of England to portray the smuttiest inhabitants! I have no want nor need to know any more, but there is a tinkling of interest to find out whether or not anyone I know shall take part... Yes, I can admit here that I am a little disappointed (which is too strong a word) to have vacated the area in time, but no doubt it is for the best. That sort of pressure never works well with the messes I get myself into!

Bohemia is far from experiencing the same sort of sordid escapades that I revelled in during my time in the Shire; I am enjoying the time to relax and learn of cultures different to my own, and it is most pleasurable to now have someone to show me everything before me that I did not see.

The 'most courteous servant' has dropped the act at long last and rightfully acknowledged his ancestry and graciously whispered his name, 'the Duke of Albany' in my ear. I dare not mention the tingles that crept up my spine as I felt his breath on my neck, but though it seemed his intentions were obvious, a volatile friendship has arisen. 

I am doing my utmost to smother the regret that I can taste, because while I do value the Duke's friendship, his arrogance is sickening, his intelligence is frustrating and his knowledge of me is slightly disconcerting. We fight every other time we meet, Jeeves accompanying me on every occasion, and yet on days when I am escorted by some other member of the Bohemian court I cannot help but long for the Duke's patronising comments. God forbid he ever finds out; I would never hear the end of it!

Prague again for the weekend as the nights draw colder and winter whistles at our heels. I know the Duke of Albany shall be there. And I hate that this excites me somewhat.

D. S.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What a fool I was to think I could figure out a man who let my mind wander into the land of gullibility with such ease. 

Ah, the ball. It was a delight; everything I could have imagined had I dared, and so much more than had ever crossed my mind before. The scurrilous and wily messenger laughed at my perplexed expression for some time as it took me longer than I care to admit to realise he had no master, nor was he some lowly messenger. 

As he held my waist and we danced to the vibrant sound of a string quartet I floundered most ungracefully for words to admonish the man before me. I fought my conscience against apologising for my behaviour as I couldn't believe I'd been hoodwinked so obviously. Now that I thought about it, it vexed me somewhat to think I'd been such a fool, especially in regards to my replies

Soon after several dances without uttering a word, the messenger, or indeed my most courteous servant, (whom Jeeves was abashed to admit he'd thought they were one and the same) took my hand and led me round his gardens, talking of the beauty of Bohemia, but divulging nothing more about the letter's of the last month.

I do have to admit I too was rather at a loss for words. I wanted to know more about this Bohemian grandchild, yet I could not declare my ignorance without exacerbating my foolhardy behaviour. And there was something about his blue eyes that made me wither inside, as if I were victim of more than just a misunderstanding or a hoax. It was as if he was biding his time to tell me a deep, dark secret that he'd been living with his whole life.

Honestly, the entire escapade was exhausting, yet despite my errors I relished the entertainment and the laughing and cajoling from the lords and ladies of Bohemia. Certainly, some things are as pleasurable in any country and I felt quite at home by the end of the night.

We hunted together the following day. The forests already turning an embarrassed shade of amber, and here I waited expectantly for the secrets to be divulged. Unfortunately, no such luck. His blue eyes tease me, and I am never relaxed in his company, but if he does not attend a ball or a hunt, I enjoy myself less! I do not understand what has happened. I am confused and wait impatiently to find out more.

D. S.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I feel the need to recap everything that has occurred since I travelled across the Continent to start a new life in Bohemia. There is much to tell since I last wrote, but I want to be clear that I had no control over the latest developments; it was as if my fate had already been decided. 

Six weeks prior to this date I was harassed by an unruly messenger who made it his mission in life to create the most awkward of situations betweens us, all the while promoting his master's intentions to meet with me. I'm sure it will come of no surprise to hear that I acted somewhat discourteously despite my intrigue, and my responses held thinly veiled threats. But the day came when I was unceremoniously summoned to meet the author of the indigestible letters and this is where my courage has faltered somewhat and I have been wrestling with what to write ever since. 

The evening darkened as the October sun dipped behind the castle and still I was pacing the floor of my humble abode. I had heard nothing to confirm the appearance of the messenger who had been a thorn in my side for the last month, but I would not and could not believe it had all been a hoax. It was at this moment, as I raised my voice to summon Jeeves to remove me from my tower of humiliation that I heard an overzealous fanfare in the distance.

Before I even had the time to argue, a retinue of handmaids and footmen bundled into my chambers and collected various hats, dresses, gloves and shoes. Quite taken aback, and looking earnestly for the familiar face of the messenger, I gave permission for the strangers to take me as their hostage, nay, guest, as was expected. I never had the chance to put up a fight, though I did request for the company of Jeeves in my carriage.

We pulled up to this gorgeous palace in what felt like no time at all, and I was quickly bustled into my own private chambers. My clothes were already hanging in various closets, waiting expectantly, each vying for my attention, and at last I was alone. There was a single letter folded on the chair in the room, the seal easily recognisable as my 'most courteous servant's'. Despite the adrenaline coursing through my body I remained calm, sliding a fingernail underneath the blood red wax and read what I hoped would be an explanation. 

I had no idea how to respond and fortunately I had little time to dwell on the letter as a handmaid soon returned, and with a a little bob of a curtsey she helped choose me a dress of green muslin and pink lace; an acknowledgement to the summer just gone.

Even through the corridors that I had to traipse to make my way to the ballroom I could hear the agreeable laughter of firm friends. I was nervous; for once I would be the outsider, and completely caught off guard. My steps slowed the louder the raucous ballroom became, and I knew I could outrun the slight handmaid if I needed to. Jeeves was no where to be found, but I was duly informed he was waiting for me in the ballroom.

Though I hate to admit it, I was relieved when I saw the messenger lurking in the corridor ahead of me. I would recognise him anywhere after the few incidents that we'd shared. I wished I had asked him more questions about his master, or indeed given myself more preparation time before throwing myself head first into this social gathering. The messenger turned to leave through another door, but gave me a reassuring wink as he left me once again to my own devices. 

The handmaid had slowed to a halt, explaining that she was unable to enter the ballroom with me, but through the door I would arrive at the top of some stairs and a herald would announce my arrival. I felt like one of those princesses I had read about as a child, but rather than excited to meet prince charming, I was nervous.

As the doors opened and I heard my name read out to the throngs of people below, I scanned the room for Jeeves and the messenger, the only two people I had as allies in the roomful of strangers. I wondered who it was I was supposed to meet and hoped he would not leave me to flounder for too long. Step by step I lowered myself to the spider's nest, and noted the beautiful drapes and delightful chandeliers that lit up the room. 

I blame my inability to guess what would happen next on the intoxication of my surroundings. I'm sure by now it might be possible for you to imagine who it was who had personally been sending me the letters, but I was enraptured with the situation and completely put at ease by my Bohemian courtiers. I had enjoyed several dances with both ladies and gentlemen, and laughed gallantly at our miscommunication due to the difficulty in language, but when I felt a calloused hand on my shoulder, I too sensed that the answer to my impending question was near. 

The messenger's blue eyes met mine with a grin, and he bowed sarcastically as my mouth formed an astonished 'O'. We danced without uttering a single word, neither of us wanting to admit the emotions hidden beneath our conventional façades. 

D. S.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The weekend is nigh and I have but a few hours to make my decision. All week I have been fretting about what course of action to take, and as the sunrise draws nearer I am still no closer to making a decision.

Secretly I long to meet this courtier, I want to know exactly who I am dealing with, but I feel that not only does he have the upper hand, but the whole body and soul to his advantage. No doubt it shall be the messenger who will single-handedly deliver me to this 'most courteous servant' and I dread the smirk that shall sit amongst his stubbled chin as I am carted like a peasant through the realm of Bohemia.

I am never summoned. I am invited (and I know the catalyst to this whole fiasco was an invitation) but my hand is never forced to make a decision. I am a Duchess and I do not care for some foreign courtier to treat me like anything lesser. This is my main argument against appearing later today. It is all very romantic to be whisked away by an anonymous suitor if that is what you want. To be ordered around after insults that I refuse to repeat is not only beneath me as a Duchess, but beneath any woman. It is my pride that I am finding more difficult to quell than my curiosity...


I packed a suitcase and was prepared to leave. But now it seems I keep finding excuses to stay. My servants have asked what time will the messenger be arriving to take me to the Ball, and Jeeves has questioned whether or not I will be returning home this weekend (and even more quietly he whispered if I wanted accompanying).

Butterflies are making appearances in my stomach and I cannot for the life of me keep still and concentrate on anything else. I feel foolhardy and naive, I have no expectations, yet I do keep rehearsing an indignant speech in my head. The messenger should arrive this evening, so I have nothing more to do than wait.

A lack of patience is another one of my flaws to add to the list.

D. S.

Monday, October 07, 2013

I have not known what to write after I opened the second letter from my 'most courteous servant'. It was nothing so shocking that my speech was lost, but rather it was diminished to a humbled whisper and I needed the time to think of an eloquent response before throwing myself into an egotistical tirade (which we all know I am prone to do).

This is not the first time I have been pursued by an anonymous stranger, (already the ego appears) and I know my reputation often precedes me, so this contact shouldn't be of any surprise. Nevertheless, as far as I am aware, this 'most courteous servant' knows more about me than I thought possible; especially as he resides here in deepest Bohemia. I dread to think how my reputation has scaled an entire continent!

It worries me slightly that he seems to have the entire measure of me, whereas I know nothing, save that he employs rather unrefined characters to deliver his messages. His latest letter left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth:

I'm sure there is a polite way to refuse attending a ball in my honour, but I am torn between disappearing for the weekend (which is only four days away now!) or doing as I'm told ~ but only because my curiosity will no doubt get the better of me. Being overtly polite to someone who has openly called me 'condescending' is not something I can handle. There is no being 'the bigger person' when I may as well give this gentleman his dues and act accordingly. If that's what he wants and who he is expecting, then who am I to deny him? Especially as I am so generous.

Sarcasm is my only saving grace against an egotistical tirade, and I know I am still not doing myself any justice by proving my flaws. I know my flaws. I do not need them pointed out to me by a man I have never met. There is hardly any time to pen a reply to his letter. So I shall just wait for the weekend and make a spur of the moment decision. 

D. S.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A fortnight is completely unacceptable to wait for a repose from a gentleman. I had originally decided to write another letter admonishing the 'most courteous servant' (what a farce) for his behaviour. But no sooner had I wet the tip of my quill did I hear a commotion in the courtyard. Not only was it my duty to get involved and make sure no harm came to my household, my curiosity is not something I find easy to quell.

Rushing down the stairs to the unexpected turbulence I was thrust into the arms of none other than the unruly messenger who had delivered the principal letter all those weeks ago. I couldn't quite believe my misfortune and I was not held in his arms for long before pulling myself away. Affronted, I demanded to know what was his purpose in disturbing my home, and I dared to say that it was not the first time he showed a lack of etiquette in my presence, nor would it happen a third time.

When the messenger did nought but grin and bow sarcastically, I stormed away from the courtyard, content in the knowledge that my household were safe. They had witnessed the entire event most silently, and I could only imagine what would be whispered in the kitchens. The messenger on the other hand did not take the hint of my absence and followed me through the corridors. He did not even call my name nor ask me to stop before he grabbed my wrist. 

Only at the contact of skin on skin did he refer to me properly as 'Your Grace' and I felt him slip a parchment from the inside of his coat in between my fingers. I turned, words had left my tongue and I looked at the messenger intently for the first time. He had dark sandy hair and blue eyes that made no apologies for his actions, a slight stubble engulfed his chin and he was taller than me, but not by much. It took me a moment to realise the messenger was studying my face as intently and I was perturbed by his confidence.

I asked him to explain himself, to which the reply was 'my lord gave me strict instructions to deliver this letter to your hands personally.'

Thankfully he wasn't quite rude enough to shrug, but the glint in his eyes told me to question no further. He bowed appropriately and left me with the belated response. His touch still resonating on my fingers, the warmth of his chest still enveloping the letter. 

D. S.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There is nothing so frustrating as waiting for someone else. Whether it be a rendez vous, a soirée or even a humble acknowledgement of a letter so keenly sent, there is nothing that irks me more than waiting for someone else to consider deigning me with their time and effort.

I am still waiting for my 'most courteous servant' to respond to my letter appertaining to his invitation. Patience is not a virtue that I spent cultivating while in the Convent. Belle has patience galore and I marvel at her ability to wait, to not mind the time that passes, but I'd much prefer to have a more direct approach. In fact I don't appreciate the anonymity that has been veiled from me. I have an idea as to whom the invitee may be but I have no grounds for any of my thoughts.

Oh, I forget that in my waiting I have not even described the stance I chose when developing my own riposte. It was majestic;

But alack and alas, said courtier has stayed as elusive as before, nor have I even had the displeasure of his unruly messenger. I don't know how long I am expected to wait, but I shall not sit idly twiddling my thumbs.

I manage to keep myself busy wandering the streets of the City of a Hundred Spires. This country has so much history and knowledge that I was and still am completely ignorant of. I long to know more, but the language barrier is difficult and I am studying to become more coherent and understood to those that have their lives here. I enjoy the quiet and the opportunity to contemplate on all that has happened and all that has yet to happen.

But my fatigue increases as time passes with no response from this less than courteous servant.

D. S.