Monday, March 30, 2015

Where to begin?

Over a week has passed, or rather vanished, and I'm now at home, looking out of my South Wing bedroom window at the Shire in all of its springtime glory. 

The last time I wrote, everything was rather up in the air about my future... The Duke and I had no plans past the summer and I didn't' even know if I'd be in the northern counties for the weeks to come. 

Again, I do not have all the answers, but as the future has arrived, as it were, I can describe what has happened and what I believe may happen in the next few days. After that, it's still as murky as ever. 

I had the the delight of the Gameskeeper over the weekend, we were celebrating another year of his life and considering we hadn't seen each other in over two years(!) it was wonderful to see his face... Right before he passed out. But the chances are that I'll have the opportunity to see him a little more often now that I am being moved... 

Yes. I wanted to travel and it seems that my prayers have been answered. As far North as I am, there is still more countryside that I haven't yet laid eyes on, and I am being sent to Dearne Valley to learn their ways. Truly, this year has been very educational!

I have a fortnight before I have to travel into the unknown, so have chosen to reside in my Shire for a few days before heading South to Brighthelmstone. The entire length of this great nation is at my disposal, but I do feel it may exhaust me. I suppose I could utter the fateful words 'be careful what you wish for', but that would sound as if I am ungrateful for these opportunities, and that wouldn't be true. I love that I get to see new places, meet new friends and discover more about a country I do take for granted. I'm also enjoying being home and seeing my Father and my Ladies of the Shire. In actual fact, I suppose I have much to be thankful for. 

It does mean that the Duke and I have a few months of separation ahead of us, but it is not the same great distance that we have overcome before, and I believe that absence does make the heart grow fonder. He has been more than supportive, and I look forward to him joining me in a few days...

Until then, I shall make myself useful before another journey even further South tomorrow. 

D. S.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm scared to write down what I believe may happen in the future in case I am cursed and the path I hope to walk down is blocked to me because I have uttered it aloud. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened, though I do not want to sound superstitious. To give voice to my future seems futile; as I have previously stated, only one thing is certain ~ change

So instead of speculating and umming and ahhing about what may or may not happen, I shall describe purely the facts.

What do I know?

The sun has made an appearance only to be blocked by the moon, an event I never though to witness in my lifetime. It was stunningly exquisite and made me want to weep with love for the world. It also however encouraged my wanderlust... I can only imagine what else is out there that could bring tears to my eyes from sheer beauty, especially that which I have not seen. 

All else I can state as fact is my return to Brighthelmstone in a few weeks. I am looking forward to the opportunity to ingratiate myself back in the genteel lifestyle, and hopefully it will make my future plans a little clearer. 

Indeed, even more so than Brighthelmstone, I am longing for the Shire. 

It doesn't happen often but when it does, the need for my countryside is powerful. I need to see the hills I call home and have a moment to reflect on what I truly want for the future because I'm sure that's one of the reasons why I'm unwilling to commit. Something about the Shire just makes sense, and I feel the need to make it my own, so that I may gain some clarity. 

What do I want? 

If only I could find the words. 

D. S.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Even now I know less than I did before. In an ever-changing world only one thing is certain; change. 

Conversations have flitted around the topic of the Summer between the Duke of Albany and I, and I don't think it is possible for me to show my gratitude as he has been more than understanding and undoubtedly supportive. I do not deserve the love of the Duke, nor to have him pandering to the oscillating whims of the universe. 

Brighthelmstone or the Shire. I believe that my predilection for Brighthelmstone has been noted by all, but whether or not that pleases the world enough to allow me to return there TWICE this year? Would I be so fortunate?

My wanderlust is far from sated at the thought of traversing the length of England, I still need to go further afield. Somewhere as different as the Antipodes where I could meet more people who think and feel the way I do. As delightful as England is, this island seems to breed a sense of superiority and lust for material things. I fall too easily into those types of longings when I am here, not rejoicing in everything else the world has to offer. 

I need to travel. It makes me a better person. 

I forgot to mention what it was like seeing my Mother again after so many months apart. It has been a whirlwind few weeks and it doesn't look to me slowing down any time soon.

She was far happier than I can remember seeing her of late, yet she seemed relatively unchanged. It was wonderful to catch up, surely no one has the pleasure of knowing you like your own Mother? I suppose she didn't help change my mind about travelling as she has called many other places her home since I last saw her. If anything she encouraged me to take the leap...

We shall see. It's the unknown that is most frustrating.

D. S.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Alack and alas, if only I could say what it was that my future holds, but I am just as in the dark as I was last time I wrote

All I can confirm is that I shall spend my Easter break in the Shire, enjoying the Spring festivities with my darling Ladies of the Shire... Before spending a fortnight at Brighthelmstone, discovering for myself whether I am up to the challenge of the role that has been designed for me, and giving myself a little more time to make a decision before the Summer is upon us.

The Duke shall accompany me to the Shire, but while I figure out what it is I need to do in Brighthelmstone, he is going to cross the Continent to visit his own family and friends. I think it is best that we have some time apart, only so that we can appreciate each other all the more upon his return. 

I have very little time to get my head around the idea of moving back down South for a few weeks, but it is only temporary... The Shire is always a delight to visit and I cannot wait to frolic with my childhood friends. No doubt there are many scandals and tales afoot that I have mislaid because I am not in close proximity to hear the gossip (nor to create it, thankfully!) so I am most looking forward to catching up with all that I have missed. 

Until that time arises I fully intend to keep my head low and continue with this personal struggle to learn what it is I need to learn to become a Lady-in-Waiting

D. S.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Again. A decision was made only to have it blown in the wind by a gentle breeze, scuppering any chances of stability in my life. 

It had been decided by the gods that I was to return to the Shire for the Summer. I had delighted in the fact that I would be able to return home for a good few months and enjoy a countryside lifestyle that I have missed before having to commit to another year as the perfect role model. But it seems the gods are more fickle than I gave them credit for, and now I have another decision to make. 

Brighthelmstone or...

The Shire.

They are both within my grasp and the opportunities are equally astounding, and I am more than delighted to be considered. However, I shall have to go through the pros and cons of each before I ultimately make my decision. 

Brighthelmstone is closer to my heart as I spent the last two summers there, frolicking on the beaches and making friendships, however I may not necessarily have the Duke with me and there will no doubt be fewer returners than last year and it is an enormous responsibility. 

The Shire is my home. I know the paths like the palm of my hand and I haven't spent more than a few weeks there since the Antipodes. Nevertheless, there are some memories of the Convent that I would rather keep under wraps and I would hate for history to repeat itself...

I have already made a decision in my head, but I sometimes worry that I plunge into new situations without spending the necessary time to consider the consequences (twenty year old me, I'm looking at you!).

Fortunately, I have the luxury of time before giving my answer. 

In other news, I have been joined by my Mother. She has been regaling me with tales of her travels yonder and I have to admit I am more than a little jealous. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was calling another country my home and discovering what it meant to live for myself. It is wonderful to see her, of course, but it is only a fleeting visit as she is soon to return to the Continent to visit her own father. 

It's amazing what we put ourselves through for our family.

I have much to ponder, and value the various opinions flying my way; it is interesting to note that the Duke and my Mother are on the same page for this...

D. S. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

A weekend alone is not quite what I had in mind, however it is a blessing to have a little solitude to get everything in perspective. Why does life have a habit of pulling the rug from under you, without giving so much as a whiff of explanation?

I am well versed in the art of hyperbole, but that doesn't mean the smaller changes don't have a large impact. 

The Summer has been decided and I am to return to the Shire instead of Brighthelmstone, to take a more responsible role as governess, patron? I'm not sure what to call myself other than Duchess. I may be rather unconventional, with my choices of travel and governing and teaching and learning but I wouldn't change my life for anything.

Though the Summer has been put in my diary, the months that succeed it are more than questionable. The Duke and I have continued our conversation and have come the conclusion of 'Que Sera Sera.' Normally I thrive at the unknown, I enjoy spontaneity and recklessness (for want of a better word!) however, I cannot help but feel that I shall miss out on some opportunities if I don't go out and get them!

I'm not even sure what opportunities I am referring to, only that this perpetual state of indecision doesn't agree with me. 

If it were up to me, after my Summer in the Shire, I would call another country my home. Giving my heart to an unfamiliar landscape, discover a culture that I am currently unaware of and learn another language that is foreign to my ear. It is what I have done since leaving the Northern counties the first time round and it seems that old habits die hard.

But not if I have to choose between travelling and the Duke... That is a decision I hope never have to make.

D. S.