The olive-skinned brunette ~ A lover from many months ago at a Manor party who moved to the Antipodes before I did. She re-entered my life with a vigour I couldn't resist but has become a parasite, living off my energy and sapping all my heart has to give.

Belle ~ Her name says it all, though she is so much more than just a beautiful face. An accomplished musician (how I wish could give the musician a run for his money) who has travelled across the water to be with her lover, the Gameskeeper. She is a true delight and I truly value our friendship.

Duchess of Tuthershire ~ An old family friend who has re-entered my life to introduce me to the finer things in life. She has recently married and with it acquired freedom. We mull over the world and talk for hours with a glass of red wine in hand; the past and the future our topics rather than mindless gossip.

The nun ~ The only friend I managed to make while working at the Convent. She is a dear and I enjoyed my visit to see her at the Coast, even though I was most unexpectedly turned into a wet nurse! She has a good heart and I pray she does not regret her decision to leave her child.

Luthien ~ Or is it A. F? Or a reference to IV... I did not know who she is though feel free to peruse if you think you can solve the riddle. Now I know that she is a close friend, a rower and acquaintance of the Coxswain, a talented poet and no doubt much more.

The Coxswain ~ The utmost scandal regarding the Coxswain. She is from a wealthy family and is being forced into an arranged marriage. However, she is already in love with a rower but the only way to spend time with him is to disguise herself as a coxswain. I am proud to be her friend. Her tenacity is something to be admired and I am going to do my best to aid her in her trials. Love is not something that should be forsaken!

Countess of Steel City ~  The wife of the Earl of Steel City is someone that I look up to. She was fair and honest and upfront and I think that with all the rumours and backstabbing and gossiping that occurs in my life, it is safe to say that she was a breath of fresh air!

Rosinda ~ A dear friend and traveller. Not in the gypsy sense but rather she explores the world because she craves knowledge and has her father travel with her. I know that she is still in the New World and that she will be coming home soon. It will be delightful to have another friendly face in the North.

Lady Lina ~ The sweetest of ladies and one of my closest friends up in the North. She knows everything there is to know about everyone and is a delight to spend time with.

The Marquessa and Baroness ~ Two very close friends from the Shire. They are very-well bred, of the utmost class and we are all devoted to them.

D. S.