Thursday, December 29, 2011

New year's resolutions... I suppose I should have a fair few in mind before the end of the month and the end of the year creeps up on me unknowingly.

1. I shall not give my heart away to every man who tells me that he loves me.

2. Never again shall I be manipulated by those with cruel intentions.

3. This year I shall make some progress with the direction I want the rest of my life to go.

4. I shall decide on a county or even a country to live in for more than a year.

5. Labouring shall come to an end in the next year, and governing children shall take over my life... I think.


D. S.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Darlings I did something terribly irresponsible, highly dangerous, and unbelievably breathtaking today...

I jumped off a waterfall into the blue depths beneath, fully clothed on the whim of my darling brunette who has somehow sneaked back into my life. Is she replacing the void that the young Captain has left? I do not know, but I welcomed her back with open arms, and as of yet, I do not think this was a mistake.

The waterfall was a gorgeous colour of blue, the water ice-cold despite the warmth of the sun beating on my bare skin, and only moments later my olive-skinned brunette dove in after me. The more time I spend in the Antipodes the more I fall in love with it, just as the more time I spent with the young Captain, the more I fell in love with him...

Christmas day was spent with family, and eventually we watched the sunset over the sea, which of course reminded me of the young Captain... Again and again I have to remind myself that our relationship is over and though I pine for him daily there is nothing I can do. 

Even the Christmas letterling of good tiding wasn't enough to pacify my longing for him. I want to see him, to hold him, to gain back his trust and call him my own after that flirtatious altercation... Is that really too much to ask for at this time of year?

Apparently so, because I haven't the strength to send him a note asking him how he is... Or rather I haven't the strength to deal with his rejection once again, there are only so many times one can be ignored. The musician proved that often enough.

Do I sound bitter? I don't want to, especially when I've had the most wonderful few days! The brunette is keeping her distance, friendship is all that seems to be on her mind, though I don't completely trust her. But it is good to have her back, she reminds me of the Shire and the Northern counties that I have left behind... Though six months more and I shall once again set foot on English soil. 

I wonder if I will have won my young Captain back by then? Who knows what the New Year will bring...


D. S.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas darlings! Can you believe that this time last year I was tucked up in bed pining for the Duke and wishing you all a wonderful day?

Not much has changed, I still wish you all the best of Christmases, but though my pining for the Duke has subsided, of course there is still a craving for someone I do not have. Are we ever truly satisfied?

This year my heart aches for the young Captain, and though he did not respond to my letterling per se, he did wish me a merry Christmas. I suppose it's that time of year where he wants to leave things admirably, and I'm touched that he included me in his Christmas wishes, but I want more! I always want more...

My hours of labouring have ceased for the Christmas period, but I know that at work every time I looked down the market I expected to see the young Captain walking towards me. I felt a pang in my chest every time I saw someone of the same build and colouring and was disappointed at every turn. 

No one could have predicted that an evening out with my brother, the brunette (who has seemed to have calmed down in her obsession with me) her fiancé and a few other revellers in the city would mean a chance meeting with the young Captain. More than anything I was worried about seeing the Stone Mason who I have been ignoring after choosing the young Captain, especially as he lives on the South Side of the bridge...

However, seeing the Captain for the most fleeting of moments stopped my heart, and I couldn't really enjoy the celebrations of having my brother in the Antipodes. My Father and Brother have now been here for a few days and it is wonderful having everyone together for Christmas, but they brought stories of the Shire and I truly miss the Winter and all my Ladies. 

No fretting. It is Christmas day and the sun is shining! I have all my family with me and though I am not with all those I love I hope they know they are in my thoughts... Especially the young Captain.


D. S.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I have always tried to ignore what other people think of me; for one my reputation has always preceded me, and secondly, if I listened to all the vicious rumours then I would probably find it difficult to get out of bed...

But now, twelve thousand miles away from home I don't have my friends to comfort me when the rumours reach my ears, nor do I have the strength to defend  myself... Especially when half the scandals I hear are true.

The young Captain sent me a brief letterling after four days of silence only to humiliate me further. He said I was an embarrassment; not because of my intoxicated behaviour but more because of my inability to keep my flirtatious charms to a minimum. He didn't know what to expect, but it was certainly not having to vie for my attentions and compete with the other members of his crew. Nor did he count on having to take me home earlier than he would have liked.

I cannot deny any of these occurrences. Flirting to me is has honey to the bee, impossible to have one without the other, but I would have never taken it any further. An affair is not what I am after, I chose this young Captain because I care about him, he was always going to be the man I went home with, regardless of a little harmless flirting.

It is difficult to think about anything else, but I have the perfect distraction because my Father and Brother arrived in the early hours of the morn for a few of the Christmas weeks. I am finding such solitude in my family, but still I wish there was someone to talk to; Belle would understand my dilemma entirely, and the Coxswain would laugh at this Captain's misfortune at misunderstanding me... Surely he cannot expect me to change my entire personality for a relationship that hasn't even started yet?

My Shire darlings would coddle me and make me feel better but I have to stand firm on my own two feet and decide what to do. More decisions. Would I have had this jealousy problem with the Stone Mason? Normally it is I that suffers silent pangs of envy, but I know that wasn't my intention... I thrive on attention, it makes me happy, surely the Captain would want me to be happy? Though when I asked him this he answered, 'am I not enough to make you happy?'

I don't know. Honestly, he does make me happy, but with all the pressure of a relationship, I'm finding the whole concept rather daunting. This really isn't as easy as I thought it was going to be.


D. S.

Friday, December 16, 2011

With hindsight it is easier to laugh at my previous musings. Of course I was never going to change, that was purely wishful thinking.

I have not reneged on my decision to choose the young Captain. I still want him and care for him, but it seems that he has moved on. There is more to it than that, but my cheeks flush with embarrassment at the thought of mentioning my heinous actions at the Rowing Ball he so kindly invited me too.

Many a drink was consumed, which of course should be no excuse, but it meant that I may have exercised my charm and flirtation skills rather emphatically with other members of my Captain's crew. He was less than impressed.

I did nothing truly untoward, only enjoy the company of the strapping young men; each better looking than the one before, and not one of them under twenty-one. The age shouldn't matter, I know this, but my young Captain's age only became more apparent as I talked to the rest of his crew... Just as I know now that I am trying to convince myself I wasn't too badly behaved. 

Unfortunately I have to admit to my mistakes, of which there were many that night. 

The young Captain has taken it upon himself to ignore my many apologies, though I cannot say that I blame him... I wish I could win back his affections, though I know not how!

In the midst of all these emotional turmoil, I had a splendid few days with the Gameskeeper's cousin. We wined,  dined and danced our way through the cream of the Antipodean society and it was wonderful to see a familiar face. But even with all the fun I've been having it has not proved to be a large enough distraction from my blundering ways.

No mistake was made in choosing the young Captain. I know more than ever before that I made the right decision, but I just hope I have not ruined what could have been...


D. S.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Guilt is a strange concept for one who has never thought much of it. Only with him did I ever feel guilty and I did my utmost to refrain from his touch.

Now I have the dilemma of both the new Captain and the Stone Mason, though thankfully they are both single men whom I have the right to flirt with. And I had every intention to give in to their seductions without a second thought... Or so I had been led to believe.

Nay, I have not fallen foul to more despicable lies of secret betrothals, but rather I thought I could cope with having the two suitors at my beck and call. It seems I was wrong.

Though I have known the Stone Mason for longer I feel that the Captain has made more of an impact on my life. I thought his fawning would irritate me but he has a naive charm that I couldn't help but fall for. It hadn't really occurred to me, how much I cared for him, until I saw the Stone Mason again and felt an undeniable guilt at the secret I was keeping from my darling Captain!

It was the remorse that ate away at my soul as I smiled a blank smile at the Stone Mason, imagining the pain I was putting my innocent Captain in, if he ever found out. I cut my rendez vous with the Stone Mason short with a hurried excuse and scrawled the Captain a note. Thankfully I never sent it to him because it sounded far too much like a love letter, and I'm not in love with him.

Mother told me she was proud of my decision, even if it took me longer than most to finally make a volition. I was still a little apprehensive about choosing the Captain as my only suitor; his age, naivety, innocence, surely they should count against him?

Little did he know of the dilemma ravaging inside my head, yet still my eighteen year old Captain caught me by surprise and proved my decision right. The other evening he whisked me away without a single question and took me across the country to the West Coast to watch the sunset. Truly, you have never been alive until you have witnessed a sunset in the Antipodes. I was so happy I thought my cheeks were on fire from smiling and my heart would burst with happiness. 

Never before have I been treated such by a suitor... My young Captain has raised my expectations, though I don't want anyone else to even bother trying at the moment. I am perfectly happy with him. I hope I do him justice at the Rowing Ball tomorrow night. I would love to be at his side and make him proud. 

If only all my Ladies of the Shire were with me and could share in my happiness. I fear I may be changing slightly, maybe even growing up! Wouldn't that be rather paradoxical if my darling eighteen year old Captain helped me to mature?


D. S.

Monday, December 05, 2011

I wish I could tell you that I have chosen the eighteen-year old Captain. I wish it were easy to disregard the Stone Mason whose amours had been rather quiet of late. However, the Stone Mason's latest plea has called for a rendez vous this evening and I tremble at the thought of seeing him! 

What does this mean?

My young Captain barely leaves my side, holding my hand and opening doors like a true gentleman, not leaving me a moment's thought for the Stone Mason. Tonight however, I have gleaned a spare few hours and am going to spend some time with the unveiled Stone Mason. I'm hoping the difference in my two suitors will become apparent and help me choose one of them.

I'm not used to having two at a time, or at least not used to having two rather serious beaux... All other situations have focussed purely on the more physical and carnal attributes of our souls! These two men are both treating me like a Queen and I have to admit that I adore all this attention.

The brunette, who no longer deserves any epithets, slunk back to her own home in the middle of the night without so much of a goodbye. I can't say I'm surprised. She does nothing that you would expect her to and I'm glad to be rid of her. She was ever so belligerent towards the end, though of course I wouldn't expect any less from her. I no longer expect anything from her. 

Do I sound bitter? I don't mean to be. We've had our time together, but it was high time for her to leave. She was getting far too involved in my life and she has a life of her own to get on with... And I don't want to be a part of it. That chapter has closed.

I send love across the Seven Seas to my Father on his birthday today. I wish I could be with him, but I know he'll be joining me in a few weeks. Him and my Carpenter brother. I truly look forward to their arrival, and I know Mother will be delighted. I wonder how well my young Captain and my brother will get on considering they are the same age...


D. S.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Decision making is clearly not my forté... For how long do you think I can get away with stringing these two wonderful gentlemen along before it becomes obvious to me that I like one more than the other?

Already my Mother has told me that she thinks the Captain has truly captured my heart and though I do spend more time with him than the lowly Stone Mason, I am slightly afeared by his overzealousness. I adore being worshipped, but I'd prefer to be loved, and after two short weeks, there is no way to tell if the one shall evolve into the other.

The darling eighteen year old Captain has accompanied me to the City on more than one occasion buying me presents and treating me far better than I have ever been treated before. I know this shouldn't come as a surprise, but I had truly thought all the good men had been taken already... Then again, he is only eighteen. He hasn't yet had the chance to develop nasty habits like the Peacock Gentleman, for example.

I am, however, doing my best to keep the Captain on the North side of the bridge, away from the the haunts of the Stone Mason. I would hate for the two of them to accidentally meet! The Stone Mason has of course kept in touch but his work keeps him at bay and of course he doesn't know to fight for me... Not that I truly want them fighting, but because they are so different and propose different aspects to my life I would hate to lose either of them.

Speaking of losing someone, my brunette lover has leached herself into my life with even more intensity as she feels me slipping away. Although she still shares my bedchamber with me and does her best to irk my attention, she has failed in any part to poison my mind away from them. I still do not understand her vendetta, nor do I want to. By ignoring her she loses the power she once had over me, though it does make me sad to remember the times we once had... But I suppose relationships that start with a ménage a trois and Irish cream were never destined to end well!

December is upon us and I can't believe how soon it shall be before we have had Christmas and are in a New Year... Do you think I stuck to my resolutions from the start of the year? 


D. S.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

From walking along the sea shore to holding hands promenading about the city, sharing secrets and eating ice cream, you'd think I was talking about one suitor...

I haven't managed to make a decision between my two amours. This past week has been wonderful as the Antipodean Captain has captured my heart and put a smile on my face that I had long forgotten. He has treated me to ice cream, visited me at work, held my hand at various events and barely left my side for more than an evening. Every evening in fact. He does not stay at my bedside nor does he invite me to his. I cannot tell whether it is his age that provokes this innocence or if he just wants friendship, but I pine for him when we are separated and look forward to our meetings more than I'd care to admit, considering his age!

He does not act the same as my brother; the newly named Carpenter cares nothing for women at the moment and loses his tongue when in their company. My sweet, young Captain on the other hand acquires knowing looks from women wherever we go, his height and looks attracting their attention and I cannot help but blush at my pride.
The Stone Mason on the other hand has kept his distance, although we converse in letter form. His work takes him away from me, something that the olive-skinned brunette is aware of and no doubt pleases her. She is still as much of a problem as ever, but my jaunts with the young Captain have proved the perfect distraction.

I have many letters to write and send back to the Shire and the Northern counties. As the weather here gradually gets warmer I remember last winter as I pined for the musician in the freezing cold. Work has taken over my life as I toil daily to perfect my new found skills, but I find that the harder I work the more enjoyment I get out of it. Who'd have thought a Lady of nobility would enjoy hard labour?

Christmas is nigh on approaching and I have yet to purchase gifts, especially for my Father and Brother who join us in the Antipodes in a few weeks! But tomorrow I shall once again been spending the day with the Captain and I cannot help but smile in anticipation. 


D. S.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Evening wanders seem to have taken over my life as I trundle across the beach arm in arm with the masked guest... He has wined and dined me like a true gentleman, teaching me of his craft as a Stone Mason and I enjoy the little titbits he tells me of the city he has helped to build. He is the perfect distraction from my days of labour and we share a frank relationship; there is no talk of the future and no discussion of philandering. I do not know where this is going to lead but I am enjoying the current situation. 

That is, if I don't think outside the world my masked guest draws me into... The real world, unfortunately, is fraught with slippery decisions and potentially fatal consequences. 

My olive-skinned lover has made a series of demands that I cannot accept; her fiancé mewling at her feet like a stray cares not for her actions only for her praise. I fear I cannot abide their presence for too much longer and it shall mean the termination of our relationship. But how does one remove an unwanted guest? Mother has told me to be direct, but my olive-skinned brunette has lived in my bedchamber for nearly a month and it is impossible to find the words to rid me of her ever nearness. She dislikes my masked Stone Mason and is forever intervening in my life... I feel hampered and wrote to the nun asking for help. If anyone can help me it will be the Church, though I know I have been less faithful in more recent times. 

It's times like these when I miss the Court Jester and Armiger the most. The two of them were like brothers, but so much closer to me than my own. They did not agree with my every whim and were never afraid to speak their mind. My brunette argues with me constantly but it is never for my sake, she has her own agenda that I cannot fathom and it is not something I want to be a part of. 

There is yet another admirer I have subsequently failed to mention; Rowing, it seems, has made it to this side of the world, and I am keen to rectify my position as Patron to a new Boat Club. I am in talks with a Captain here in the Antipodes but he is nothing like the previous Captain whose amorous intentions were made clear at the Ladies Dinner many months ago...

This Antipodean Captain is rather young in comparison, indeed he is the same age as my younger brother (which horrifies me every time I think of it). But he is ever so keen and obliging to my every wish and he mollifies my mood swings and has an enthusiasm that knows no bounds. He is different than the masked Stone Mason, though I'm sure they share a carnal thought, but no less refreshing. 

I shall write to the Coxswain and let her know how my love life fairs, for her insight is always much appreciated!


D. S.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It seems that disguises beguile my new acquaintances just as much as my dear friends on the other side of the world. Of course I'm doing best to oblige the Antipodeans and I believe I'm charming them successfully, but there was nearly a slight faux pas last night...

My love life had diminished considerably in lieu of my labour commitments. The attention I was procuring from the betrothed brunette had become my entire world, and still I think of her with a slight pang in my chest. However I have kept my distance over the last few days, concentrating on spending time with my family and keeping up my correspondence with the my darlings in the Shire and the Northern counties.

However, I was not aware that the masked guest from many weeks ago had been attempting to get in touch with me. My scheming brunette had waylaid his letters and succeeded in distracting my attentions from his whole existence. It wasn't until I found my gorgeous Venetian mask that I'd worn the evening the two of us had met that I remembered I hadn't heard from him since the mysterious bouquet of flowers.

Picking up the mask a note fluttered to the floor. At first I though I was being subject to another of my brunette's games, but it was from the masked guest, asking to meet at a nearby beach. At first I lamented thinking the time had passed, but I heard from one of the servants that a man had been waiting on the beach every night for nearly month, but no one knew who or what he was waiting for. 

Of course my spirits soared and I made arrangements to leave that evening for the beach alone. My brunette lover tried her best to hold me back, throwing temptation in my face with such vulgarity that her desperation sent me to the shores that much quicker.

I know it was foolhardy to leave her in a temper, but I am finding my darling brunette somewhat suffocating and for the first time in weeks I felt free as I fled to the beaches. I had no guarantee that the masked guest would appear as I hoped, but he was there before I arrived. A tall, masculine silhouette stood on the sand as the sea lapped at his bare feet. I wore the gold and pearl mask to remind him who I was, and to reassure myself that he hadn't forgotten me.

Nothing was said as I walked towards him. He didn't turn until I was touching distance apart and then he smiled, lifting the mask from my face and planted a kiss on my lips. I don't want to say any more just yet. I am happy and want to keep this happiness to myself... For now.

D. S. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I have received a letter from the nun who is still living on the Coast of my England. She is well, enjoying motherhood immensely and has sent me a lock of her darling son's hair. He must be getting rather large, I cannot imagine what he'll look like when I return, and who knows when that will be... The nun also sent word of the Doctor who is in on our little secret, apparently he has continued to enquire after me, even though there are twelve thousand miles between us. That is rather hopeful, but I shall take the time to write to him over the next few days.

My Mother has finally arrived on this side of the world, and the heavens opened over the Antipodes to mark her entrance to this new world. It has been wonderful to catch up with her and hear all about the Shire, my Father and of course my Brother the Carpenter! They are both well, though living far apart because my Brother is far too engrossed in his apprenticeship to live with the distractions of home, but they are both looking forward to joining us this side of the world for Christmas. There is much I want to show them, nothing more so than the beautiful greenery and forests that this country has to offer.

The ever-so-manipulative brunette has continued to rampage through my thoughts and into my life with a furore I didn't think possible. She has a zest for life that outruns my own and I can't seem to help but treat her with adoration. It is terribly frustrating for I know she is doing her best to ensnare me with her charms, and I hate that even with this clarity I can do nothing to stop the inevitable. 

She frequently makes sly comments referring to our deviant liaisons at the Manor house back in March, and isn't afraid of touching and caressing me, even at the most inappropriate times. God knows that she shall never be introduced to my Mother, and I had thought these days were over of lying to my parents about who I spend my leisure time with.

I cannot believe how prudish I sound! This isn't me. I normally thrive on illicit behaviour, leading the way forward for a sexual revolution. What has she done to me?

D. S.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Being abroad is such a distraction from my writing; I cannot believe I have neglected it for so long! But I plan on rectifying that situation post haste.

Be My Love Flowers
The rendez vous I was to have with the masked guest was mysteriously cancelled. I know that sounds optimistic on my behalf, but there was an element of mystery involved regarding the cancellation and my brunette woman the following day. For the second postponement I was sent a gorgeous bouquet of sumptuous red roses, white lilies and chrysanthemums, which although beautiful was a little forward. The masked guest has so far been keeping his intentions pure, and I do not see a romance blossoming if we do not see each other soon.

It wasn't until the following day when I was meeting with my not-so-anonymous woman and she did not ask about the flowers so prominently displayed, that it occurred to me she knew nothing of the cancellation. But nor did she enquire...

I suppose she was wrapped up in her own betrothed, whose presence accompanied us to a private menagerie, but the less said about him the better. It was a wonderful day, which helped put my mind at ease for a few hours and I loved seeing all the animals on parade, but something wasn't quite right, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Do I sound exceedingly jealous? I hope not. Though maybe I am. It isn't the same jealousy I had for Belle and the Gameskeeper, because it was both of their company that I missed as they spent more time together... I know I don't approve of her fiancé; he is much younger than her and nothing more than a Squire, fawning all over her and making her act like nothing more than a child with a plaything. There is something disheartening about their relationship and I wish I could put words to how it makes me feel, because 'sick' is a little strong...

It wasn't until we returned home that my brunette asked if I liked the flowers she sent. Startled I explained that the note had said they were from the masked guest and they were an apology for cancelling our rendez vous. She just laughed in my face, saying, 'if that's what the note said, it must be true.'

My thoughts are in a turmoil as to whether or not she was just teasing, for she parted by planting a kiss firmly on my lips, in front of her betrothed! But what if she was telling the truth? What implications can I derive from her actions?

D. S.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It has just occurred to me that in being here over a month, the White Knight has failed to respond to my letter imploring him to keep in contact. How rude.

There is not much I can do to scorn him; I could not avoid his presence more keenly than by staying twelve thousand miles away, here in the Antipodes, but I am stung slightly, by his arrogance in believing he could ignore me!

At least I have found refuge in the no-longer-anonymous woman's company. We laugh merrily about the sticky situation we got ourselves into at the Manor party and how we survived the scandal, even though the three of us were walked in on. We  ponder as to what has become of the third member of our ménage à trois, and delight in the memories as we tease each other; neither of us quite brave enough to make the first move.

I sound besotted, and though I am intrigued by her passion and content in her presence, I do not crave her approval nor pine for her when we are not together. It is not a desire like one I had for the musician or Head Architect, it is far more comfortable and I suppose that comes from us both being women and understanding our own needs... I'm sure Marie Antoinette would understand.

In two days time I shall have my rendez vous with the masked guest. I am to be wined and dined in the city and I cannot wait, for the countryside has it's beauty but there are few distractions so enticing as the city.

My labouring too, takes me into the city and I have seen places that I didn't even realised existed. Working in fashion has truly opened my eyes, and I feel embarrassed to think how ignorant I was before I'd laid a finger on a piece of cloth that wasn't already stitched and sewn into life. My no-longer-anonymous woman doesn't approve of my work, she is of too high a class to appreciate the skill of craft, and though she is not even a Duchess, she has no want to learn, whereas I crave an understanding of everything that I do not know. I appease her by attending soirées and garden parties, but they hold very little meaning here in the Antipodes, especially if I think of the raucously civilised events held by my dearest friends...

And with that, I must remember to respond to their letters accordingly. There is much to tell them and even more to ask.

D. S.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I can scarcely believe I have been in the Antipodes for over a month! It truly feels like home, though as we get closer to Christmas the weather is also getting warmer, and I wonder what a Summer Christmas will be like, especially as I receive letters from my Ladies enjoying the English Winter...

I have even had the pleasure of correspondence from the nun, whom has sent me news of her darling baby boy who has started crawling around and causing mischief. I too am looking forward to hearing from the Coxswain and her lover, though I have recently been disappointed in the Gameskeeper who hasn't been in touch since the Masquerade Ball... But at least the masqued guest has kept up his correspondence and I am looking forward to seeing him dreadfully!

Indeed, the anonymous woman too created quite a stir when we dined last week. It seems an inebriated evening at the Manor party back in March brought the two of us together for the first time... I had no idea she was moving to the Antipodes, and apparently she has already been here for over six months so I am making the most of spending time with her close friends and acquaintances. 

We have celebrated the Season of the Games over the last few days, any excuse of course for a good time, but that the Antipodes won and have become true Champions was the cherry on the proverbial cake. Champagne has been drunk by the crates and though I have still been going to work (!) my concentration is waning and I find myself looking forward to the celebrations more than anything else... Typical me.

I have got to know those whom I work with a lot more and I love their blunt and energetic personalities. I hope I didn't come across as judging them too harshly before I knew them properly! Hopefully I have learned not to be so prejudiced! 

In two weeks time my Mother shall travel from the Autumnal British Isles and join me in the Antipodes and I cannot wait to be reunited with all of my relatives. Christmas, when my Father and Carpenter Brother join us, shall truly be a familial affair, but until then, I shall continue in my frivolities and the excessive labouring for the world of fashion!

D. S.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I have never before professed my loathing for the unknown, but it seems that the time has come, and I can no longer keep silent.

The labours that I have undergone have opened my eyes to the convoluted world beneath the garments which I wore without a moments thought. Tears are shed, and scars are borne, without complaint ~ the finished masterpiece is all that occupies their mind. Impressed doesn't even surmount to the emotions I felt as I toiled alongside them, inadequate probably amasses to what I've felt most. 

But I refuse to give in since I have written to my parents to tell them of my efforts, and there is something quite satisfying about working for one's self. 

So for now I shall continue, 'earning my keep', as it were, and get to know the women a little bit more. I was terribly surprised to find they are like a loud, loving family. Nothing so refined as my Ladies of the Shire, nor even as hushed and secretive as those in the Northern Counties, but rather honest and upfront about their dreams and ambitions, and impossible to keep quiet about their beaux. It is ever so refreshing, because they do not regard their love lives as scandalous, they are all ever so matter of fact!

It truly makes me wonder about the conventions we aristocracy have to put up with... I know I flout them wherever possible, but I am glad too that my family do not try and trap me within their confines.

There is someone, however, who has once again caught my eye. The anonymous brunette has clearly been inspired by the same muse as Luthien, for I have been sent an invitation to meet with her tonight. I hope she will disclose where before our paths have crossed, for I am racked with intrigue, yet I fear for my humiliation in not remembering her.

Unfortunately, the Masqued guest had to postpone our own rendez vous, for which I had to admonish myself in allowing my hopes to rise. I don't know what I expected, but surely if it was to be then he would not have failed to make his intention known? 

I am surrounded by guises of all types, and it frustrates me to know that I am in the dark, through no folly of mine own... I hope.

D. S.