Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I am writing from the freezing temperatures of Bavaria with the Duke of Albany resting his head on my stomach as we warm ourselves after a day in the snow. We have visited distant relations in various palaces in between dodging the heavy snowfall that has yet to relent. 

It is so wonderful to have the Duke to myself again, truly we have the time to appreciate each other when on the Continent and for the next few days there is nothing to distract us from our more hedonistic lifestyle. It's lovely to be somewhere new again and I've made my gratitude to the Duke well known; I still can't believe he kept this a secret from me for all those weeks! 

Bavaria reminds me of the City of A Hundred Spires where I spent much of my early romance with the Duke. It too is a stunning city with buildings to inspire my writing, with a rich history that one couldn't have imagined, but more than anything it reminds me of why I love to travel and to live abroad. 

The Duke and I have given it much thought and though we are not sure whether or not we shall stay in the Northern counties for another year or so, there is talk of moving abroad again, which gives me much hope. I know there was a time when I wanted to call one country my home, but it seems I have a nomadic heart and as long as I have my Duke with me, I feel that I could take on the world. 

And why shouldn't I?

I plan on fulfilling these resolutions for next year... I'm not as perfect as I often claim, and what is life if not striving for a more fantastical year ahead. 

1. To travel to cities with friends and make memories. 

2. To save some money for the future... I cannot keep living this hedonistic lifestyle without recompense, for indeed I have fear of the debt collectors keeping me from my first resolution! 

3. To be happier and more patient. Though they are not one and the same I do believe that counting to ten before reacting will give me a little more peace of mind and essentially more happiness. 

4.  To work a little harder in everything I start. Whether that be writing, teaching, studying, research, I fully intend to give it my utmost. 

These are my new resolutions, and if you know me at all, I believe they are completely justified. 

Are yours? 

D. S. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas and a happy new year! 

I've had a wonderful time with my family and friends over the last few days and now I'm relaxing in the strong arms of my beloved Duke as we relive the memories we've made over the past year. 

He's opened up about my surprise and I'm delighted to announce we're off to Bavaria tomorrow! I'm utterly overjoyed with his choice and am frantically packing. I've heard there is an abundance of snow and I can't wait to travel to somewhere new!! 

I am very lucky to have the Duke of Albany in my life. 

In other news... I've had the privilege of one of my short stories being published with the help of an esteemed writer. It is only a small stepping stone but it is the greatest encouragement to my craft and I look forward to more writing while staring over the Bavarian mountains. 

D. S. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Another evening swiftly passes and with it a day closer to the surprise that the Duke of Albany is keeping hidden closely to his chest. We return to the Shire the day after next to spend the Christmas festivities with my Father and Brother, for my Mother still dwells on the Antipodean shores and his family reside in the mountains of Bohemia. 

It is our second Christmas together and I can only hope it is as magical as last winter. Though it feels like not much has changed over the past year, we have traveled many miles to be where we are today. There have been a few difficulties as the Duke and I have taken the time to get used to the northern counties; I do sometimes forget how lucky I am to have the Duke in the same country as me. We went so many months without each other last year that it seems strange to think after only four months I already take him for granted. My love for him has not diminished, in fact we are most inclined to spend our evenings cuddled up together in bed, but this surprise might be just what we both desire to reignite our passions. 

It's difficult to explain... I suppose love happens this way; the passions which burn bright at the start of the relationship tend to wane under the comfortable blanket of time. I sincerely hope that this surprise will be enough to reignite the fires of our love.

I had the pleasure of the Marquessa yesterday. We dined and drank and made pleasant conversation about our lives. It amazes me how time waits for no man, nor woman,  and we reminisced about how our lives have changed. The Winter Solstice is always a time for remembering, and I take back what I said, I do love my life, but it, nor I, are by any means perfect. 

I shall being to ponder upon my new years resolutions... And wonder where in the world I shall drink that first glass of champagne.

D. S.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A mere ten days keep me from the Lord's day of birth, and a celebration of Christmas festivities. The Duke of Albany and I have spent a wonderful weekend together making sure we have all our gifts for our families and friends, as well as rekindling our love. 

He has kept me in suspense regarding our New Years rendez vous, and I am more than happy to keep it that way. All I have been told is to be prepared for a journey and to pack accordingly. The Duke knows how I adore to travel so wherever he choose I know I will  fall in love with, adding to my already great fondness for certain countries.

I have heard from the delightful Lady of Corcaigh who has written in the hope of making arrangements for next Spring. I have acquiesced, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because I would very much like to see her and reminisce about our time in Bohemia. Never shall I forget that time she made me drink more than is sensible... I can only imagine our reunion to be just as eventful.

Christmas is always such an interesting time, new beginnings should be forming as I look to my resolutions, but my life is rather wonderful and there is nothing that I would change. I hope not to instigate any hubris for my feelings of content, but rather off up my happiness and to give thanks for my life. 

Truly, I am most grateful to be where I am.

D. S.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Weeks go by and nothing changes in my life but one weekend is enough to make quite the difference. 

I returned to the Shire to celebrate my Father's birthday and to reunite with my wonderful brunette and a gentleman or two from home. We sang and we danced and we made light of some very deep conversations and topics, but I wouldn't expect anything less (or more) from my darlings in the Shire. From Christmas half a decade past, though we have all gone our separate ways, it seems that not enough changes when we are all reunited! But it is somewhat reassuring to think that our friendships have spanned and survived through the passing of time.

I left the Duke of Albany behind, not because of any quarrel but because he sought some time alone to organise our Christmas and winter festivities. I had wanted to take charge myself but was refused that privilege, being told to enjoy the unknown. 

Africa is completely off the cards as Father has discovered that he has other commitments which means he cannot take the time off. My brother has also claimed to be too busy and though I am somewhat disappointed, I'm excited to think of what the Duke may be planning. Most people know how much I do enjoy a surprise, and I've never before allowed a man to take this much control. 

We've talked about the Duke's family coming to the Shire but it seems there is fear of an abundance of snow and to be trapped worlds apart from your home is not something I wish to inflict on any family or friends of mine. So Christmas itself will be spent with my family and friends but the New Year is his to create an everlasting memory.

Anyway, I have returned to the Northern counties for a fortnight of winter festivities (though I have been unfortunate enough to lose my voice!) and to keep the masses entertained. I look forward to what the future has to hold!

D. S.