Dec. 4th, 2016 01:00 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I did two loads of laundry last night! And then hung them up to dry after dragging them home from the laundromat. I still have a load waiting because sheets. And I finally, finally, finished putting away the last load of laundry, just in time for a new one.

Went to see Fantastic Beasts again with a friend who hadn't seen it, and still enjoyed it, particularly the Queenie and Jacob plotline, but also the other actor's performances. We followed the movie with an excursion to the South Philly Target, so now I have an enormous pack of toilet paper (I feel like you can't leave that Target without one), a new bottle of naproxen, and two big bottles of Tide detergent. Alas or perhaps luckily, they did not have the Star Wars Xmas sweaters in my size. We stopped in at a nearby sporting goods store and I finally found a thigh brace that is just barely big enough; alas, you are only supposed to wear it for 2-3 hours at a time.

Monday afternoon/evening is my office holiday party; have to decide what to wear. There will be bowling, but I have to be careful of the tendonitis in my right hand.

Also have to start packing for my Xmas trip, since I have to bring a lot of stuff in one suitcase.

what was the title

Dec. 4th, 2016 12:24 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
of that really depressing 1970s era SF novel?

Newly Archived Fanfic

Dec. 4th, 2016 04:11 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I went through my “not yet archived” tag this morning and archived the majority of them. Nothing “new” in the sense that it’s all been on my tumblr, but if you’d like to see them on AO3, they are now there!  

Each title is a link, but for LJ/DW users where this crossposts, the link is also in parentheses after each blurb. 

Nice Work If You Can Get It: A coda to “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do”, in which Steve reconsiders his policy against being a Kept Man.( )

The Exhibit: Set in the Izzyverse; Steve and Bucky chaperone Izzy’s class field trip to see the Captain America exhibit, and discuss their legacy. ( )

The Vice-President’s Snowball Initiative: Set in the Leader Of The Free World universe, regarding Steve’s love of a good snowball fight. ( )

The Buche De Noel Job: A short coda to the Cyborg Arm Job universe, where Bucky is the fourth member of the new Leverage International. ( )

The DIY Family Job: Eliot Spencer stole a baby, but in true Leverage fashion, that’s the least of their problems. ( ) 

A Taste Of Vinegar: The Leverage crew invades Nero Wolfe’s brownstone, trying to figure out why Wolfe is after Eliot. Turns out Wolfe just wants a recipe. ( )

from Tumblr
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Comes desiring to speak to me one morn Hector. I push my correspondence to one side and says, speak on, I hope 'tis not trouble in the household?

Indeed not, Your Ladyship, says he, at present all goes on exceeding smooth.

(Sure I hope that he does not go open the matter so widely discusst among their connexion of whether Euphemia yet goes increase.)

He says that Euphemia has open’d to him this business she and Seraphine go consider about preserves and pickles. From what Phoebe tells him about her enterprize, does not sound entire unanswerable, but he would wish to know whether My Ladyship, that has such an understanding of business matters, thinks it feasible?

Why, says I, I do not see why should not be. All go praise their preserves and pickles exceeding highly, quite beg pots for their own table, and sure there is a deal of very poor stuff upon the market. And 'tis not as tho’ we do not have the most excellent advice on such matters entirely at our disposal. I might be somewhat more concern’d that 'twas perchance over-ambitious, did we not have such excellent men of business to call upon to advize in the matter. But as 'tis, I purpose to ask Mr F- to convoke with ‘em about the practickalities, and, does he see the way forward, should be entire delight’d to invest somewhat myself in the enterprize.

Hector smiles quite doating. Indeed, he says, ‘tis a fine thing to have a wife takes a long view of things.

I daresay, says I, that you will go become positive nabobs of the jam trade, and set up in a country mansion.

Hector says he could never fancy to leave Town, and sure they are quite entire content in My Ladyship’s service.

'Tis extreme gratifying to hear, says I, but who knows what may come. 'Tis ever better to be provid’d for some unanticipat’d event.

Hector nods. He then says that, could he be spar’d a few hours in a se’ennight, he should greatly like to go give the little boys at R- House some further training in the pugilistick art. Sure there is Master Josh, that one fears will one day come across some fellows that kick a dog, or torment a cat, and go challenge 'em, and should be in the way to acquit himself well in such circumstance. And there is little Lord S-: one hears that the sons of the aristocracy are sent to these very rough schools, 'twould benefit him greatly to know how to defend himself.

Why, says I, 'tis most extreme thoughtfull of you.

Also, says Hector, he dares say Roberts would talk of turning the other cheek &C, but he thinks 'twould avail Julius to have some knowledge of the pugilistick art.

I smile at him and say, sure I think there could be no objection. 'Twould indeed benefit Timothy to gain more experience of tending the door.

Hector nods, and says, he comes on.

I turn back to my correspondence. A little later comes Hector again and says, Sir C- F- is at the door and wonders are you at home?

Why, says I, I confide that I am, and you might go desire coffee from Euphemia.

He shows in Sir C- F-, that comes kiss my hand very civil, and looks at me very kindly. I wave him to a chair beside the fire and go sit vis-à-vis.

We exchange questions about how one another does, state of health, &C, until comes Celeste with coffee and curd tartlets.

After she has gone I say 'tis entire delightfull to see him, and is there any purpose for this visit?

Sure, says he, we are such old friends and you have been of such very material aid to Lady N-, whose interests will ever lye close to my heart, that I did not desire merely to leave my card saying PPC.

O, says I, so you go return to Herefordshire?

Indeed, says he, there are matters he must be about there, sure 'tis very agreeable to be in Town and to have some most usefull discourse with other agrickultural improvers, but he has neglect’d his estate long enough – tho’ indeed he has a most excellent steward keeps the place up, comes the time one must see to the place oneself.

He then sighs and says, sure the Earl is a very old boyhood friend of his, but he finds that as he ages he becomes very set in his ways and develops eccentricities. Does not think he ever greatly relisht the responsibilities of his position, but still keeps matters clutcht within his grasp, when a fellow might be thinking of bringing such a fine son as he has in young Charles into the matter, and even resigning a deal of the business to him so that he might go botanize the day long.

Perchance, says I, needs a little time to ponder over the matter.

Sir C- F- sighs and says mayhap. But taking time to ponder sometimes looks very like doing nothing and hoping the matter will go away.

(O! thinks I, 'tis quite exact, I confide, how he has ever fac’d, or not fac’d, the Countess’s situation: as if one day she would rise from her couch and walk and go undertake all the publick duties of her position once more. I daresay, quacks being what they are, her physicians made some soothing allusions to the healing powers of nature and miraculous recoveries after all despair’d, and he wait’d upon that rather than making her invalid life easyer for her. That would indeed have requir’d him to give some thought to the matter.)

'Tis true, says I.

He sighs again and says, many years since he urg’d Her Ladyship to fly with him – or, that he would contrive by some means to have her convey’d out of that great gloomy place into a carriage. But, sure, she would not leave her children.

Indeed, says I, one sees that there is a deal of affection 'twixt her and them.

He smiles and agrees 'tis most extreme pretty. He then looks at me and says, sure you sav’d my life, Lady B-, that summer in Brighton.

What? says I.

'Twas my intention to spend a summer debauching myself and then sail visit my cousin in Calcutta, and if the perils of the voyage did not do for me, doubtless there would be tigers and venomous snakes and fevers in Bengal could contrive it. And instead I went down to Herefordshire and became a country squire, and there is contentment in’t.

You gave no sign, says I.

Why, I was determin’d to throw myself into pleasures, play high, drink to insensibility. &C –

But, my dear Sir C- F-, as I collect we were ever home betimes tho’ then would be extreme wakefull for some hours.

He gives a little reminiscent smile and says, precisely.

O, says I a little tearfull, I am Venus’ votaress, and sure the Goddess of Love would not let one that is so fine and devot’d a lover go throw his life away.

He harrumps somewhat in emotion. And then says, sure he must be away, but indeed, if there is anything he may do for me –

Why, says I, have you not already undertook to be most helpfull about my estate in Naples?

We part with most extreme good feeling on either side. Indeed, in Brighton, I had suspect’d some secret sorrow, but not so heavy a matter.

In the afternoon I go make a few duty calls, but return in good time, for Belinda and Captain P- come dine and as they are us’d to country hours, dinner will be serv’d somewhat earlier than my wont.

When I spoke to Euphemia on the matter, I said I suppos’d we should set some plain fare as they were us’d to in the country. Oh no, Your Ladyship, she says, I confide they would most greatly enjoy some refin’d Town fare such as they would not come across in Northamptonshire. Well, says I, I daresay you have the right of it.

So we look upon a fine first course of veal prepar’d in a Neapolitan style – for I know not where one might go purchase goat - mutton kabobs in the Hindoostanee fashion, rabbit fricasee’d, and a pigeon pie, as well as a fine assortment of vegetables and relishes.

Why, says Captain P-, this is something like. My dear – he turns to Belinda – may I help you to anything?

Hector comes round pour wine, and the Captain is most prepossesst.

They do very well, they say, with the Marquess’ commission, for he desir’d them undertake the entire provision of his stables. They do not themselves go raise carriage cattle but of course they know those that do, and are less like to be cozen’d or cheat’d in the matter. He also desires 'em to keep Blackthorn in anticipation of his marriage, for is quite entire the horse he should desire for his bride, that is a most extreme fine horsewoman. Excellent fellow, show’d exceeding well following hounds, tho’ from his tales of the Americas, must be somewhat tame matter to him.

The first course is removed and Celeste and Euphemia come bring some soles in a fine sauce, a duck, a chicken pillow, and a ham. (Sure I confide Nell’s family will go eat well upon the leftovers.)

Euphemia then brings a most impressive ic’d pudding. I go tell 'em about the ice-house as we eat.

Hector then brings round port, brandy and madeira.

Captain P- says he dares say we have womanly matters to discuss – Belinda and I look at one another in puzzlement – female fal-lals about the B- estate &C – and he was intending look in at his club, 'tis rumour’d that the fam’d comoedick actor Mr W- may be there and is said to be most entertaining company.

Why, says I, he is quite the most amuzing fellow and I should not wish to deprive you of such a pleasure, and indeed must be a tedious matter listening to the feminine fripperies of Chancery matters &C.

So we make amiable farewells and Belinda and I go sit by the fire with port and madeira and consult over the matters of B- House and the estate at T-.

Uh huh

Dec. 3rd, 2016 11:50 pm
sasha_feather: Daredevil in a suit (Daredevil)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Today my roommate had a party for her birthday. It was lovely; it involved reading books and passages from books out loud to the group. Some were children's books. Someone read from Alice in Wonderland; we passed around a book of tongue twisters by Dr. Suess.

Someone brought a joke book, Plato and Platypus walk into a bar: understanding philosophy through jokes. At first I thought, what a good idea, a joke book! But in a mixed group that don't know each other well, in the afternoon-- maybe not.

One of the jokes made me very clearly feel like the only queer person in the room.

An old cowboy goes into a bar and orders a drink. As he sits
there sipping his whiskey, a young lady sits down next to him. She
turns to the cowboy and asks him, “Are you a real cowboy?”

He replies, “Well, I’ve spent my whole life on the ranch, herding
horses, mending fences, and branding cattle, so I guess I am.”
She says, “I’m a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about
women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about
women. When I shower or watch TV, everything seems to make
me think of women.”

A little while later, a couple sits down next to the old cowboy
and asks him, “Are you a real cowboy?”
He replies, “I always thought I was, but I just found out I’m a
(this is directly quoted from the PDF of the book

Interesting, the woman who brought this book also told a joke involving engineers, and said before she told that one she surveyed the room for who is an engineer to see who the joke would affect. Uh huh.

p.s. I don't feel well today; not sure what it is but dang
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] access_fandom
[content note: murder]

This blog cogently summarizes the damaging ableist assumptions in the latest J K Rowling movie. She sees the death of a disabled character treated without any true concern.

I'm not "safe"

Dec. 3rd, 2016 04:14 pm
black_pearl: (Default)
[personal profile] black_pearl
 Facebook has this thing after the tragic warehouse fire of last night where it looks up the location of it's members and asks you to post if you're "safe" if you're local to where the disaster happened.

Considering Facebook's use as a marketing tool to streamline ads. I'll pass. There's already a list of the missing, and if you're a friend and you really want to know if I'm okay just call or text.

However, I'm not "safe" or "okay".

I've been angry and stressed since the election. Whitey got their way, and I expect them to come after me and my family. I plan not to wait for them to come to me though. I want to go on the offensive. Because, as we've seen, they are feeling their oats lately, even locally. Don't have any specifics yet, and if I did I wouldn't post them.

Got a $21,000 bill in the mail. Dad's nursing care bill...for one month. I'm pissed. They want me to pay for part of October, and all of November and December. Why they didn't charge me for November last month I have no idea. Nothing on the statement about Medicare (which dad is on) nor do I know yet how much long term care will cover. Gearing up for a battle on this one.

If you know of a skilled nursing facility in the East Bay that you like, let me know privately. I want to get my dad out of Ohio.

If you see me, and you're okay with it, hug me hard. I need it.

(no subject)

Dec. 3rd, 2016 07:11 pm

the other thing about Moana

Dec. 3rd, 2016 04:02 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
And the other thing about Moana is, it paints this, like, eye-wateringly idyllic picture of a pre-industrial society, just SO beautiful with those swelling chords and Lin-Manuel Miranda's catchy-ass lyrics dragging you headlong into it, and then casually, about two-thirds of the way through, oh yeah, infanticide is totally a thing, too.  o.O

I can tell

Dec. 3rd, 2016 06:52 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
when the clock radio is due to come on because about ten minutes before that Fig pushes his dish into the bedroom, followed by all of the cat food tins he can reach.
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

'Twas indeed exceeding civil of the L- P-s to invite me to their small party yestere’en, but at a small party 'tis nigh on impossible to avoid any other guest that one particular desires no converse with. Sure I came home with a quite raging headache from being bleat’d at by Sir V- P- 'til I was like to go transform into a wolf.

I am feeling a deal better the morn, but go a little ride in the Park upon dear Jezebel to clear my head. There is not a deal of company about at this unfashionable hour and in particular at this drear season, but indeed, I am not looking for company, I am looking to let my Jezzie-girl stretch out in a fine canter instead of being quite constant halt’d by some fellow that wishes engage my attention.

I am just bringing her back to a sedate trot, when I observe a fellow upon horseback that appears endeavouring attract my attention. Upon looking more attentive, I see that 'tis Lord U-, so I wave him over with my whip.

He says he knows 'tis quite shocking bad ton to keep calling upon Lady B-‘s good offices, but indeed there are matters that he knows not who else he may consult.

Why, says I, I have quite the greatest fondness towards your dear mama and her fine offspring, and may I do you any service I should be entire happy, does it lye within my capacity.

He says that is entire more than civil, and may he call upon me some time?

I say that he may as well come breakfast with me, unless he has other business to be about.

So he comes home with me and when we are come to my pretty parlour we both go stand by the fire for a while to warm ourselves.

Come Euphemia and Celeste to lay the table, bring coffee and muffins, and say that there will be more very shortly.

We sit down and I pour coffee.

I look at him and consider that altho’ he is yet still young, I apprehend he must be of age, and he is a pleasing-looking well-set-up young fellow, as are his brothers. In spite of Lord Geoffrey’s waistcoat I do not think they have any great aspirations to the dandy-set, and they look like fellows that pursue the usual manly sports, but do not spend their nights over card-tables or in heavy drinking, or not more than very occasional.

Euphemia and Celeste return with dishes of kedgeree, bacon and eggs, grill’d mushrooms, mutton chops in the fashion of General Y-'s cook, and more muffins.

Lord U- comments that altho’ one of the domestic matters that is not stint’d at N- House or Monks’ G- is the table, still, the food is never as good as this.

I say, those are both fine large houses and I daresay the food has a deal of a journey to make 'twixt kitchen and dining-room (for most houses lack that excellent contrivance that I discover’d in my fine Surrey house), and thus is a little cool’d by the time it gets there. My house is a small house and thus the dishes come very expeditious to my table.

Perchance that is it, he says, but one hears that your cook is quite out of the common.

Indeed she is, I says, and that minds me, I meant to send your dear mama a few pots of her preserves, for she has an exceeding nice hand in the matter.

That would be exceeding kind, he says. Mama is so much better of late – that is, her spirits are better, for her physicians are agreed that she is never like to recover full health and strength.

I daresay, says I, that it greatly chears her to have you home after your travels.

He blushes and mumbles somewhat, and then says, but what he want’d to talk to me about, one thing, was this matter of Nan and the Marquess.

Oh? says I.

Well, says he, she has confesst all to me, and indeed, 'twas a business where I could quite comprehend the desire to tweak the Earl our father. But this matter of clandestine meetings - sure I wonder what the Marquess can have been thinking.

I fancy, says I, that he spent so little time in Society prior to his elevation that he is little acquaint’d with les convenances, and indeed, has led a life in which such concerns may seem somewhat petty.

Indeed he has told us a little, but 'twas of the kind that implies a great deal more. Would it not be a fine thing did he write up somewhat of his exploits, rather than the tedious matter on plants that I have caught Nan poring over?

Why, says I, I confide that to an English gentleman might look a deal like boasting.

But about this business of morning meetings, I fear Papa may hear some rumour around the clubs about the Marquess’ assignations.

'Twould be unfortunate, I agree, but I do not immediate see any way forward to prevent that. I indeed mention’d the matter to His Lordship before he went down to D- Chase. But I will take the matter under advizance.

He sees that there is one muffin left and after civilly asking should I like it, takes it and butters it and adds a deal of bramble preserve.

I sit back and sip my coffee and ask was there any other matter he wisht to open?

He finishes his mouthfull of muffin and says, he is in some hopes that 'Bastian, that is, Mr K-, will be able to introduce him into that very good set about his brother-in-law the Duke. He late met Lord D- at their club – they are not precisely in the same set there, but feel a certain sympathy as heirs to fathers that are perchance not all they might be about the responsibilities of their position -

Why, says I, sure I think 'tis most beneficial to the nation to go breed excellent fine cows that give a deal of most remarkable milk.

He chuckles, and says he confides 'tis a deal more use than fiddle-faddling in hothouses.

- but, anyway, Lord D- was speaking very highly of that set as having both exceeding fine principles and practickal schemes of reform: they are not just dreaming idealists but sound men of business. He is most extreme prepossesst by the schemes of improvement Mr F- and Mr O- B- have put in hand in their industrial districts, even tho’ he is in some doubt about their theologickal principles -

Sure, says I, Lord D- would have doubts about the theologickal principles of the Archangel Gabriel -

'Tis unfortunate that Lord U- has just took a mouthfull of coffee.

After we have gone wipe up after this, he goes on to say that he wonder might one not go do somewhat similar in their mining villages.

Sure, says I, 'tis both a humane concern and one that will, in due course, prove entire profitable. But indeed, I am an uneducat’d creature that knows little of these matters and there are gentlemen that might advize you.

He says he would not be so lacking in ton as to contradict a lady, but altho’ he has heard that there are those go calling Lady B- a pretty featherwit, there are a deal of others consider her to have quite exceptional judgement.

O fie! says I, sure does one listen to a gentleman and appear to agree with his sentiments he will be most prepossesst with one’s judgement.

Lord U- smiles somewhat and remarks that 'twixt his godfather and 'Bastian had heard a deal about me even before Geoff told him of this goddess.

Sure, Your Lordship, you will put me to the blush.

He sighs a little and says he must be about going back to N- House –

Why, says I, if does not offend your dignity, I will send a few matters to Lady N-by you.

He expresses himself entire my servant in the matter, and I ring for Hector to go desire a few pots of preserves from Euphemia.

After His Lordship has depart’d – there is a young fellow already displays a deal of address - and Celeste has gone clear away the breakfast things, I go with a little sigh to my desk so that I may attack my correspondence.

I am about this task when Euphemia comes and desires a word with My Ladyship.

I cannot help looking her up and down to see if this is like to be about her going with child.

She says that does My Ladyship continue making gifts of preserves there will soon be none in the store cupboard for the household.

Sure, says I, I will be mindfull of that matter in future, for we do not want to be reduc’d to buying such things.

However, she does not leave but remains, winding her hands in her apron, and says, she lately went drink tea with Seraphine, and Phoebe was also there, 'twas most agreeable even did they ask impertinent questions at first –

- and Phoebe had been visit the factory in Southwark that makes up her receipts for cleaning and polishing, and was most extreme prepossesst with the business –

- I am exceeding glad to hear so, says I –

- and then I mind’d you telling me about what Mrs N- said about the jams she had from the grocers, and indeed we know how very poor those things may be, and Seraphine was remarking on the gentlemen that will quite beg the favour of a jar or so of the pickles she makes up, and we all lookt about at one another and said, would there not be a business proposition in our pickles and preserves?

Why, says I, I daresay there would be, for they are most exceeding fine. Sure I think you should go convoke with Mr F- about the matter.

copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Sometimes I cook something and I can’t tell if it’s delicious or not.

I came across Dill Pickle Soup, somehow, and while I don’t like the actual flavor of pickles, I do like the smell and the flavor of the pickling juice. And it’s basically just a potato soup with a light vinegar base. So I decided I’d make the recipe, and I finally got round to making it.

I left the actual pickles out of the recipe because that seemed like it would make it a bit strong, and I was right. Because the finished product tasted basically like pickle juice with the texture of potato soup. Which is fine because, as indicated, I liked pickle juice. And I also like potato soup.

But it was a bit one-note, so I added some more Old Bay and a bit of garlic powder as well, and that adds complexity, but I still can’t tell if it tastes good or not. It has a flavor! Do I like the flavor? I don’t know! (Should have cooked a bunch of chopped up bacon and used the fat instead of butter, also should have added less pickle juice.) 

Also I made half a recipe because holy crap the Noble Pig recipe makes a VAT of soup, like ten or twelve cups of soup. Half a recipe will still feed me for probably two weeks, if I choose to eat it.

Will I choose to eat it? WHO CAN SAY.

Nessie Ladle likes it, though.

from Tumblr


Dec. 2nd, 2016 08:24 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Apparently, ace bandages are now much thinner and stretchier and stick to themselves. I bought a couple last night, and wrapped my sore thigh. I did have to take it off about halfway through the night, but put it back this morning, and it seems to be helping some.

Last night, I was pondering just lowering my lifting goals. Maybe I am reaching the end of my capacity, and should set some sort of upper limit. It feels like a failure, but I am a middle-aged woman who was never hugely athletic and has osteoarthritis and tendonitis. Is that depression talking? I'm not sure.

The only goal I really had was the 150 bench press. I'd gotten back up to 135, which is my top lift ever. A few years ago, I did 200 pound squats, but then cut back because it was rough on my feet. 175 is better as a top weight for me (I've been 10-20 pounds under that most of the time).

What is a reasonable goal?

Happy birthday

Dec. 2nd, 2016 11:45 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

I remain in a state like unto that of Sisyphus with my correspondence.

I am about this quite betimes one forenoon when Hector says Lady Anna M- is at the door.

Why, says I, I daresay her groom goes convoke with Ajax and she is at loose ends, go send her in and desire coffee from Euphemia.

Lady Anna comes in – I perceive that she wears her old worn riding habit – and says that Tony has had to go down to D- Chase for a few days, and Davies has a desire to convoke with Ajax about some matter in the stables, and she hopes that I do not mind that she comes call.

Not in the least, says I, do you come sit here by the fire. (For indeed I have matters I should like to open to Lady Anna.)

She comes sit quite ladylike upon a chair, and says 'tis quite wonderfull, N- House is so warm these days, they do not have to sit and shiver, or go bundle up in shawls. O, and U- goes endeavour persuade Papa that we should give a ball. (Indeed he should, thinks I, with two daughters going about the Season, but I am not in any great hopes he will.)

Comes Celeste with coffee and some very fine little buns.

Tho’, says Lady Anna a little later, licking her fingers, sure we still do not have such very fine cooking at N- House.

Why, says I, I have been most sadly remiss in taking along a basketfull of fine comforts such as Euphemia bakes when I visit your mama, and must do so next time I call.

O, she cries, I did not mean –

Sure, my dear, of course you did not, 'tis I have been thoughtless. I go make a note in my little memorandum book.

But, says I, on matters of thoughtlessness, 'tis remarkt on that the Marquess of O- is seen very frequent at a most unfashionable hour riding with some lady, none knows who. Dear Lady Anna, do you really go riding with him so very often, unchaperon’d? No groom?

She blushes considerable and says, o, she does take Davies, but there is a young woman that goes walk dogs in the Park at that hour that he is exceeding taken by, and –

I shake my head. You may find yourself in difficulties, I say.

But, says Lady Anna, we are going to be marry’d!

Sure, says I, I know that there are some liberties permitt’d once a couple are formally affianc’d. But indeed there is not yet an engagement, whatever the understanding 'twixt the two of you. There are those say, who is this Fair Incognita that rides almost clandestine with the Marquess so many a morn? And go lay bets that his marriage with the Earl of N-'s daughter will not come off.

O, cries Lady Anna, raising her hands to her blushing cheeks, is’t so?

Indeed, says I.

Oh, she says, 'twas only so that we might be together, and talk, where we do not have to pretend and observe all the usages of society - I did not think.

She buries her head in her hands. O, she cries, I am such a foolish, thoughtless creature. Sure I sometimes think I am entire unworthy of his devotion –

Why, says I, I think he is somewhat to blame in the matter, but indeed, he has liv’d very much out of Society these many years –

She sighs, and says, and here am I, that never travell’d further than 'twixt Monks G- and N- House, wretch’dly ill-educat’d, I am quite entire unprepar’d to be such a wife as he needs.

But, says I with a smile, you are the wife he wants. I daresay he has a deal of acquaintance that count themselves learn’d ladies, but 'tis you his fancy has light’d upon. Perchance he does not want deep discourse of botany at his own fireside.

Might it be so? she asks. For he talks so admiring of Mrs V-, and Mrs S- that is such a help to her husband with her abilities in drawing.

Dear Lady Anna, says I, consider that the V-s and the S-s are in a very different station of society from His Lordship and yourself. What will be expect’d of you is very different.

She sighs again. And then says she is a wick’d ungratefull creature, when she should be calling down blessings upon me for all I have done for them, and not sitting complaining and worrying -

O, poo, says I, sometimes it will take one that can show an outside view upon matters. And sure I should think the less of you did you not go fret somewhat over the prospect of marriage, for, altho’ you are in the way to marry for love, that is too seldom the case for ladies of your rank, yet marriage is a heavy matter – does not the marriage service warn against entering upon it unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly?

She smiles. And then grows more sober and says, should they not continue their rides, then?

Might be prudent, says I, at least to pause for a while so that any gossip may dye down. I also wonder, I go on, whether might also be prudent to take Lord U- into your confidence about the matter: he is a fine sensible fellow and I confide able to be discreet.

Oh, she says, indeed he is.

She jumps up and says sure Davies must have conclud’d his convoking by now, and indeed she has took up a deal of my time, kisses me and takes her leave with many protestations of gratitude &C.

I return to my correspondence.

In the afternoon I go attend Lady J-'s musicale at M- House, first desiring Ajax to drive to R- House so that I may take up Meg.

Dear Meg is looking very wan at the prospect of performing, so I hold her hand and say that sure 'tis a well-known matter and shows no lack of talent to suffer from preliminary stage-fright, and mention that Miss A- is quite unable to eat before a performance, even when the play has been running a while. Meg squeezes my hand in silence.

At length she says with a little frown, 'tis a deal more frightening playing at one of Lady J-'s musicales than at a drawing-room meeting.

Why, I daresay, says I, for those at a drawing-room meeting are there for another purpose, and are like to be entire delight’d at a little entertainment to lighten the heavy matter they are there for; whereas at musicales, the audience is there to listen to the musick in particular, and are more like to be connoisseurs. Which is why, I say, giving her hand a squeeze, Lady J- is most exceeding exacting over who she invites to perform. You will have notic’d that Her Grace does not play on such occasions, and would not expect to.

O, says Meg, squeezing my hand in return. (Sure I do not know is this intelligence entire reassuring to her.)

But we come to M- House, and Lady J- greets us most extreme civil, and says how much she is looking forward to hearing Miss Margaret play – Miss L- says that they will be performing some duets by Haydn? Meg goes look a little more chearfull.

Viola beckons her over to sit with her and Sebastian K-. I do not immediate join 'em for I see Lady D- and Agnes S- enter, looking a little timid. I go at once introduce 'em to Lady J-, and mention Lady D-'s desire to find usefull work for good causes.

Lady J- looks down at her very benign: for indeed, even showing obvious signs of increase, Lady D- is a pretty fetching young creature, that looks up at Lady J- quite awestruck, saying anything, any humble task that she might undertake.

Why, says Lady J-, I am entire delight’d to hear of one does not think they are above the necessary humble tasks. Do you write a good clear hand? – Lady D- nods and her sister concurs – Why, there are ever circulars need addressing, and reports sending out, &C, and 'tis something you may contrive while sitting.

Lady D- expresses her entire willingness, and Lady J- says perchance did she come one day to P- House when Lady D- has nothing else upon hand? Lady D- nods and they proceed to the finding of a suitable occasion.

Agnes S- and I smile at one another as they are about this – and she very quick takes and squeezes my hand – and then I would go sit with Meg, but that I see Mrs O- B- with Charley looking a little overwhelm’d and go speak words of chear to 'em.

I go sit beside Meg, that Sebastian K- is telling of the exceeding fine musick he heard in various parts upon his travels. Viola looks at me and smiles and says, she has lately had a letter from Martha, that continues thrive in the sanitive airs of Hampshire, and is become quite the countrywoman - tho’ still cannot bring herself to feel comfortable around cows, has lately greatly taken to chickens and the management of the poultry-yard.

And Deborah? I ask.

O, entirely thriving, quite the bouncing infant. She adds that after the musicale, I might like come see Cathy?

'Twould be quite entire delightfull, says I, and then all fall silent, and Lady J- steps forward to introduce the proceedings.

Altho’ I should be quite happy to read some Shakspeare, have argu’d that since Miss A- has been out of Town 'tis entire proper that she undertakes this solus.

Meg shows most extreme well both in her own playing and in her duets with Miss L-. Mrs O- B- and Charley acquit themselves most impressive.

Naughty Miss A- desires Lady B- to come join her in reading: 'twould be entire vulgar to decline.


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Dee Burris Blakley

October 2016


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