It was only last December 11 that I married my beloved Winston, whom I have know since childhood. Like any other person I experienced some trepidation, some butterflies in the stomach, in the days and hours leading up to the ceremony, and yet I instinctively knew that the die had been cast. Little did I know, however, the joy and peace of mind that would follow this momentous step in my life! I now feel an inner peace that is really beyond words. Marriage has turned out to be far more than I could ever have suspected.
Winston is proving to be an admirable husband, in that he is both considerate of my feelings, generous, and independent at the same time. I can't abide men who have no minds of their own, but must hover about nervously from dawn till dusk like a moth around a lamp, playing knight errant to their "damsel in distress". It's so tiresome. Well, Winston definitely is not one of those. He has a life of his own, and is busily engaged in refitting the Vicar's Inn, which he purchased outright shortly after our wedding. He remains passionate about sports cars, riding, hunting, and gathering in the evenings with his friends. This has left me free to put my full efforts into the tsunami relief effort and other worthy causes.
Winston still enjoys hunting, which I disapprove of strenuously, but I would not expect otherwise. We have always disagreed vehemently on that. And I expect we shall continue to. Accordingly, Winston hunts, and I campaign against it. Winston is more of a traditionalist, when it comes right down to it. He's also a man, of course. Upper class men almost all like to hunt, and always have. It is up to us women to reform society and do away with these archaic notions, and we shall! Time is on our side.
An unexpected blessing of marriage has been found in the fact that a host of pestiferous suitors and lunatics of all sorts who hounded me for the last 10 years of my life have seemingly vanished into oblivion. Bravo! At last I have some peace and quiet. The mailbox is no longer full of impassioned declarations of undying love, morbid suicide threats, and dreadful poetry. That madman "E.M." in Massachussets has given up at last...or killed himself...I'm not sure which. I hope it is the former, but who can say? He was threatening to hurl himself into a pit full of starving hamsters or something. The poor man seems to have not known that hamsters are vegetarian. At any rate, he might have killed a good many hamsters in that fashion, so let's hope he didn't try it.
Yes, things are wonderfully quiet and serene now. There was a dreadfully cursing parrot that Winston got conned into buying by some scoundrel on Ebay, but it has been moved to the Vicar's Inn and resides in the smoking lounge, where only the men go. They find its vile language amusing. Men are like that. I don't care, as long as the wretched thing stays in the smoking lounge. It can be heard faintly sometimes when one is in the dining room, uttering shrieks and obscenities, punctuated by riotous laughter from its audience of gentlemen. Its name is "Tony Blair". Most amusing. It has a character only marginally worse than Mr Blair, in my estimation. According to Winston, it can outswear any man in Twillingsgate. Honestly, I think most men are just little schoolboys who have grown taller and put on some weight. They find amusement in all kinds of disgusting, puerile things.
We are remodelling both properties, and intend to construct new stables at the back for the horses and carriages. Everything is working out marvelously.
Major West has proven to be a staunch friend, and a true gentleman. He is now almost fully recovered from those dreadful wounds suffered in Iraq.
I remain opposed to the Iraq war, although Nigel and Winston are basically in favour of it, but we don't argue over the matter. Well, not much. I am no fan of Tony Blair's, but I understand that Nigel is loyal to the British forces in time of war. As for Winston, he's always been inclined to be hawkish.
My advice is...don't look for perfection in a partner. You won't find it. But look for someone who has self-respect, courage, and a strong identity, and you can depend on them to meet the challenges of life beside you.
Veronica, my 16-year-old niece, is growing up to be a very attractive and determined young woman. I intend to give her the benefit of my own experience, and hopefully she will not go astray upon the rocks of romance which can be most treacherous for the unwary. I have cautioned her to avoid engaging in useless verbal battles on the Internet with scoundrels like Tweed, Raggytash, Bee-Dubya-Ell, and their ilk. "They're beneath you, Veronica. Just ignore them." That's what I tell her.
I received a card yesterday from France. It came from Angelique Forget, a formerly bitter enemy who has become more like an old and respected antagonist after a long war that has finally ended, after saddening losses on both sides. We share the respect of veterans. Our social values will always differ radically...I think she is some kind of communist revolutionary radical...but our mutual respect is a given now. She is still spending her time in the company of the libertine scoundrel poet Malcom Buggeroll, but there is no accounting for tastes! For that matter, she thinks I was completely mad to marry Winston. She detests him. It's ironical, actually. I suppose that we have both done what was best for ourselves.
Love is a mystery. But marriage, no longer. I have confronted the mythical dragon, and found it to be not a dragon at all, but a very comforting and secure port in a world that can get stormy at times.