Eleanor greets Valentine’s Day with a mixture of dread and longing….After all, that handsome Lord Hugh is never far from her thoughts, but oh, so far from her embrace! But, how can she wish to be with him, be held by him, when, at the same time, she dreads his presence? ‘Tis a constant frustration, to be sure, because when she sees him and his intense, blue-eyed gaze, her heart races, and yet, once he speaks in that condescending tone, chiding her for allowing poachers to ravage their forests, fury bubbles up in her, and she has to stifle the sarcastic words she would be so happy to say, but knows she should not. After all, he threatens to arrange to have her forests remanded to her liege lord, the disgusting Lord Litchfield, so to anger him further would not be politic. Ah, but Valentine’s Day….if only the forest problem could be resolved, then, then, perhaps she could receive her Valentine’s Day hope. What think you, dear reader?
Eleanor is particularly thrilled this New Year! By looking at the above image, can you imagine why? Indeed, her face feels warm, her heart is beating quickly, and her hands are clasped in hope — perhaps, perhaps, this will be the year she can find true love! Of course, the very, very last person she would want to fall in love with is that arrogant, supercilious Lord Hugh, he of the piercing blue-eyed gaze that shakes her to her core. Eleanor frowns and unclasps her hands, doubling them into fists. Nay! she tells herself. She shall not quail under that gaze, but meet it headlong and vanquish him. How can he have the nerve to suggest that mismanagement of her forests is to blame for the rampant poaching both of their forests are experiencing? Most certainly not! Someone dastardly and connniving is at the bottom of this poaching, and she is determined to discover who it is. In the meantime, she does wish that being in the same room as Lord Hugh did not send her heart racing. It must be caused by anger, right, dear reader?
Ah, yes, Eleanor is no Cinderella, she who owns her lands and chase and castle as a fief from the wretched Lord of Litchfield, but, she has the wherewithal and spunk to defeat most anyone. Most of all, she would like to defeat Lord Hugh, who, at the moment is aggravating her to the umpteenth degree by being his usual arrogant self, disparaging her ability to manage her lands and forest, and, heavens forfend, impugning her honor by accusing her of being so inept that the poachers have almost overridden both their chases. But, all that said, Lady Eleanor would love to write something that would sting Lord Hugh into recognition of her abilities and her honor and her integrity. But, for that, she may need to be published….and even then, if he were to read it, would he be able to infer her longing for him, despite her rancor? So many mixed emotions, dear reader. What think you?
Eleanor is quite thrilled that National Limerick Day is coming up. In anticipation, she has been taking quill to parchment and composing a few of her own.
There once was a Lord named Hugh
Who consistently caused a “to-do.”
Whether he grinned at the wenches
Or fought in the trenches,
He always made trouble anew.
There once was a Lord named Hugh
Over whom women would blush and coo.
He was sure he deserved all
But he was prime for a fall;
Since Eleanor knew he was due.
There once was a Lord named Hugh
Who thought every woman a shrew.
He disdainfully thought
Each could be bought,
Till Eleanor bested him anew.
Putting down her quill pen, Eleanor gazes out the window of her solar at her forest. A smile twitches at the corners of her mouth. Wouldn’t she love to have a messenger deliver those to Lord Hugh? He would be beside himself. Ah, but, then he might guess her feelings about him, no? She sighed. Eleanor glances at the fire in the hearth. She could burn the limericks…or send them. Eleanor’s cheeks warm as she thinks of Lord Hugh. What should she do, dear readers?
Eleanor knows ’tis St. Patrick’s Day, of course, since all in the castle have been murmuring about it for days. The servants are clad in green, and Eleanor herself has a green handkerchief tucked in her velvet sleeve. Why? you may ask. She has heard that wearing of the green can bring luck, as well as finding that anomaly, a four-leaf clover (most are three leaves, as above). Luck is something Eleanor could use, since that disgusting cur, her overlord, Lord William of Litchfield, slavers at the thought of being near to her, and, then, of course there is always Lord Hugh, as handsome as he is arrogant, whom she wishes she herself could be near. Eleanor’s face warms as she thinks of Lord Hugh. Is he wearing green today? she wonders. Does he also wish for luck? She sighs. Ah, he might, but most probably not as she wishes for it. Luck, she muses….If she were to descend the stairs from the Great Hall into the castle keep, would she find a four-leaf clover to give her luck? Frowning, Eleanor knows that she will have to depend on her keen wit and clever intelligence to vanquish Lord William — but, with Lord Hugh, oh, for a little bit o’ luck!
Eleanor, being quite well-read for a woman of her times, (gentle reader, you know ’tis 1272), most definitely has heard of St. Dorothy of Caesarea, she who was martyred and is the patron saint of both newlyweds and brides. Even though she is blushing at the thought of newlyweds and brides, Eleanor is quite captivated by the idea that St. Dorothy was able to convert that irritating lawyer Theophilus to Christianity even as she was walking to her death. Ah, how she would like to convert that irritating Lord Hugh into letting him see who she truly is, not the annoying ninny he obviously thinks she is. Eleanor sighs and gazes out the window of her solar at the forest. Would Lord Hugh, he of those intense blue eyes, be thinking of her in the same way? She frowns. What can she do to convert him, change his mind? Dear readers, do you have any suggestions for Eleanor?
Ah, only if Eleanor had had access to this information! She would be riveted by the fascinating bits of information and insights to be gleaned from these maps. A nerd ahead of her time, she pores over ancient maps and navigation charts and suchlike that come her way. This particular map is one of her favorites. Think of how powerful her beloved England is, conquering more than half the globe. Ah, conquering…that brings up an entirely different subject. Gazing out of her window at her forests, a far-off look in her eye, she daydreams of sailing away to places on those maps…and, she blushes at the thought….not sailing alone. Nay, how she wishes she could sail away with Lord Hugh, he of the strong hands and intense blue gaze. But, how could she? she scolds herself. Lord Hugh has asked for her sister’s hand in marriage, and he treats Lady Eleanor as if she were a ninny. If only he knew what she was really like. Might there be a map to show her the way to enlighten him?