scanned rib

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:52 am
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[personal profile] glittersweet

And nothing shows. Well the break did. It was quite impressive to be fair. It’s also the rib above the one that hurts. So I broke the last false rib and it’s the free end of the first floating riib that hurts. The break is very close the the end of the 11th rib so maybe that’s why it hurts? It could be tiny ligament? But it feels like there are nerves at the end that are pressure sensitive.

That’s not showing up though.

So at least I know it’s the floating rib so it in theory can’t really do much, it’s kind of reliant on the costal muscles- and I know they need stretching so… hopefully that’s it.


What is a bit of a worry is my carpal tunnel feels like it has started up again. I did wrangle with some blue swimmer crab, and also with some fused fabric. So there is that. Also pressed my Elsa cape flurry and snowflakes.


It’s now a couple of hours later- and I have regained a lot of flex 🙂 It’s no lie that flinching over my rib has caused muscles to seize all the way to my feet. But I can sit in second position again and rest my chest along my legs, and I can lean on my elbows level with my feet. I used to nearly get my chest to the floor but for only a week, if that, yes- a lot of power in regular stretching, pain relief when needed to do my strength building.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Of course Sandy had heard of the certain club. There had been that matter of the comedic actor Elias Winch, Miss Richardson’s uncle, whose perilous proceedings at public places of resort had entirely ceased once he had joined. And when it seemed that Sir Hartley Zellen, a very useful man in the Commons, might join their reforming set, it had been ascertained that he was entire discreet in indulging the urges of his disposition as a member of that club.

But it had been Clorinda who had acquired intelligence of the place. There had been no approaches during the years with Gervase.

So while he returned a civil reply to Sir Hartley’s discreet overture, he was not sure what he might do about the matter.

Is it not, he asked Clorinda, a bordello?

Why, I apprehend that there are arrangements whereby fellows may gratify their urges, but 'tis also, I confide, a place where fellows of the disposition may gather and feel they may breathe a little more freely than they may do in general society. And I daresay there is some matter of being able to assist does one of their number encounter difficulties, for there are fellows that command considerable interest among 'em. And perchance there are fellows that are not in the happy situation that you had and may not live together openly, but find it a place where they need not disguise their affections.

Indeed we were most uncommon fortunate, he said in sombre tones. But, dearest sibyl, is it foolish and sentimental in me to ask, what would Gervase say?

Clorinda smiled at him. Not in the least, dear Sandy. But I think he would wish that you did not become an entire recluse, went about in Society; and I think he would consider that your presence would be of entire benefit to the club, that must indeed be a thought of theirs as well. You are known a clever and well-thought-of fellow such I am sure they would greatly desire among their number.

Would that I had a fan about me that I might smack you with it as an arrant flatterer!

But is it not entirely so? You are still greatly valued among our political set for the acuity of your judgements, indeed there have been mutterings from Sir Barton and Lords Abertylld and Vinwich that sure you should stand for Parliament yourself.

Sandy shuddered. I think I prefer to be an eminence gris.

Or eminence rouge! Sure that better suits you, I confide. She sighed. Whereas do you not think that Susannah Wallace would show extreme well as an MP?

Without a doubt, but that in the present state of society, I fear men would not listen to her, however sound her arguments.

They both sighed.

He felt curiously agitated about the prospect of attending: there was some matter of an initiation to be undergone, and then, a deal of fellows, no doubt, that, apart from Sir Hartley, he did not know.

Do you think I am dressed entirely suitable? he asked Clorinda.

She glanced up at him. Sure, she said in a distracted fashion, these working-parties to make clothes for the orphans might answer, if only the ladies that express themselves with great enthusiasm at the prospect would ever come to 'em and work. What, my dear? Oh, indeed, you look an entire well-dressed philosopher, and I would suppose they do not expect a gentleman of fashion.

Clorinda! Please to look at me properly and tell me is anything out of order.

La, o bello scozzese, you are in a taking over this business, my dear. They have already passed you for membership –

There is some ceremony -

Swearing tremendous oaths I daresay. Mayhap somewhat like unto the Freemasons, not that I know aught about 'em. Is not The Magic Flute give out to be about masons?

You seem in somewhat of a taking yourself, o silly creature, you seem considerable distracted.

Clorinda sighed and shook her head. I think Sir Vernon is going propose to me again. Sure I should not have supposed that an occasional agreeable romp was merely all he desired.

Sandy snorted. Why, I suppose he has been about a very diplomatic wooing, to lure you into concessions step by step –

Alas, I think you have the right of it. But, my dear, you look entire well. I have told Nick to bring the carriage round for you, and then bring it back to convey me to Sir Vernon’s dinner party.

So he went off in fine style to the extremely discreet doorway where one scrutinized him through the peephole before admitting him, and he was conducted at once to a small room where he was met by and introduced to Sir Stockwell Channery, Lord Saythingport, Terence Offerton, and Mr Chumbell. They read him over the conditions of membership and the horrid warnings as to the fate of any that breached discretion, but there was no ritual to the matter and while he was required to take an oath, no-one made him swear upon a Bible.

They then all heartily wrung his hand and desired him to enjoy the amenities of the establishment.

Chumbell, that was positively bouncing up and down, put his arm through Sandy’s and said, perchance they might go take a little sherry and discourse of classics?

Oh, come, Chumbell, said Offerton, taking Sandy’s other arm, there will be time enough for that, let the fellow find his feet a little first. Though he then went on to remark on the very fine billiard-table provided for members.

Indeed it was an excellent fine club – splendid comfortable public rooms, attentive footmen, a well-provided supper-table – and more familiar faces than he had anticipated. Tom Tressillian the actor; Colonel Adams, that had given such a fine lecture to the antiquarians on certain Hindu antiquities of Bengal; Sir Hartley, of course –

Is that music? he asked.

Why, must be Herr Hahn favours us upon his flute, cried Offerton.

Well: Franz Hahn; 'twas no surprise when he came to think of it.

And, in the room where Hahn was playing, standing under a painting of a faun, that was probably a Linsleigh, and undoubtedly one for which he had modelled, Maurice Allard, looking at him with a little lift of his chin and an air of having as much right as anyone to be there: surely the case. He was dressed entirely sober, but one did not spend two decades and more in the company of such a noted arbiter of style as Gervase, that had achieved the approbation of Brummell himself, without garnering some apprehension of what fine tailoring looked like. And how it might set off a fellow’s looks…

Franz Hahn put down his flute with great care, came up and shook Sandy by the hand, murmured that he heard Lady Bexbury was likely to resume her soirées? and gave a civil response to Sandy’s enquiries after his family. Did he know everybody? Perchance he had not met Allard?

Naturally, said Sandy, as Franz Hahn made the introduction, Lady Bexbury has spoken of him, declares she would be an entire dowd without him.

'Tis ever a pleasure, said Maurice, to have the dressing of Lady Bexbury.

At which moment came up Colonel Adams, with recollections of the very interesting questions Mr MacDonald had raised at his lecture, and wondering if he would some time care to come look at his little private collection of Hindu antiquities?

Sandy made some civil reply and was very glad of the glass of wine he found in his hand. He looked about the room and said, I confide that painting is a Linsleigh?

The most of the paintings are, said Offerton. He added, with a wink, there are some particular fine ones on the upper floor – is Basil here the e’en?

Maurice shrugged. Have not seen him.

Offerton went on, you may go look at 'em – of course, do not enter any chamber that has the door closed, but is the door open you may look in.

Mayhap later, said Sandy, a little overwhelmed at the warmth of his reception – the icy gaze in those black eyes was quite salutory refreshing by comparison.

After supper, feeling in need of a few moment’s solitude, he said that he would go look at the paintings, no need to accompany him.

Some few of the doors were already closed, but there were paintings along the corridor, and he peeped inside the first open door he came to. The chamber was empty, though well-furnished, and he examined the painting, rather glad that he was alone, for he could still, he found, be brought to the blush.

There was a faint noise: he looked up, and saw Maurice Allard, in the act of closing the door.

He was about to say that he supposed that they could both maintain a reasonable cool civility to one another in public – for it looked as though that was the concern that Allard wished to disclose – and their eyes met, their gazes locked. And – oh, they had not exorcized that carnal urging, that furor, after all.

Some while later – sure these chambers were very well provided for their purpose – Maurice looked up and said, that was not what I intended.

I did not think it was. Will it be noted?

I am like to doubt it, providing we do not go downstairs together.

Well, I shall go down first, and say how very taken I was by the paintings, is that really the time, sure one might have supposed oneself frolicking with Dionysus in Ancient Greece – and then I shall go ask Chumbell about whether he considers them an accurate portrayal –

Do you do this sort of thing very often?

Seldom, said Sandy, but have long had the acquaintance of an entire mistress of the art of making people see what she wants them to see.

Maurice scowled at him. It was - endearing. Sandy kissed him and began to dress.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:57 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: be patient, you’ll be happy? UGH I HATE BEING PATIENT.

Halloween Tarot: Nine of Bats (Nine of Cups).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Patience.

England – Part 2

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:28 pm
[personal profile] storytimewithjoe


“Is this for real????” I had to keep asking myself.  It had been all of a little more than a day since we arrived in London, and I already felt like I couldn’t possibly see any more cool things than I already had.  It was waaaaay too early for me to hit my point-of-overwhelm, so I pulled in my sense of panic, thought calm and happy thoughts, and tried to contain my urge to bounce-bounce-bounce as my hubby and I sat down for breakfast at a local café eating the standard English fair of beans, eggs, “bacon” (which I have to put in quotes simply because it isn’t the delicacy that we have here), and really yummy tea.


My hubby was a champ at navigating the tube system.  While it took me a little while, I started to get the hang of it over time; thinking of it more and more like getting around San Francisco.  But after going up and down stairs, changing trains, and being jostled around a bit; my poor hubby was starting to succumb to the first of what would turn out to be severely chronic back pain.  Knowing that we had a LOT of walking in our future, we set up the standard practice pretty early – walk while you can.  Stop to rest when you need.  No rush.  No pressure.  And that is good, because this particular expedition involved a bit more underground walking than we had anticipated.  But it was worth it!  Why?  Because our destination was none other than the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Already treasure-struck with so many shinies from the British Museum, visiting the Victoria and Albert was an unusually different experience.  More modern than I had anticipated, the first few rooms that we visited displayed beautiful objects of more recent times – 17th century and onward.  While beautiful, it wasn’t really so much my thing.  But it gave my brain the needed time and input to reset – which was fantastic and much appreciated by the time we reached items of Cavalier, Elizabethan, and medieval age.  Once again, SOOOO many pretties!  The GLOVES!  The Jewelry!  The paintings!  The sculpture!!!!  (particularly the Dacre Beasts)  The embroidery!!!!  I swear, to do and make all the things I want would take several lifetimes.  I saw a couple of pieces of embroidery I want so much to replicate (and know that I can!).  But…. One thing at a time.


I have to admit to a particularly geeky moment.  Of all of the pieces that I saw in the V&A, the one that made me have a distinct paused “O…M…G…” out loud was not a particular treasure (at least not in the average sense).  Rather, it was a beautiful and impressively large majolica jar with the word, “Mostarda” in large script.  Now, for those of you who haven’t been following, mostarda has been one of my deepest rabbit-hole dives as of late.  So to see a really GORGEOUS mostarda jar from the 16th century that was clearly designed for a merchant selling that particular product; yah… I had a moment (and had to commission a replica to be made.)


A couple of times, I had to go ahead of my hubby while he planted himself on a bench to rest up.  And naturally, we simply HAD to have tea in the William Morris Arts and Crafts Tea Room.  (Whimper again!)  Just sitting there and in the courtyard watching kids play in the fountain, my head started fantasizing about what it might be like to, oh… I dunno… live there.  But I digress.


Making our first real solid killing in the book store, it was time to maneuver back to the hotel for post-museum-overwhelm nap.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the inspiration, and cannot wait to start some new projects!!!!

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Dear Hannah! I daresay you would know best, but you do not show at all, are you entire sure you are with child?

La, Maurice, I can assure you that women – most of 'em - know the matter’s afoot. At least once they have already been about the business a time or two. One does hear tales of young girls that did not realize their state, and women at a certain time of life that supposed ‘twas the climacteric come to ‘em.

He began to drape stuff around her and take measurements. If we gather it thus - you see? – makes a pleasing effect and none would suspect what lies beneath.

Mind you do not make it too fine – I shall not be about giving speeches the while, and going to as few meetings as I may. But one may not eschew all company, and there is the matter of village gossip.

He looked at her. It was entire pleasing to see such a happy young woman in his fitting-room. So many of the ladies who came to him had some matter that troubled them, or were discontent by nature, and even a little flattery, and dressing them very well, did not entirely soothe their spirits.

You manage matters 'twixt the pair of you very well: how is Miss Ferraby?

Entire well. We are indeed fortunate. But 'tis agreeable to come to Town and see family and friends. But indeed, I should ask is all well with you – Lady Bexbury said you had been having some little trouble?

Quite resolved, he said, greatly hoping that he was not the subject of conversation over that lady’s supper-table.

She said somewhat to the effect that 'twas indeed good of you to see me now you have so much business come upon hand now 'tis all remedied.

Sure, you are family.

Why, I am daresay there are those among our connexion would not wish make that acknowledgement, was all known.

Maurice looked at their reflections in the pier-glass. Provided, he says, one does not flaunt, maintains a due discretion, so that it does not have to be openly spoke and known about –

Hannah’s eyes met his in the glass. She did not need to voice her understanding.

Some moments later, while she was putting on her accustomed garments, she said, but really I do not understand why people make such a bother about it. So unnecessary. Sure society is very cruel to unwed mothers and their offspring, but one may see that there is some reason – may not be a good or charitable reason, but if 'tis not the fear of the fathers about bringing scandal upon them, ‘tis the more general worry that they may come upon the parish and cause expense and raising of the rates. She sighed. And at least one may talk of that, and say that that harshness causes unhappy women to destroy their infants, and make arguments for more humane treatment. But when something may not even be talked of –

He patted her shoulder.

After she had left, he scribbled down a few notes and sketches for the gowns he would have made for her, and then told Miss Coggin, the head of the sewing-room, that he would be going out. Did not have any ladies coming for fittings the afternoon; did any come in hopes – vulgar creatures, murmured Miss Coggin – she might go take their measurements and requirements and ask 'em to return once they had been given appointments.

She pursed her lips in the way he knew meant that she would bring any ladies that did so to a fine appreciation of the consequence of the establishment.

He set off on a journey he did not particularly want to take, but was to undertake a prudent matter to dispatch. He took a hansom cab to some distance from his final destination: for although the tavern he sought was not precisely within the notorious rookery of Seven Dials, it was on its border. He picked his way fastidiously along the streets, keeping his walking stick in his hand in a manner that suggested it might serve as a weapon as well as a fashionable accoutrement.

From long habit he looked about before entering the place. But it was very unlikely anyone who might recognize him would see him here.

Enquiring as to whether Nat Barron was on the premises, he was directed by a jerk of the thumb into a back room.

Nat was there among various members of his gang. One of whom – presumably a new recruit – said, 'ere, oo’s the pooff: earning himself a smack or two about the head from Nat. Show some respect, Maurie may look the gent but he’s an old friend.

Nat Barron and Maurice clasped one another’s shoulder, looked into one another’s faces, and then Nat motioned him to sit down, pouring him a glass of the gin he kept for himself.

Got somebody that needs warning off? he asked.

Maurice shook his head. I think word has got about after making a few examples.

For what had gained him the position he now enjoyed at the club was this connexion that enabled severe warning to be given to any that used knowledge gained there for the purposes of extortion. In return, Nat acquired the good feeling of fellows in high places that might well be useful to him did necessity arise. 'Twas entirely mutually beneficial.

Pity, said Nat, as you see there are one or two fellows here would be the better of some occupation to work off their feelings.

Maurice took a sip of gin, and disclosed to Nat the recent trouble he had had.

Oh, and you want us to show this spying fellow the error of his ways?

Why, it might gratify my feelings did you so – Nat smiled and shook his head and says, talks as good as a play – but I thought, a fellow that has a memory like that, might be of use to you.

Nat nodded slowly. A good thought. You always did have that long view.

Maurice shrugged. If a long view was considering that luring fellows into alleys so that Nat and his boys could rob them was an occupation with a rather short future and like to end badly for him, whereas obliging gentlemen in comfortable indoor surroundings was not only remunerative but provided him with considerable insight into gentlemanly habits and behaviour, yes, he took the long view: and the even longer view had been completing his articles of apprenticeship. But he also made sure to stay on Nat’s good side. Passed on any useful gossip he learned from ladies in the course of his day, and had constructed this very beneficial alliance 'twixt Nat and the club.

Sure he owed Nat a considerable debt for the protection that in younger days his friendship had afforded an undersized pretty boy disinclined to the usual boyish pursuits and happier to play with girls.

May not linger, he said, but thought you should know of the fellow as soon as might be, before goes completely to ground.

Maurice walked to where he might find a hansom cab and directed it to take him to his lodging. Once there, he washed himself very thoroughly with the very expensive soap, to get rid of any lingering stink of Seven Dials before he went to the club, where he was bidden to a committee meeting to consider upon new members.

Smoothing pomade into his hair, he had the unwanted memory of a larger hand stroking it in a fashion it was entirely foolish to suppose affectionate, rather than the pleasure one might take in stroking a fine purring cat.

But that was past and done.

At the club he was ushered into the committee room. It was ever gratifying to him, even if these marks of respect were founded upon those early connexions.

Sir Stockwell sat at the head of the table; Chumbell at the foot; Colonel Adams, late of Bengal and with the most fascinating stories of dancing boys; Sir Hartley Zellen, whose fine looks were becoming a little florid, and his hair thinning; Terence Offerton; Lord Saythingport, that had a wife, an established mistress, and had at one time offered Maurice an establishment.

Ah, good, Allard, said Sir Stockwell. Mysell-Monting cannot come, but we have a quorum, nonetheless. Now, the matter of fellows we may solicit to join our number –

Various names were put forward, of whom Maurice knew little but any public reputation they had. Some former comrade of Adams in the East; a scholar known to Chumbell – a Cambridge man, but nevertheless a sound fellow, very sound; a naval officer acquainted with Sir Stockwell; a couple of young fellows in Saythingport’s set –

Sir Hartley cleared his throat. Has not the time come to consider MacDonald? he said. Sure it would have been somewhat vulgar to approach him very shortly after Lord Raxdell’s dreadful demise, but ‘tis nigh two years ago that the accident happened. An excellent fellow.

Is he not, replied Saythingport, given out most exceeding radical in his views?

Why, said Sir Hartley, he is a philosopher and will throw out a deal of hypotheses, but our set have always found him sensible and practical.

Is he not, squeaked Chumbell in great excitement, considered something of a classical scholar?

I would know nothing of that, said Offerton, but has quite the cunningest hand at billiards, next after Jacob Samuels.

Why, said Sir Stockwell, as to his abilities in classical learning, I was late conversing with Admiral Knighton, that says that his lady wife, that is known for her most remarkable unwomanly capacities in that sphere, holds him in quite the highest esteem. Also considers him a very clever fellow himself, that has a particular knack for sounding out mysteries.

Maurice felt his face settle into a mask as of one considering these arguments. 'Twould be entire vulgar to blackball MacDonald, that had done him such great service in his own difficulty. But one might confide that Saythingport, and possibly Adams, would do so.

But, when the balls for each candidate were tallied, there were no black balls for MacDonald.

Maurice’s heart sank.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:56 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Miss Erzabet No Biting is so serious about cartomancy. So. Serious. You have no notion.

Halloween Tarot: Six of Imps (Six of Wands).

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Discernment.

Witchy life

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:12 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
(Those of you not into magic or witchcraft, feel free to scroll by.)

As you may remember, I spent a not inconsequential bit of the past two weeks having bad nightmares and generally feeling really off-kilter. It felt like there was some sort of sharp, abrasive quality to the air. I am legendarily bad at creating or maintaining wards, so I texted my big brother and let him know I needed him in his role as magical tech support. He came over Friday evening.

"The energy in here feels like static. Really bad static", says he, proceeds to do the whole Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (something I have never managed to completely memorize, but I'm working on it*), then reset the house wards. I stand by and join him in doing this each time, but I always need him to take the lead on it. The weird, abrasive quality went away, and it felt like after a thunderstorm. Inside the house. Yeah, it's a thing.

Today, I finally managed to go do what I'd been intending to do since last week: go to the neighborhood park that includes a beach for Puget Sound. I waded out into the (cold, so cold!) water, stood there for a few minutes, collected some water in a bottle, then came back out and collected sand in a small jar. Both of those things are now sitting on my altar.

* The only part of the LBRP I'm good at remembering is calling on the Archangels, and that is entirely because Kate Bush actually included a version of that in her song Lily. Again, if I'm learning a melody and lyrics, I will remember it forever.

England part 1 - British Museum

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:24 pm
[personal profile] storytimewithjoe

After years of saving money, planning, hoarding vacation time; and receiving some much-appreciated assistance from our buddy, Kevin (thank you so much, Kevin!!!!!); we were finally able to have what effectively turned into a second honeymoon in England.  I have dreamed of visiting the country ever since I was a child.  For so long, it was just a fantasy and I wasn’t sure if it would ever come true.  But finally... FINALLY… it did.  And being able to experience this adventure with my favorite person in the world – my hubby – made an already perfect experience even better.


After arriving and maneuvering the tube to the hotel; we quickly got ourselves settled and gained our bearings.  My hubby did a great job securing us at the St. Giles Hotel which was situated perfectly in the middle of SoHo – a fun area of London bustling with pubs, restaurants, theaters, book shops; and a plethora of gay bars.  (Hubby claims the hotel name was merely a coincidence.  I don’t buy it.  What do YOU think?)  One of the best parts about our location was its proximity to the British Museum, which was about two short blocks away and the first check on my bucket list of things to see and do in England.  Taking it really easy on the day of arrival, we concentrated mostly on just getting acclimated to the city and to the shift in time.  And after a good night’s sleep, we were ready to grab breakfast and then achieve goal number one.


Arriving just a few minutes before opening, I could barely contain my excitement.  There it was!  One of the world’s most important museums with priceless treasures of cultures all over the world.  And I was finally – FINALLY going to see these things that I had always wanted to see with my own eyes.  Taking our place in the queue, I stood in awe of the magnificent Temple façade, and focused on breathing calmly so that I wouldn’t completely freak out.


As we entered the museum and found ourselves in the great center court, we began our sightseeing in the “Age of Enlightenment” room where the hyperventilating began.  I have to say that I found the presentation of items in the Enlightenment room most interesting in that they focused not simply on ancient items; but ancient items as they were collected by intellectuals of the 18th century.  On the one hand, it was really interesting to see various items as they were collected within the context of the Enlightenment.  But for my already-excited-and-distracted-brain; it was a bit disconcerting to see something from ancient Egypt next to something ancient Greek next to Italian Renaissance, etc.  It meant that I needed to really slow down and take my time looking at each curio cabinet, each shelf, each drawer, and around every corner so as not to miss something that might make me go “Squeeeeee!!!”  That room, in and of itself, was very overwhelming.  And I’m sure I could visit it over and over again, finding something new each time.  But there was still more to see – so much more!


Throughout the course of the day, we traversed the museum focusing on European history from ancient to the Renaissance (except of course when we took a break for tea.  England, ya know).  In each room, I saw treasure after treasure – Anglo Saxon finds, Viking-age items; daily medieval functional items, famous jewels, priceless artifacts; and in every direction – inspiration.  History geek that I am, each item told me a story; and left me asking so many questions in my head.  Every item, whether a fine jewel; or a broken piece of tile; meant something important.  They represented art and craftsmanship of a person long-gone.  But these often-anonymous artists live on through their work or remains.  Truly, the biggest challenge for me was to not scream in excitement when I would look in a cabinet full of objects; only to stumble upon some treasure that I have studied or seen over and over in books interspersed among several other items.  I did a good job at staying quiet and not embarrassing myself.  But in my head, I would be screaming:


“AAAAAHHH!!!!!!  It’s the Lewis Chess set!  Right in front of me!  How FREAKEN COOL!”


“OMG!!!!!  The Sutton Hoo Helmet!  Hwaet he garadana in gearadagum…”


“Holy Hannah!!!!!!!  I’m alone with the Lycurgus Cup!  It is even more magnificent in person!”


“LOOOOOOOK!!!!!  It’s the Dunstable Jewel!  It’s smaller than I thought it was.  I bet I could make that!  Hmmmm…(wheels turning)”


“GASP!  It’s Lindow Man!  Not just a picture, but the body – right… there…  Just as he was found…”


I can’t say that I had one overall favorite item, because there were simply too many from which to choose.  And as I mentioned earlier, each and every item told a story.  Even if we visited nothing else in England, I could have visited the British Museum each and every day; seeing something new each time.  But that was not to be.  I had more places to visit and more adventures to experience – MANY more.


With my mind overwhelmed with art, inspiration, and complete sensory overload; we whisked ourselves off to dinner at Rules – the oldest restaurant in London, established in 1798.  Specializing in game meat, the menu warns patrons to be careful, as the food might still contain buckshot.  As we dined on a fine English meal and clinked our solid silver tankards full of icy cold Guinness; we toasted to our trip, to each other, and to what was only the beginning of one of our greatest adventures.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sandy found himself feeling curiously light-hearted. He had entirely expected to feel cast into the gloom and despondency that had ever followed his carnal engagements with Geoffrey Merrett, but somehow, yestere’en’s romp with Maurice Allard had quite disproved the Galenic maxim. There been, perchance, a lack of the constraint that afflicted him when 'twas a matter of fellows he had known since their youth, that had – he fancied – been wont to look up to him, considered him even in the light of a mentor: and it had rendered the undertaking somewhat shameless in its indulgence. He doubted not that 'twould be very hard to shock Maurice Allard in any matter of carnality, anymore than one could Clorinda. Well, he had done the deed, much to his astonishment, and it had been exceeding enjoyable, and he would never have to see Allard again, and there would certainly be no matter of languishing sad spaniel eyes gazing at him across a dinner-table anxious for a depth of affection he could not give.

Why, my dear, said Clorinda, pouring him coffee, you are very cheerful the morn.

Why, have we not succeeded in sounding out a mystery and bringing the matter to a most exceeding satisfactory conclusion?

'Tis so, and yet –

And yet - ?

La, I am a foolish fretful creature, but I wonder what that woman goes about now. Perchance one should go warn Miss Addington, lest she goes try her encroaching ways upon her.

Why, 'tis by no means like the time you were given out at Carlsbad when she behaved so shocking.

Indeed she is a soberer creature these days: and I confide she would go straight to Lady Jane and disclose the matter to her.

And ask whether she might send for the Admiral and his horsewhip, perchance!

Hector came in with a note upon a tray for Sandy, saying that the boy waited for a reply.

The sight of Geoffrey Merrett’s handwriting somewhat lowered his mood. He broke the seal. Why, he said, Geoff is back in Town and wonders am I free the e’en to dine at his club – I cannot recollect any other engagement and may as well get this over with –

He went to the desk, scribbled an acceptance, blotted, folded and sealed it and handed it to Hector, adding sixpence for the boy.

Why, my dear, you make a very hearty breakfast the morn, shall I ring for more muffins?

No, I have had an entire sufficiency, but might you oblige me with more coffee –

She did so, adding, and do you go out at all?

I had a purpose to work in the library if that is agreeable?

Entirely, if you do not mind me coming to and fro a little for books upon monasteries and monks and some general history.

You go write some tale on that topic?

Have some inclination to do so, 'tis very pleasing to feel a tale under my hands again. But Hannah will come look in at tea-time. Purposes stay at Raxdell House with her parents, that falls out well: might give her a little note for Seraphine, in case that minx – sure she is by now a deal too old to be named minx! – endeavours make trouble.

Indeed, 'twas being in that plot with Evenden brought about their ill-fated union, so that she might not turn evidence upon him, the wretch – but I cannot see it profiting her.

O, did she not ever quite feed upon spite and malice! But I daresay you will wish to see Hannah.

I am ever pleased to see Hannah.

Indeed, it was a very agreeable day: sitting in the library and Clorinda in and out and talking of monasteries: are there not, she asked, communities of monks now returned to English soil?

Indeed so: do you like, I might ask Father O’Donaghue of the matter when I go play chess with him, might take his mind off the state of Irish affairs.

'Twould be most exceeding kind.

And then having tea with dear Hannah, that was looking most exceeding well, but not yet visibly with child. Clorinda looked at her and said, La, these modern fashions, a lady may conceal a deal beneath 'em.

Hannah smiled. 'Tis sure a better thing than lacing very tightly to conceal one’s state. Tomorrow I go consult with cousin Maurice as to how to have my skirts cut so that they will disguise my condition until 'tis time for us to go into Shropshire.

Sandy reminded himself that he was entirely bound to hear occasional news of Allard from his relatives in and out of the household: had ever been the case and was no matter to be bothered about now.

He felt a curious shyness towards Hannah, that might be bearing his child, but as a result of the application of scientific ingenuity rather than the more usual means. But then she asked him about the works of Mr Dickens and the use of fiction to draw attention to social problems, and they were having one of their fine accustomed conversations.

All a deal more agreeable than the prospect of dining with Geoffrey Merrett. But he arrived punctual to the minute at Geoffrey’s club, and was shown to a discreet nook where Geoffrey was waiting, looking less agitated that Sandy had anticipated.

Dear fellow! Sit down. Have some of this excellent sherry.

You are in good spirits, remarked Sandy.

Why, I think that matters have come about so that the concern I had will have disappeared entirely.

Sandy sipped sherry and noticed that for all Geoffrey seemed so cheerful, his gaze was evasive and he did not meet Sandy’s eyes.

But he waited until they had been served dinner and the attendant had withdrawn before interrogating the matter further.

I think, he said, you had better tell me the all, nonetheless.

Geoffrey put down his soup-spoon, looked at Sandy, and sighed. You will think me the most wretched of fellows –

Sure I doubt that –

- but it came to pass that I entered upon a liaison with Lady Sarah Channery -

Why, you dog! (Sure it would have been entire improper and unkind to laugh.)

- which we conducted very discreet at her dressmaker’s – Madame Francine –

(Of course: Lady Sarah was a hanger-on of Lady Trembourne’s, would have been persuaded by her to patronize the latest sensation.)

- but then, the poor dear creature received a note demanding recompense in return for not communicating the matter to Sir Stockwell.

Sandy thought this over for a moment. Had it not been given out, when she married Sir Stockwell, that her portion was very small indeed, the Marquesses of Maldane having been pockets to let these several generations?

How might she pay – or was it supposed that you would cover the amount?

Geoffrey frowned. Why, one does not like to give in to extortion, so I advised her to write pointing out her position, and saying she needed time to go about selling jewels most exceeding discreet to raise the ready. And then hoped to lay the matter before your wisdom to see how we might proceed so as to scotch this snake.

But, Geoffrey went on, breaking into a beaming smile, one hears that Madame Francine has been shown up an entire imposter, and has closed up her establishment and disappeared. So we may suppose that she has entirely fled from the scene of her crimes.

I am like, mused Sandy, to wonder did she make it a common practice to exact this levy upon the ladies that made use of her discreet chamber? 'twould make it more understandable – for although Lady Sarah is not a wealthy lady, was she one among some several, I daresay 'twould all mount up into an agreeable sum.

Indeed she is not, poor soul. Has a decent allowance of pin-money, but bills go to her husband.

Sandy suppressed a snort of amusement at the thought – had it occurred to Geoffrey? – that dressmakers’ bills presumably included some disguised item for use of the discreet chamber.

Is Sir Stockwell a jealous husband? he asked, trying to recollect what he knew of the fellow. Held some post at the Admiralty, did he not?

Why, has not shown undue jealous in the past – indeed, somewhat neglectful I fancy, 'tis a great pity, entirely the sort of thing that disinclines one to matrimony, the sight of spouses that are entire indifferent to one another. But one may suppose that he would not desire to be given out a cuckold.

May be they have some understanding? But I confide that is she so worried about this attempt, cannot be so.

O, you mean like Lady Zellen?

Precisely so. I daresay Sir Hartley would not care for their matrimonial arrangements to be announced in the press, but has ever found it entirely to answer to have young fellows squire Lady Zellen around while he is about his other business. Why, did not your brother Eddy - ?

Oh, that was long since! Before he went rusticate in Herefordshire, marry Cissie, become the entire country squire.

Geoffrey began to recount various matters of family gossip, while Sandy determined that 'twould be reasonable to desire Clorinda to investigate whether any other ladies had been subjected to like demands, and who they were.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:25 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Let's see: I didn't do any cartomancy last night, because I spent all day yesterday down with a really horrible sinus migraine that may have had a light dusting of eye strain. I say this because my sinus migraines don't usually have light sensitivity and mild vertigo, so something else had to have been going on.


Anyway, yeah, horrible migraine. To the point where I just gave in and spent most of the day in bed, listening to Disintegration (which is the best album by The Cure, I will fight you on this) over and over. Which meant that my hopes of Saturday involving going to the spa, then making up a few hours of dayjob work that needed to happen went away.

Today there was also supposed to be a trip to the spa with some friends, but when we got there, the spa was at capacity and turning people away. Well, offering to take people's phone numbers and call them when there was room, but it works out the same. I have never had that happen, but then, I don't go to the spa during the day on weekends. After 7pm and staying until closing, yep! Going in the afternoon during the week, sure! (Working from home is awesome.) But apparently weekends are insane there.

Instead I hung out with friends (not at the spa), and catching up on things. Then I came home, made dinner, edited, built, and uploaded a lot of content for work, and removed a layer of skin on my face with a mild acid. You know, usual Sunday evening things.
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice looked up from his desk, stretched and smiled. A deal of little notes from ladies desiring appointments; also a deal of notes from various hands previously employed by Madame Francine, that now found themselves out of a place. Well, with this sudden flurry of work, he would need more hands –

Though, looking over the little notes, he was not going to welcome the notoriously difficult and demanding Lady Trembourne back into his fitting room. No: he would send civil regrets that with the amount of business Mamzelle Bridgette had upon hand, they found themselves unable &C&C.

If he was going to deal with these matters, he should go out and provide himself with a pie or so to sustain him during the evening.

He ran down the backstairs and through the backdoor, and observed, at the corner of the alley, MacDonald in close discourse with a very young boy, concluding by pressing a coin into the lad’s hand.

MacDonald proceeded upon his way to the doorway.

Fond of little boys, are you? murmured Maurice, between a gratification at observing some fault in MacDonald, and a – disappointment? – that he did have some low vicious taste.

MacDonald turned a scorching glower upon him. A useful informant, he said. Perchance we might step in so that I may disclose the business?

Would be only a matter of minutes, Maurice considered, and led him up to the office where he had been about dealing with his correspondence.

MacDonald lounged against the doorframe, not coming wholly into the room, that was indeed more of a nook than a room. We now know who has been misappropriating your – notions – and conveying them to the so-called Madame Francine. There is a fellow comes several days of a se’ennight delivering what I am told are haberdashery matters, has been followed to her establishment and reported closeted there for a deal longer than any delivery business might take.

My thought was, he went on, that we should inform his employer about what he has been doing – for I daresay that has been about these matters at times when he was he was supposed to be employed about his licit business. But is not any matter one might readily bring to the courts.

I would suppose not. And Madame Francine is quite exploded?

Her place is locked and bolted, nobody there, has levanted no doubt, now she is known no Parisienne but a failed actress embroiled in scandal.

Well, thought Maurice, this was all a great relief, the difficulty had been resolved, his own business was looking in much healthier state, and he would no longer be obliged to have to do with MacDonald. In the normal way of things their paths were unlikely to cross –

Why, Maurice drawled, lifting his chin, drooping his eyelashes, tilting his hips, and generally conveying an air of lascivious invitation, sure I am most inestimable grateful to you –

(This would surely have MacDonald leaving most expeditious, perchance casting a puritanical frown over his shoulder as he left.)

He found himself slammed against the wall, a hand gripping the back of his neck, a mouth coming down hard upon his, and another hand making a very direct approach to his cock. Which he had been trying to ignore, for it had developed a habit of showing immense interest in this –

- really most exasperatingly attractive fellow that was quite entirely not his kind. And was not only, as he had previously ascertained, by no means a flabby scholar, but also larger than he was.

I apprehend, murmured MacDonald in his ear, that there is a discreet chamber about the place?

Maurice nodded. This way, he said, picking up the lamp and pausing only to take up a pot of cold cream as he led him there.

Leave the lamp on, said MacDonald. And take your clothes off. If we’re going to do this, let’s not fumble around like a pair of schoolboys.

He paused, watching as Maurice disrobed. Oh, he remarked, you must have been the model for Linsleigh’s Faun.

That was some while ago, said Maurice, when I was younger, was in considerable demand as a model. And are you going to keep your clothes on?

Certainly not. MacDonald looked about the chamber, and then removed his spectacles, placing them in a niche where they were unlikely to get knocked off. It seems to me, he went on, that there is a certain, ah, urge on both sides, even do we also find a considerable antipathy between us.

Are you going to philosophize, or are you going to undress?

I can usually contrive to both, said MacDonald with his transforming grin, and suiting action to words, but I wished to assure you that I shall not trouble you again, now this problem of yours is resolved. Do we indulge this curious mutual inclination I daresay the consummation will cause it to dissipate rather than linger.

There was a certain sense to that – not leaving a haunting curiosity. Maurice lay down on the bed and rolled over into a provocative pose. Entire ready to consummate, he said.

How impatient you are. MacDonald came over to the bed and sat down beside Maurice, stroking a finger down his spine. Planting a lingering kiss upon his shoulder. It was not what he had expected. Hands and mouth thoughtfully exploring, registering what Maurice particularly liked. It was by no means as he has anticipated – something more urgent, clumsier – and then considered, as far as he was capable of rational consideration, that MacDonald had resided for many years with his aristocratic lover under conditions that must have made for –

- this thoughtful appreciation, no need for haste -

Damn you, are you ever going to fuck me?

MacDonald paused. If that’s to your taste?

Very much so, muttered Maurice between gritted teeth. You will perceive that I have placed the cold cream close at hand.

Very prudent, remarked MacDonald, making liberal application of the same. Inform me do you wish me to stop or slow down.

The late Lord Raxdell had been widely famed for the excellence of his ton: clearly this had also manifested in the bedroom.

Maurice let out a groan – No! that did not mean stop! – but soon could do nothing but make incoherent cries and sobs until, at last, the act was completed.

He had not intended, not even expected, to lie curled in a comfortable embrace with the prickly and annoying Mr MacDonald.

Why, asked the latter in idle tones, do you put that awful greasy preparation on your hair? – wiping his hand upon the sheet.

'Tis neater, he said.

Hmmmm: Maurice did not know how MacDonald managed it but his very hmmmms seemed to speak: this one was perchance considering that Basil Linsleigh and others had painted him as an Indian boy or a faun or an Italian urchin or in other exotic roles, but never as African.

I suppose, said Maurice waspishly, aware of his cock once more manifesting a lively interest in MacDonald’s undoubted charms, that you are one of these manly fellows that will not concede to take the womanish part, but I observe that you have a fine stand upon you that I should be happy to take down in whatever other fashion you desire.

MacDonald laughed – No, I do not laugh at you, ‘twas an entire association of ideas of my own; but I assure you, I am not so manly a fellow as not to relish a fine rogering of my own arse, does the opportunity arise.

'Tis a most exceeding fine one, said Maurice, that I should hope to do justice to.

If MacDonald’s response was a measure to go by, he did indeed achieve that aim. Most unexpected.

At length they got up and dressed. MacDonald restored his spectacles to his face. For a moment Maurice was greatly tempted to invite him to join him in dining at the local chop-house: but even did MacDonald agree, that really would not do. They had gratified this strange mutual urge and their paths were unlike to cross again.

MacDonald smoothed his disordered hair, and said, is there anything further to communicate concerning this matter, I confide I may do so by way of Lady Bexbury.

Indeed, will entire answer.

They looked at one another. There was nothing to say. MacDonald shrugged awkwardly, and turned to go.

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This note just came for you, said Hector as Sandy entered the house.

Sandy looked at it: Geoffrey Merrett’s unmistakeable hand. He broke the seal and discovered that Geoffrey was exceeding desolated to have to cry off from dinner the e’en, but had been called away very sudden about a case. Still had a matter he greatly desired to open to Sandy, so would solicit his company so soon as he had returned to Town.

Sandy felt relieved. He had not been particularly looking forward to dining with Geoffrey, even was it at his club rather than in his chambers. Geoffrey was surely all that was eligible: intelligent, discreet, well-bred, handsome, and remarkable apt at amorous sport, indeed one might make some lewd jest about the lawyerly agility of his tongue. And yet –

My dear! called Clorinda from the parlour, sure I have the most remarkable intelligence to convey to you.

He went in and saw Clorinda looking exceeding merry in her wonted chair by the fire.

Dearest sibyl, you look most exceeding cheerful, considering that, as I apprehend, you made your first visit to Madame Francine today.

Clorinda laughed quite immoderately, and said, Madame Francine! Who do you suppose she really is? – why, Fanny Minton, Gaffney, Evenden, a second-rate actress, alleged bigamous wife to a second-rate tragedian, and divorced wife of a chymical professor. Indeed any who knew aught of style might have seen already that she had not had her training in the art of dress in Paris, or even some more provincial spot in France, and really, one could readily observe that she had no notion of the business at all.

Sandy sat down vis-à-vis and accepted a cup of tea, raising his eyebrows.

One could not help noticing before even visiting her establishment that although the gowns created by Madame Francine’s workshop use the very fine notions devized by Maurice, she had no apprehension at all of how to use 'em –

She smiled across at Sandy. Oh, my dear, I know you consider dress a matter of entire frivolity and look forward to that time when we all go clad in garments of utilitarian simplicity, but as life in society is at present constituted, 'tis a matter of some import to ladies to be well-dressed. And that means, in such fashion that a lady is not give out a dowd, is garbed appropriate to the particular occasion, and in a style that is becoming to her. It quite entire maximizes felicity.

Why, I will concede to your understanding of the matter –

'Tis exceeding kind of you to listen to such a silly creature on such a trivial subject! But Maurice, as Biddy was wont, ever matches particular notions to particular ladies and the style that best suits 'em, 'tis not about applying some cut or trim wholesale but in a discriminating manner. 'Tis a precept in the philosophy of dress that the quondam Miss Minton has failed to grasp: I daresay she does not read Sheba’s fine thoughts upon the subject in The Intelligencer. Also I confide she does not have that understanding of the craft that would permit her to direct the hands she employs to the achievement of a better end: Docket would have expressed herself most severe about the finish of her gowns.

But did she not recognize you?

O, I daresay! But I confide that she imagined that she was entire disguised from any former acquaintance – sure one must suppose her entire misled by the conventions of the stage concerning masquerades – has put on a deal of flesh, though was ever of a plump figure, would not have shown well as Rosalind or Viola, her hair is grey and she goes wear a large and concealing cap and green spectacles. I confide there is also some little matter of paint &C; but really, she does not come about to fool me. But indeed, I managed to conceal any start of familiarity and do not think she suspects that I have found her out.

Why, this is excellent fine news, said Sandy. I still have my acquaintance in the scandalmonging press – for I do not think this is matter for the sober pages of the Intelligencer, do you, unless Tibby might have somewhat to say to it? – and something very telling might be done concerning a failed actress that is most exceeding unrespectable, cast out even from Yankee society that is known a deal less discriminating than our own, divorced for adultery, and has gone put on a very mediocre performance in the character of a Parisian modiste, that has yet deluded a considerable number that go chase after the latest fashion –

Dearest Sandy, you should write novels!

He glowered at her. One might also bring in the stealing? – though, indeed, I am inclined to continue pursue that matter to sound it out further, for it may be some rogue that even is this lady’s game up, will be about hawking stolen notions about other dressmakers, rather than throw it upon the table just yet.

Tis a good thought, can you come at it.

'Twas the business I wished convoke with Matt Johnson about.

Clorinda blushed a little. It so perchances that he comes take a little supper with me the e’en: I confide that you are out, but I am like to suppose that Matt will still be here at breakfast time, did you wish join us.

He smiled at her affectionately. Why, you are still entirely Venus’s votaress, I apprehend. And would it not embarrass either of you, Geoff has been obliged to cut our dinner so I am quite at your disposal.

Why, I will go at once to Euphemia and tell her that you go sup with us.

Well, thought Sandy, Miss Minton – Mrs Evenden? – how did one even style the lady, if lady she might be called.

He went to change, and upon returning to the parlour, found Matt Johnson already seated beside the fire gossiping with Clorinda. They shook hands.

After some general exchange of news, and after Euphemia had brought in a very fine supper, Sandy asked Matt whether he still had any band of juvenile Runners, such as he had been used to employ to follow suspicious persons, themselves quite unsuspected: or rather, suspected to have a mind towards their preys’ purses or watches, rather than where they went and who they spoke to.

Why, you know that these days I conduct a business in private enquiries - I daresay all these new ideas of policing and detection are very fine, but I am too old a dog by now to learn their new tricks –

O poo, murmured Clorinda, do I not hear of fellows from among the peelers that come lay their difficulties before your wisdom and experience in running down malefactors?

Oh, there are one or two young fellows that were of my juvenile Runners once, like to make the old fellow feel of use. But sure I still find certain young creatures of the greatest utility in tracking and spying.

Sandy opened to him the matter of the various persons that were to and fro to Mamzelle Bridgette’s to deliver or collect, and whether any of them might be taking stolen notions to Madame Francine. There were some two or three that were quite regular callers, he had come to discover from Tibby, that would be the first to look closely at –

Shall be about it directly.

'Tis exceeding good of you, said Clorinda.

The conversation turned to other matters.

More wittering about perfume

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:11 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Pulling up my review of Blood Popsicle reminded me of a post I made on Tumblr last year. So here: my thoughts on the scents of colors of velvet.

- Black velvet: An inky sharpness over the scent of dusty, antique books. There’s a hint of beeswax and a winter sky at night in there, too.

- Red velvet: The tartness of raspberries, the golden glow of amber, and honey mixed with salt. The darker the red, the stronger the honey.

- Purple velvet: Gunpowder tea, sweetened with vanilla sugar, being sipped in a secluded garden.

- Green velvet: A warm summer night, full of night-blooming flowers, and the scent of crushed moss.

- Blue velvet: Blackberries and creme brulee, served on a tarnished silver platter.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:46 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: mixed messages? Maybe? Wait, probably not. It really does boil down to PAY ATTENTION, JILLIAN.

Halloween Tarot: The Devil

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Perception
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

How now, Allard! cried Terence Offerton as Maurice entered the club. Linsleigh’s paintings at last grace the walls of the supper-room, very fine stuff, though sure I know nothing of art. Or indeed of the Ancient Greeks. But they look exceeding well, though a deal chaster than the ones that hang upstairs.

Why, 'tis about time, has been labouring over 'em these months.

Indeed so. Was wondering whether I might get him to come paint some of my fine creatures, but indeed he takes a deal of a time over his business.

Maurice, who had, over the years, posed some several times for Basil Linsleigh, sighed and concurred. Basil was a handsome fellow and, to Maurice’s somewhat untutored eye, a fine artist, but he was in no requirement to make a living at the matter. So was able to spend months if not years labouring over large canvases of mythological and historical subjects, representations of scenes from literature (Maurice had first posed for Titania’s Indian boy, many years since) and suchlike. Occasionally he sold one.

He asked Offerton how he was doing this racing season. Offerton sighed and said, sure you cannot have any more trouble with fashionable ladies and their whims than I do with my cattle. Showing very poorly at present: one greatly misses Penkarding’s advice in such matters.

A great loss, Maurice agreed.

Though the grey mare was reckoned to have the greater wisdom of the two of 'em. There was a fine woman. He sighed, clapped Maurice upon the back, and said he would not detain him longer from the sight of the paintings.

Maurice therefore felt obliged to go to the supper-room (where supper was just being laid out) and discovered there Basil Linsleigh, gazing upon his paintings with a ferocious scrutiny, doubtless endeavouring to determine whether they were hung as well as might be.

Maurice! cried Basil, flinging an arm about his shoulders, tell me, do you think this is in entirely the best light?

There were two exceeding large canvases placed vis-à-vis upon the walls of the room. One displayed fellows that were presumably Ancient Greeks entire decorously draped and reclining about a supper-table; the other displayed what might perchance be the same fellows, hardly draped at all and about wrestling in the open air.

Why, Linsleigh, said Chumbell, a short stoutish fellow with spectacles that was given out a very learned don at Oxford, indeed you have hit off that combination of philosophical symposium and physical prowess that was the ideal of the Athenians. 'Tis an excellent conceit. And yet, what I should like to see is those philosophers that engaged in discourse in the agora while the fine manly exercizes were going on.

'Tis indeed a notion, said Linsleigh.

Maurice dragged his mind away from uninvited thoughts of the philosophical Mr MacDonald wrestling in a state of nature, as Basil was saying something to him while Chumbell went up to the fellow that was serving, perchance to find out what was for supper, and perchance with some other purpose. Indeed the club livery showed off manly charms very effective.

I’m sorry, said Maurice, was quite absorbed in studying the picture, did not hear you.

Basil expatiated upon certain effects he had achieved, and then said, but, my dear, I should be very pleased might we dine privately – had a matter I wished to open to you.

Maurice’s heart sank a little. Surely Basil was not going to open to him yet again the prospect of living together? But he could think of no civil and agreeable way of refusing, and perhaps 'twas some other business.

So they went to one of the small side rooms apt to the purpose, and Basil ordered wine, and dishes were laid upon the table and they were left in discreet solitude.

After a polite exchange of civilities, during which Maurice felt himself obliged to evade any mention of how very troubled he was at present, Basil laid down his fork, took a drink of wine, and said, 'tis exceeding gratifying, I find myself with some very agreeable commissions on hand, but I come to the realization that I am a sad careless fellow. There are so many matters of business that must be dealt with, most tiresome. Alas that I may not marry myself to such an excellent fine useful wife as Raoul de Clérault has – quite entirely takes all that side of the matter from him, leaves him free to paint - is she not some relative of yours?

We are cousins.

But it occurred to me that – sure I quite saw the force of your objections to coming live with me in the capacity of a model, though you were, indeed you still are, a very fine one – but did you come in the relation of a man of business, that would handle my commissions, go deal with canvas-stretchers and frame-makers and colour-men, keep the accounts &C, could be no objection at all.

Maurice put down his own glass. Dear Basil, he said, I am entire flattered by your notions of my capacity but I have a business to run myself, cannot leave it.

Why, said Basil with a frown, should have thought you would be glad to leave such a position – must be entirely ennuyant dealing with the whims of fashionable ladies, managing a crowd of seamstresses, &C, quite a miasma of feminine vapours.

Maurice put down the knife and fork he had just taken up, lest the shaking of his hands be noticed. It was clear that Basil had no notion that he might enjoy what he did, even without the loyalty he owed to Biddy. He also had no apprehension that what Maurice did might in its own way be an art. Or that, although he would not disclose confidences, he picked up a deal of very useful gossip.

But, thought Maurice, it would be exceeding imprudent to make a blunt refusal. If this matter of Madame Francine and the loss of his business was not resolved –

Why, he said mildly, I will think upon it. Mayhap speak to cousin Phoebe. But 'tis not a time when I might just walk out from my present place, with the Season so soon upon us.

The sentiment does you entire credit. 'Tis entirely that sound prudent attitude of yours that I should require: you know what a sad feckless fellow I am.

Maurice smiled politely, for it would hardly be in good ton to say that Basil had never been obliged to be otherwise, with his wealthy family that thought it gave them considerable consequence to have a dilettante artist among their number. He was not obliged to live by his art. An entirely different position to that of Raoul de Clérault, whose family had stood upon their ancient French aristocratic lineage, considered being an artist barely better than being in trade, and cut him off quite entirely for marrying Phoebe.

His heart sank as he observed Basil looking somewhat languishing at him across the table. Over the years there had been many mutually pleasant passages between them, but this particular evening he was by no means inclined to amorous activity.

My dear, alas, I cannot linger the e’en: just looked in for an hour or so – was that almost a pout upon Basil’s handsome features? – but 'twas most agreeable to see you and that your paintings are now hung.

He had, in fact, intended to spend the evening at the club. But he would rather spend a lonely night in his lodgings than have to continue to pretend to Basil that all was well with him.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:33 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: trust your intuition, or perhaps realize you might know some werewolves.

Halloween Tarot: The Moon.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Purity.

Wittering about perfume

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:47 am
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A post by [personal profile] graveyardrabbit reminded me I wanted to post about perfume!

As some of you probably know, BPAL makes pretty much all of the scents I wear, with one exception from LUSH, Lord of Misrule. (Patchouli, vanilla, and black pepper.)

From BPAL, I generally wear the (limited edition, long out-of-stock) Blood Popsicle, inspired by the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Their description is "The scent of frozen Type O Negative". My description, from the review on the Gothic Charm School site: “The good stuff”. Honey and amber and salt, wrapped in blood-red velvet. The perfume version of a shiver of delight." I LOVE this scent, and am very glad I stocked up before it went away.

I *thought* that Blood Popsicle was going to be the only scent I wore, forever and ever, world without end, but then BPAL went and collaborated with one of my favorite jewelry designers, Bloodmilk. Enter Owl Moon (dark, rooty, sweet patchouli swirled with honey), and Silky Bat (sugared patchouli).

(Hi, my name is Jilli, and I have a patchouli problem.)

But! But! I was noodling around Etsy, looking through scents named or described as Hecate, when I found House of Orpheus. I'd heard good things about them being an especially witchy/magic -focused scent maker, and then I found their Amunet perfume:

Amunet is a natural perfume by house of Orpheus. A classical Oud, made with spicy notes of cassia, black storax extrait, agar wood oil, and made with an antique Egyptian paste of civet and musk. Amunet is exalted with the lunar oils of silver and the alchemical oil of distilled scorpions. Because this perfume is made with antique ingredients it will be limited in quantity. Once it is gone it will be gone forever.

Amunet is the hidden one, the high priestess, a tattooed goddess in human form. A dark feminine divinity, associated with witchcraft and feminine powers of creation and destruction. To wear this perfume is to embody that which is the high priestess in the major arcana of a dark and beautiful tarot deck. As the mysteries of the feminine are also the mysteries of blood the perfume is the color and thickness of blood…
A talismanic perfume for women who embody the divine feminine with authority and perpetuate its mysteries no mater the cost.

Well then. It doesn't have patchouli, but it absolutely sounds like something I should have. I am impatiently waiting for my order to arrive.
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sandy returned to Clorinda’s house from an afternoon of agreeable exercize upon Lord Abertyldd’s tennis court – a fine contrivance for those seasons of the year when the weather was such as to preclude a round or two of golf, and only the hardiest would dare swim - to discover that had been a day for her to receive callers, that were, fortunately, upon departing.

Hector was just assisting Susannah Wallace into her outer garments.

Mr MacDonald! You must come take tea some day very soon, there are a deal of matters going forward in Parliament I should desire your thoughts upon.

That would be entire delightful, Lady Wallace.

And might I beg you to use your influence to persuade dear Clorinda to resume her soirées? I cannot believe that she judges the matter justly when she claims that they would be stale old matter, that the younger set might attend as if they viewed a cabinet of antiquities.

Why, have I not encountered several of the younger set talking of her famed soirées with great interest, regretting that there is nothing quite of the same kind these days?

Of course, she went on, there would be those very greatly missed from our former number, but she has such a talent for the thing –

Well, I will do what I can to persuade her.

Indeed he wondered if Clorinda could bring herself to resume holding the soirées that had begun, well before her elevation, with a view to promoting Josiah Ferraby’s interests in Town.

He looked at Hector.

Lady Wallace was the last to leave, he said.

So Sandy entered the parlour in confidence that he was not intruding upon a ladies’ tea-party and gossip-exchange, and found Clorinda seated by the fire, reading a letter.

My dear, there is a note for you came while you were out, upon my desk.

He picked up, saw the handwriting, and sighed. 'Tis Geoff Merrett’s hand am I not mistaken, he said, breaking the seal. Invites me to dine – oh, at his club -

La, my dear, you may take it he has no designs upon your manly virtue, then –

Sandy glowered at her briefly and looked back at the note. Has a delicate matter wishes open to me.

I wonder what that might be, murmured Clorinda. Some family matter perchance? – surely cannot be that he at last goes wed. But, my dear, I have not told you the news that comes in this letter from that excellent woman that married Reynaldo di Serrante, the fair Quakeress Priscilla.

He sat down vis-à-vis and said, tell on. I hope Reynaldo has not been getting himself into trouble as a fiery abolitionist agitator.

Mayhap and perchance! For she writes that he goes a-traveling into those benighted regions of the country, without her, and meanwhile she goes visit family connexions in Philadelphia –

Ah! And do her connexions have aught to do with the university?

Most assuredly they do, excellent learned people I apprehend and entire devoted to abolition. And not at all give to gossip, but somehow she has been brought to an understanding that there is a considerable degree of scandal attaches to Professor Evenden. Sure he is agreed a very clever learned chymist, and his discoveries and the patents he has upon 'em assure him a fine independence; but quite shockingly, he is known to have divorced his wife, that was rumoured to have been on the stage afore their marriage, for adultery and desertion. Are we, my dear, in the least surprized that the quondam Miss Minton, or mayhap Mrs Gaffney, levanted?

Why, only to be anticipated, for sure.

As a result, is said to have become almost a recluse but for the discharge of the duties of his post. Clorinda sighed. Is he so, most like he has happily no intention to return to these shores.

We may hope so.

But I wonder what became of her: went become a strolling player in those parts, perchance. I did mention the matter to dear Miss Addington a little while ago, that has heard nothing of her from any that have tried their fortunes over there: but added that mayhap she had changed her name yet again, and most of those that have lately been there are not of an age to remember her and recognize her did they see her.

Found some other fellow might be beguiled into wedlock, mayhap.

They looked at one another. Well, said Clorinda, I think we find ourselves at stand in that investigation at present. But I remain in some concern, for Julius begins make a considerable name for himself, is a son any man might like to own now 'tis entire clear what credit 'twould do him.

Yes: Evenden is a fellow would take the credit for himself, rather than put it down to capacities inherited from Seraphine, and the fine training he received from Roberts, that has ever been most entire fatherly to him.

Clorinda gave a wicked smile. That minds me, do we converse of fatherhood, that Hannah comes to Town shortly –

Is’t not imprudent of her to travel at this time? asked Sandy, finding himself curiously agitated in the matter.

O, poo, 'tis still early on, has not yet quickened, feels herself entire well. But indeed, my dear, your concern does you credit.

Well, 'tis a thing I never anticipated would come to me.

Clorinda smiled at him. Let me distract your mind, she said, by talking a little of how I get on in our other investigation. Have disclosed to Madame Francine my intention to go be dressed by her, and had a note back, very high and mighty, I see she purposes display her consequence, declaring she has a deal of business upon hand and can only just find time to fit me in within this se’ennight. 'Twould not, I confide, have been so was Docket still alive, 'twould have been entirely at your convenience, Lady Bexbury. She pulled a face. Sure I lose consequence.

Perchance, said Sandy, this modiste is ill-acquainted with the leaders of fashion.

Dear Sandy, 'tis kind of you to say so, but while I ever had the most useful advice on style from Milord, that was one of those interests of his you did not share, and I must confess that I would not entirely trust your judgement in such matters.

Dearest sibyl, you are entire right that I know little of the matter, but I have every confidence that you are still one of the most fashionable ladies in Town.

O, poo. But, my dear, surely 'tis time you went dress for the theatre?

Sandy groaned. I have the lowest possible hopes of this play.

'Tis the harsh lot of the critic. Euphemia has put you up a little light supper, so that hunger does not render you too ferocious critical.

He laughed, and went to change and to eat the very excellent little supper Euphemia had put ready for him, and went to the theatre, and tried to keep his mind upon the play, but indeed it was sorry stuff, even had he not had other thoughts upon his mind.

Later, lying in bed, sleepless, he found his mind turning to ways in which he might pursue the present investigation while encountering Maurice Allard as little as possible. And yet –

If he did not mince and prance, neither did he screech. Sure his voice was pitched somewhat high, but entirely mellifluous: and he spoke well.

Sandy could not keep denying to himself those sudden urges to push the fellow up against the wall, kiss those full lips, and make himself a good deal better acquainted with that slender body. And if Allard was not the kind of man he had ever supposed to his own taste, that was not wonted behaviour of his own either.

He wondered what Clorinda would say did he open the matter to her: la, my dear, you have lived quite like unto a monk since you gave Geoffrey Merrett his congé; and then either consider upon their acquaintance to see were there any fellows of the disposition to whom he might incline, or go about to find out about the entrée to that certain club.

It was really very tempting to resume the liaison with Geoffrey. However, Universal Law would suggest to the contrary. He could not bring the mutual devotion he apprehended Geoffrey would desire.

Sleep, and boots.

Sep. 13th, 2017 04:53 pm
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[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Last night was the first night in about a week where I slept soundly and didn't have any nightmares. Now let's see if I can repeat that trick for a VERY LONG TIME, THANKS.


Remember those lace-up Olde Skool winklepicker boots I was dithering over? You know, these ones? I contacted the company, and they have RED LEATHER. They can make those boots in RED LEATHER.

:: cackles delightedly ::

No, it's not the burgundy or oxblood leather of my fondest wishes, but red leather will be SO much simpler to dye if I decide I need them darker. (My favorite cobbler is used to such wacky requests from me.) Red leather gothy witchy boots will be mine, yessssss.


I am having a small bout of impostor syndrome with the dayjob at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that it's mostly due to the amazingly poor sleep I've been having lately. Well, that and the fact that oh hey there's a technical preview deadline coming up in a smidge over three weeks. But! It's a super-limited technical preview, and it's not just me working on the documentation! I mean, sure, the documentation will still be still be hellaciously rough and full of "coming soon" areas, but eh. I am far less freaked out about this than I was about the same situation last year.


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