Spring, Week 2, Year 1
We kick off the first round with the Harrington household. It’s Week 2 of Spring and the narration today will be by George Harrington.
The house I’ve moved into is rather magnificent by any standards. Of course, it’s lacking a little furniture here and there and the upstairs hasn’t quite been decorated yet. Once I finish it, it will be a stately home worth anything my father could have purchased. It’s rather delightful, to tell the truth.
Of course, when Emily and William invited me to their rather more modest home, I graciously accepted their invitation. We’re all in this together, are we not? There’s nothing at all wrong with their dinky little hallway, as I told them. It’s very quaint.
William invited me to partake in a rousing game of Monopoly. Now, I’m never one to boast but I have always been rather good at Monopoly. The thought of owning an entire street and charging rent for visiting appeals to the capitalist part of my mental make up. William never could understand that. I suppose that comes from going to Cambridge. After all, how many top politicians come from Cambridge, I ask you? Or business entrepreneurs? No, they all come from good old Oxford, don’t you know. Most amusing.
Having won a most excellent game of Monopoly, I set off for home in the glorious afternoon sunshine. Indeed, it was a most beautiful day and a light snow began to fall as I strolled home, feeling rather accomplished. After all, this is something my father never said I could ever accomplish. I would be most amused to see his face if he could see me and my companions now. They all said we’d never survive these conditions but look at me now! Was there ever such a most excellent afternoon?
Naturally, the evenings will always be a little more difficult. One has to adapt to one’s circumstances. I just never realised the evenings could be this…dark. But come now, one must muddle through. After all, I have nothing to complain about. Warm clothes, a comfortable chair, a roaring fire and nice bowl of…yoghurt, I believe it’s referred to as. Delicious though, don’t get me wrong. I can’t understand why I’d never heard of it before!
Thank Heavens for Francis and his delightful sister, Alexandra. They came to visit me as they only live along the road. What a sporting thing to do. Francis is one of my dearest friends. We went through school together, although sadly he never accompanied me to Oxford. He never even went to Cambridge, would you believe. No, no University education for Francis, I’m afraid. His family simply couldn’t afford it. Such a shame, he has such potential. He is, however, frightfully good with wood and carving and such things. James and William both think he has the very real potential of producing decent electricity and plumbing to this dinky little settlement before long.
I do hope so.
We talk over this delicious fruit cake Alexandra brought. It was truly wonderful and I praised her continuously. Sadly, Francis doesn’t posses the refined palate I have for tasteful delicacies and appeared to be less than enamoured with his sister’s culinary efforts. You have to admire the dear girl, for producing something delicious when we have no heat, electricity or even gas. Quite remarkable.
I discovered a frightfully good little pastime for the evenings, when it is a little darker. Emily introduced me to the delights of yoga and I must say I’m rather partial to it. It not only keeps me warm in front of the fire during the cold evenings but it will keep me fit and healthy. Since I am rather averse to running, lifting weights and any other such exercise, this is perfection.
A few days after settling in and Alexandra called round to see me again. She really is rather beautiful and as her brother and I are old friends, I think it would be quite appropriate for us to begin seeing one another in a rather more…social context. After all, it does get rather lonely in this large house and I for one would really appreciate the company of a good and beautiful woman.
Several days have passed and while we still have no electricity, I have been thinking. It was decided amongst my companions and I that I should assume to title and responsibilities of Duke of Beckwell. The responsibilities of a Duke are many but I really feel as though I ought to be doing something toward the community myself. Of course, my priority would be electricity but Francis appears to have taken that responsibility on himself. I suppose now I should focus of healthcare. The best way to do that would be the opening of a hospital. Now, that requires logical thinking before I jump straight into methodology.
However, a Duke cannot take such decisions lightly. Every good Duke needs a Duchess…
My first instinct, as an honourable gentleman and a Duke, is to seek out Francis and speak with him about the possibility of my marrying his sister. However when I arrive at the Stilton house, only the lovely Alexandra is home. She and I have a variety of lovely discussions about Beckwell, our hopes for its future and the ridiculousness of my family. She is a wonderful listener and somehow, I just can’t help myself around her.
What is it about Alexandra that makes me lose my composure? I pride myself in never having lost my head over a woman yet something about her makes me weak beyond belief. One look for her strips me defenceless and I lose all control of my thoughts.. I am partially disgusted with myself for allowing her charms to sweep me into her bed, particularly since this is completely unbeknown to Francis but I just can’t help myself.
Could she really be the future Duchess of Beckwell?
After such a night of passion, there is only one thing to do. I wish I could have asked her brother’s permission but I’m afraid I cannot wait that long. I am about to go against all my principles, my beliefs and my upbringing and ask the beautiful Alexandra to be my lawful wedded wife.
We’re planning a short engagement. After all, there’s no time to lose. There are many things to be done in Beckwell and I finally understand my inability to function or focus on any one of them most recently. I need to have this beautiful woman, the future Duchess of Beckwell, by my side to navigate this new venture together. The positives along with the negatives, the good and the bad, the sickness and the health.
The small matter of a lack of funding has nothing whatsoever to do with the short engagement or the simple wedding arrangements. Or the lack of an exotic honeymoon. Nothing at all.
“I, George Harrington, Duke of Beckwell, take you, Alexandra Stilton, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour you all the days of my life.”
The wedding was a small but intimate ceremony with an equally small congregation, made up of Francis, William, James, Emily and Claudia.
After the wedding, Alexandra and I enjoyed some quiet time away from the house, listening to the sound of the fountain behind us and marvelling in the beauty of the night.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for celebrating the marriage between myself and Alexandra, the new Duchess of Beckwell.
As we have no money or transportation for a honeymoon, Alexandra suggested we makeover the bedroom a little and design a more conducive atmosphere. She rounded it off with one of her own paintings. Rather fitting, don’t you think? She’s such a talented artist. She’s going to set up her own foundation, the Arti Aestimationis Foundation, designed to help struggling artists. Now that’s the sort of work I expect from a Duchess. This will be perfection.
Our wedding was appropriately followed by Love Day. As such, the Duchess and I spent most of the day enjoying each others company and our new bedroom.
When we finally surfaced, we discussed the affairs of Beckwell and it’s growing need for healthcare. Alexandra suggested I take up a form of herbalism, to begin exploring and experimenting with herbal remedies that may be produced in a new hospital eventually. This does all sound rather wonderful. I could even be the founder and patron of the Association of Doctors and Nurses. Now that would be something to take pride over, would it not?
And it is here we leave the Duke and Duchess of Beckwell after a week in their company.
George achieved level 5 in logic and level 3 in charisma. As such, he didn’t unlock anything new this week.
Alexandra reached level 6 in painting but didn’t unlock anything this week.
Weddings: Between George Harrington and Alexandra Stilton.
Up next: The Stantons.
Shortly after George and Alexandra spent the night together, George received a couple of messages:
It must have been quite a relief for George to receive the first message from Francis. After all, he never did get a chance to ask permission!
How Emily came to know about the new relationship is a mystery to me. Perhaps Alexandra contacted her straight away to share her excitement?