01 December 2011

It's that time of year once again, ladies and gentlemen!

The yearly Christmas market in a snowy Tallin, Estonia, which looks much like how I imagine it might appear in the Grand Duchy of Stollen.  The geographic location is about right in any case.

It's the first day of Advent everyone!  And that means the usual seasonal images mined from the internet will appear here throughout December, my favorite time of year. . .  It always has been, but sharing it with the Grand Duchess and Young Master Paul makes it even more so (cue the sappy music here).

Hard at work on the next painting challenge.  Seven of the RSM musketeers are finished already, resplendent in their scarlet coats faced white, and the next batch of four awaits over on the painting table.  The final day of classes is tomorrow, making life a little easier for the next 10 days or so since actual classes do not need to be planned.  Just some reading of final papers and final grades to calculate.  Sankt Nikolastag is next Tuesday, and I suspect strongly that he might leave something during the night in the shoes of the Grand Duchess and Young Master Paul.  One never knows.  

Finally, I have it on good authority that the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus and his trusty English manservant Hives are busily planning a round of pre-Christmas events, including a weekend at Aunt Agatha's, a seasonal ball held by the now married Lady Leonora Christina and the Prince von Boffke (remember them from last year this time?), as well as Christmas and New Year's with Aunt Irmgard. . .  Or was that Aunt Waltraud?  Three sisters one does not want to cross in any case.  It seems Irwin-Amadeus is a popular boy this season.  Or could it be that his aunts have just decided it is time for him to find a wife?  Hard to tell at this point, but, certainly, the situation will require a delicate balance of tact, prioritizing, and, perhaps, a smidgeon of deceit if the Grand Duke and Hives are to navigate the hazardous waters of his aunts' social and familial expectations.

If that weren't enough, the Most Honorable Bishop Sievert Tiburtius has been dropping by the grand ducal palace in Krankenstadt of late for the odd game of chess and chat about philosophic matters over a clay pipe of the finest Virginia tobacco and a cup of strong coffee.  While the company is pleasant, the conversation lively, and the games interesting, Irwin-Amadeus has quickly realized that the finer points of chess escape him.  He has also heard it whispered, while dining at the Brummen und Zummen club, that the Bishop is a notorious chess cheat, who will stop at nothing to win a match.  This explains why the Grand Duke has lost  a not inconsiderable sum of money to Bishop Tiburtius during the last several months.   

And all the while, someone. . .  or something -- a benevolent pre-Christmas spirit with an interest in brightly colored toy soldiers perhaps? --  will apply paint to the Grand Duke's next regiment in miniature.  It is indeed a magical time of year here in the Grand Duchy of Stollen!


CelticCurmudgeon said...

My Dear Grand Duke,

Wonderful sentiments for the season. May you and the rest of the Royal Family enjoy much good health and happiness throughout the season.
may I add that it is never too early to start building a small collection of soldiers for a future table top general!

Your obedient servant,
Gerardus Magnus
Archbishop of the Duchy of Han-gover.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Firstly that is a lovely image for the season. Thank you.

Secondly isn't it nice to get back to the RSMs? They are lovely figures without too much fussy detail.

Finally may your December be one of the best you've ever had, sir.

-- Jeff

Conrad Kinch said...

Compliments of the season to you and yours!


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