It's the first day of the Advent season everyone, and the Young Master and I have been hard at work this Saturday morning running a few errands, sorting through the collection of Christmas music CDs, and hanging the birch wood Swedish star in the center of the front window. We must keep him and the Grand Duchess in touch with their Swedish roots, you know!
The Grand Duchess, blast her, is away for the day with her German students in Chicago to visit, among other things, the annual authentic Christkindlmarkt, which is always lots of fun. Sadly, it is a long day, and the Young Master still is not quite up to a 10-12 hour day. So, we are here at home, enjoying some quiet time together. He is playing in his room at the moment with his cars and trucks while the Grand Ducal felines Gunnlaug and Onyx lounge in the midday sunshine with Paul. The latter's bedroom is the sunniest in the house, so the cats spend considerable time with him during the first half of the day if Paul chooses to play in his room.
Now, while yours truly is hard at work on a batch of RSM and Minden Prussian staff vignettes, word comes from the far off Grand Duchy of Stollen that the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his trusty English valet Hives are sorting through the morning post, which contains not one, but three Christmas week invitations from his aunts Hiltrud, Irmgard, and Waltraud respectively. Who knows what madcap capers might come about during the three weeks or so before Christmas?
Overcome by thoughts of possible unwanted flirtations from female acquainances, marriage proposals from distant cousins of the feminine persuasion, and, perhaps, the odd request from one of his aunts to purloin a sterling cow creamer or something similar, the Grand Duke has retreated to the relatively safe confines of his library where he reclines on a favorite fainting couch. With a wrist thrown over his closed eyes, the Grand Duke awaits the arrival of a morning snifter of brandy, courtesy of Hives. Where will this lead? Only time, and upcoming posts to the GD of S blog in the coming days and weeks, will tell.
Meanwhile, what of today's seasonal images? Both photographs are of the yearly Christmas market in Bolzano/Bozen, Italy, which is in the Dolomite mountains of the northern part of that country. I have recently become fascinated with the area which has a sizeable German-speaking minority still, and I keep trying to get the Grand Duchess to consider, seriously, relocating there. Sadly, she is the more practically-minded of us, but a guy can dream, right? I always point out that we could both learn Italian and use our German. There are also at least two universities in town as well as some other institutions of higher learning, so employment possibilities might, just might, materialize one day. You never know. In the meantime, these happy images will have to suffice.
And now, I'm off to fix lunch for the Young Master and myself and then bake a pie for afternoon company tomorrow. Be sure to stay tuned to the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog throughout the Advent and Christmas season for more seasonal images, additional updates in the further misadventures of Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and Hives, occasional painting updates, the return of the Neu Sittangbad game, and whatever other hobby-related thoughts might come to mind. Have a delightful weekend!
Later. . .
I am indeed a decadent boy! For the first time since last Christmas, give or take a few days, I am enjoying a late afternoon cup of coffee with sugar and condensed milk in lieu of cream or half and half (instead of the usual black coffee), and it's so tasty that I've had to sit down since my knees buckled at the first taste. It is that good. Wow!