I am feeling quite frisky because today, I am 168 years young. What’s that? How do I keep such youthful complexion? Why, I bathe in the blood of virgins. No! No, I don’t do that at all; not really. Me, I just soak up all the joys of living in this magnificent landmark to frigid passivity and bathe in the wellspring of adoration from my stately Mr. Rochester; the fact that he is currently giving my birthday present to the grandfather clock in the Main Hall can’t dampen my spirits.

As usual, to mark the occasion of me coming into the world, Mrs. Fairfax has pulled out all the stops, which I have asked her to put back as there is now a rather uncomfortable draft whirling around the halls like a dervish. She has also piled my gifts from my many admirers near the fireplace in the study so that I may open them with a nice cup of tea. Very near the fireplace, practically in the fireplace – I singed the lace on my cuff when I reached for whatever Mr. Darcy sent me (yes, the card reads Lizzie and Mr. D but we know, don’t we?)

I do hope Mrs. Fairfax wasn’t serious about what she hoped the chef would put my cake; I don’t think buttercream does well there.

So what do I have planned? Well, I had thought a nice bath followed by some time for everyone to call on me and tell me all their lovely little stories about me while we open my presents and I can pretend they have any sort of taste at all, but it seems there have been some delays. Grace misunderstood my request and a very muddy Pilot, after a morning of hunting with Mr. Rochester, is sitting in my French lavender salts. I, by contrast, have been sitting in this study for 2 hours and have yet to receive one visitor, which can only mean that Mr. Rochester must be planning a huge surprise party for me this evening. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do love a good party, it’s just that I am always a little wary of Mr. Rochester’s surprises; they can be quite a bit more than one expects at times.

Speaking of Blanche Ingram, she had the decency to send along something; a lovely linen handkerchief with my initials delicately embroidered in to it – only she forgot my name begins with a “J” and slipped a “B” right there next to the “R.” Grace is currently scrubbing Pilot with it. Heathcliff sent a gift but Catherine quickly came and took it back and Mr. Holmes sent on a little something but I don’t know where it is because he thought it might be “fun” to send me on a little clue hunt to find it; perhaps if I smoked whatever is in his pipe I might actually be able to figure out his asinine ramblings. I took a peek at The Count’s little package but I thought it was from the Count of Monte Cristo and it turned out to be that strange one from Transylvania instead; I don’t know what passes for proper etiquette in Transylvania but that is certainly not appropriate at Thornfield. Emma Woodhouse had a large parcel sent to the house the day before yesterday, I am so excited to see what it is, I intend to leave it for the last… well, excited and have taken note that the cat hisses at it every time she passes in front of it. I may have Mr. Rochester take it outside and shoot it once before opening it. Shoot the package, not the cat.

I have no idea what Mr. Rochester plans to give me, since he has offered it to the dining room table, a very confused flower delivery man and the hall tree in the front entrance so far; I don’t know what makes me sadder, that the blind fool carried on a conversation with a hall tree for 20 minutes or that they have all rejected the gift. I can wait, though, because his first gift ever to me really is the gift that keeps on giving. She sent a note from the attic, by the way, which is so lovely. She said she will give me my gift just as soon as she has the opportunity – I can only imagine how time consuming it must be to swing from the rafters and lay prone on the floor. I won’t push her, however, as she indicated her intent is to disassemble me into the smallest pieces possible and dance on my entrails – it is so nice to have family close by. Perhaps Pilot can roll around a bit in Mr. Rochester’s bed before Grace dries him off.

I hope you all have a lovely day, I will sit back and enjoy all the festivities at Thornfield, which currently involve Mr. Rochester chasing after the postman in an attempt to give me whatever stupid wood carving he made me this year (no, I am not ungrateful, it’s just that the ability of a one-handed, blind man when it comes to whittling is limited at best.) After I retrieve my beloved from the moors, I will show Grace how to not knock over the large vase on the first landing when she passes by it – again – and then round out the day with listening to Mrs. Fairfax’s continuing lecture as to how trollops go about courting married men while tutoring their wards and pretending I don’t know to whom she is referring. I think I will ask the chef to put a few extra cups of rum in the rum balls for good measure.


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