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Victorine Folle

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  1. Victorine Folle

    Away & Here Notices

    Hi all, I am still here. But I'm not able to post as much as much as I would like due to family events (I'm having a great time! But there is not a lot of it left for writing!) I will be back up and running within the next week!
  2. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    'I see you would 'ave my curiosity satisfied,' Victorine replied with a wide smile upon her lips. La baronne rouged a little under Lady Kendishall's indulgence and instinctively she put a hand to her cheek, cooling what was starting to bloom there. 'And I thank you greatly for it. It would be an 'oneur of mine to attend.' While Victorine was not a merry widow in her actions; could she be in danger of earning the reputation? As to the question as to where they should seek a refreshment, Victorine was thankful for the opportunity to quiz her companion. 'Is it true that ladies are barred from some établissements; like Eve from le jarden d'Eden?' Even in France, the salons did not occur without the salonnières. 'Per'aps the Lion rouge?' Margaret, approaching The approaching lady struck her bulls eye. But then Victorine supposed, for a stroll in the Sun it was odd to be without a parasol. Catching sight of the scarlet material, Victorine slanted her careful blue eyes sideways towards Caroline. Her impossibly blue eyes rested there for just a moment before she moved her gaze towards Margaret as the lady spoke. La baronne had never heard English spoken in such a manner. Low, flat, arched short vowels, very much like what she had heard amongst the Flemmings quarter at Calais. It took Victorine a moment to catch the meaning of the words. 'I am Victorine Folle, Lady Ballater; and this is Lady Kendishall,' a flattering gesture was made towards her blonde companion, 'you 'ave saved London from further chaos I think. I am very grateful that you brought 'im back to me.' If the sullied, errant parasol was offered back to her, Victorine would take it into hand to inspect the damage. However, she did not seek to explain the reason as to why it would in flight after all. Victorine hoped Margaret would draw her own - false - conclusion. Assured that the maid was not harmed, Victorine gave a little sigh of relief. This new acquaintance seemed well to do, fashionable even. Amongst these two fashionably dressed women; Victorine felt like she was an odd fish. While she had just spent ample coin that morning on a wardrobe, she had yet to be garbed in them. Her current ivory dress had a higher neckline than was fashionable, with a decidedly old-fashioned cut and lace, arranged in a very common fashion, at the sleeves. it made her seem more matronly, beyond her twenty five years. 'Will you join us for a cup? Lady Kendishall and I wish to revive our spirits?'
  3. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    'To be of such similar mind,' Victorine mused, 'on such matters will be your good fortune.' Victorine was not so green to misunderstand that the staid formalities and faux innocence of a wedding ceremony might not to be the widow's tastes but what exactly did the lady prefer at these wild parties? A lady with a great imaginative mind such as Victorine could start to wonder. As it was, Victorine had been to several rowdy weddings but none in the sense at which Victorine imagined Lady Kendishall hinted. Nevertheless, a wild wedding or no, a gift was always wanted - so a gift would be sent. A descension indeed. Victorine chuckled, a hand upon the front of her stays. Then she responded: 'it is true, I am very much without now. But it was worth loosing the parasol, I think. Besides I was told it was not my couleur.' Delighted to know that she was not a victim of la vertige Victorine was ready to move her way down the very many stairs, and thus Lady Kendishall's words did not mean an unnatural end to their sight seeing. 'Si,' Victorine said, upon a small smile, 'and very clever. Then, shall we seek out more earthly comforts below, hien?' Taking us down Victorine had no clear knowledge of what had become of her little parasol. And her thoughts were rather on something else as they wound down the corkscrew stairs: how masculine such a monument was without homelier, softer touches. There was no lace in the room except for cobweb. Once Caroline and Victorine had safely stepped off, and out of the grand building, Victorine looked up for her own measure of the height. It was great, indeed. But as she turned to view Lady Kendishall for a moment her mind burst with curiosity but she found herself pausing before addressing them directly to Caroline. 'Will you join me for a cup, Lady Kendishall? I find myself thirsty for wine and to satisfy my curiousity.' Victorine slanted her careful blue eyes towards Caroline, and whispered: 'what does a wild party look like?'
  4. Pleased to have found an adventure, Victorine likewise gathered her skirts and ascended the stairs. 'I 'ave no brothers, though I would 'ave liked many,' Victorine remarked, gazing at Darlene over her shoulder as she made her progress towards her rooms. But then she would not have inherited anything, so it was sweet sort of bitterness. 'My 'usband is not alive-,' Victorine said as they continued up the stairs, until they reached her rooms. Then, she whispered to Darlene, 'but 'e 'ad much joy of his last years. I am told.' At least much more than she had. She opened the door to allow Darlene to see if this was a memory from her past, in the room named after the Tree of Life. There were travelling boxes stacked on top of each other in one corner and a rather unfashionable evening dress laid out on the bed. Otherwise, there was ample floor space to move around in. The room smelled slightly of citrus, a perfume that Victorine was testing out sparingly. 'Make yourself at 'ome, Darlene,' Victorine said as she perched herself upon the edge of her bed, and opened a small box revealing a bevy of chocolate bonbons, sitting in delicate tissue. There was also a nearby crystal bottle of port. Her maids had kept the rooms tidy, but Victorine did spy an errant stocking perched over her room divider. But alas, it was too late to fix that matter. Darlene seemed kind enough to ignore it, or perhaps they could even laugh about it. So, Victorine may have the chance to meet this intriguing Lady Toledo of whom Lady Cavendish spoke. 'It is such a beauteous thing, to sing,' Victorine replied upon a wide smile, 'this is Lady Toledo, non? I am told she sings Operas magnificently.' That was not precisely true, the report was more along the lines of the sounds of a royally approved strangled cat. 'I do not think I possess any talent in great remark,' Victorine replied ruefully. But she was not truly disappointed, having many years to come to reconcile herself. 'But, something tells me, that you do, Darlene....?'
  5. Victorine gave a little spurt of laughter at Darlene's rather shocking story. It was such an odd yet wonderful little detail to enjoy. On reflection on the exact words, Victorine wished to believe Darlene meant a blood brother, a man impervious to her obvious charms. At least, she hoped that was the case. ' 'e spied you?' Victorine could have kissed Darlene for such a warning. Colour rose in Victorine's cheeks, scandalised by the thought that someone could just look up, and see her. But, alas, she was not the sight of beauty that Darlene was and quite passed the blossoming of youth. Although those years of life between Victorine and Darlene were stuffed with nothing of consequence: no fun, no lightness and no beauty. Thankfully, no one would willingly dilly dally underneath her window surely. 'But now, I am more than intrigued by your memory. Shall we discover together?' 'These wines are not rare,' Victorine said, 'I confess. But they are special and will be very delicious at your soirée.' As Darlene extended the invitation towards her, Victorine broke out into a genuine smile. 'I am delighted to be asked,' she said, 'if your party can accommodate me, I will be delighted to attend. My gifts shall prove my company worth it, I 'ope.' Darlene had the right of it, she had much need of introductions. She had yet to come up against someone decided to take against her, and she indeed was lucky for these little stepping stones into polite society.
  6. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    A smiled curled in the corner of Victorine's mouth as Caroline uttered her condolences. La baronne watched Caroline with her careful pale blue eyes for just a moment longer, before replying: 'mais non, there is no need. By all accounts he enjoyed 'imself. At least until the very end.' There was a lot of pleasure to be had in a cup of wine; and trouble if one enjoyed the pleasure overly much. But such was life. She had no torch to take up against drink. She rather enjoyed a cup or two, or three or four herself. Lord Chilchester. Prior to escaping from Ballater, Victorine had made a grave mistake learning so little of the cast of characters who made up English court. Kindly, Lady Cavendish had spent her part of her day rectifying Victorine's ignorance, and they had covered most of the notable peers of the realm. An Earl was a lucky fish to reel in should a lady cast her bread upon the water. 'An enviable match,' Victorine smiled brightly towards Caroline, who was proving to be lady with a rigorous spirit and an unaffected air. Both very enjoyable. Victorine grinned also as Caroline declared her husband would need luck. Was Lord Chilchester a man eager for a challenge then? ''When is the happy occasion to occur?' Victorine asked, wondering if Caroline was in the midst of organising such a grand show or whether this was fresh news. As for her striking parasol and its little pearled button, Victorine stood on her tippy toes to leverage a better range to launch it. After testing how the wind caught in its underskirts, she finally let it go setting it to sail upon a little eddy of a breeze. Her gaze followed it, peering over the edge of their viewing platform until it disappeared out of sight. She stayed there, watching for a bright scarlet dot. Satisfied she could no longer see it, her face traveled up to seek the heat of the sun. Victorine closed her eyes against the warmth, smiling. 'I thought I might have been afraid of these 'eights,' she said, hoping Caroline was still within earshot, 'but it is, refreshing? Exhilarating, even.'
  7. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    Her nerves were pinging from the effort of the stairs. But they were also were filling her with a wonderful, thrilling feeling that came from being so high up. It was a near perfect day for viewing the panaroma of the city. She could view the housetops, the long shadow of the tower like a sundial and the busy streets below. Victorine had rarely passed over so many stairs in one go; and she felt that if she was able breathe long enough to satisfy the heave of her lungs, she might pop. But after a few moments her pulse had taken up its normal pace and she gained mastery over her breath. Denmark? This certainly did nothing to dissuade Victorine from imagining her fellow countrywoman a Viking princesse. She had understood Caroline's little joke, and had found it rather funny. Perhaps even moreso for the sluice of fear that had threaded through her - that her request was denied, even shunned. But Victorine was a little shocked her blonde companion would talk in such a manner about her soul and the heavens, surely she could not really mean her immortal soul. It was likely another little joke. As Caroline spoke of little glimpses in her life, Victorine understood there were many cross threads in hers. She too, a widow. Although she could not have spent more than a month within her the company of her Husband, scarcely enough to matter or to mourn. 'I am a Widow also,' Victorine replied upon a small thin smile, and gave the only detail she knew of her husband's life and end: 'not such a fiery end with mine, just the slow burn of drink.' Fire had been the end of her family's fortune, as Victorine understood. It was thought to be an accident. A little ironie, to be standing within this very monument. She slanted her light eyes towards Caroline, assessing. She could empathise with Caroline's feelings towards her Father, but also felt a small budding of envy. Her own Father was lost to her, and in many ways even if it were not true that he were dead, it would have to be the case if he was indeed a fugitive from the law. It would be better to think him in Nouvelle-France, selling beaver furs. 'To remarry after such a thing is very brave,' Victorine replied, although she understood it was in some cases a very necessary, 'I wish you much joy. Félicitations. And who is this man of your choosing?' From what Caroline had said, it could be possible she was marrying for love. But la baronne could not rule out that it was also for comforts, such as opportunity or money. Hopefully it was a pleasing mix of all things a lady required. 'Your father was in the military?' Victorine assumed that he had been fighting for the French. Though why he would be Denmark, she had not a clue. She had absorbed what she knew of these wars from daily life around her. Victorine had no personal understanding that Caroline would. 'La,' Victorine posed her parasol so she could thread a pearled button from her matching pairs along a long red ribbon. Besides she could buy another if anything went awry. Thorpe's money was more than enough. 'I wish 'arm to no one, only good fortune, and maybe a button. Or?' She looked towards Caroline, and arched her brows. The lady did not seem enthused, nor even unenthused by Victorine's whimsy. She could attach it to the parasol to make the landing a little softer, but she could not be sure it would not end up too far away in the muck, or a tree. 'Maybe this is a stupid idee,' Victorine asked, smiling towards Caroline, holding the ribbon out to her in case she wished to add her own item, 'but if we cannot find these fancies on our descent, I will make sure you 'ave another in its place.' Perhaps it was her own restlessness that toyed with her. Yes, she was also overwhelmingly lonely and the intensity of it compelled an intensity in her actions. Here she was, about to figuratively cast her bread upon the water in the hopes that a little secret might be shared with this blonde companion, or even a stranger below in the streets. Surely it would just blow into some muck, and then not even she would retrieve it. However, firm in her path, she wound the ribbon around the handle of her parasol.
  8. Happily playing the game with Darlene, Victorine tapped her lips with a finger as if she were sealing State secrets behind them. Then again, after having a little pride in her own hostess abilities she understood the craft and the sanctity of the menu. And what Darlene described did sound particularly delicious. Victorine knew instantly what would add the final flourish to this very fine meal: Beaujolais, followed by Primitivo. La baronne didn't immediately reveal her recommendation. Distracted by the talk of a possible commonality, Victorine gestured to the far northeastern corner. 'Then come, please find your answer, Darlene,' she said, recalling her favourite elements of the comfortable room, 'there is a 'oney-coloured chair in which no doubt you would look excellent seated. With a full glass, per'aps and some bonbons?' Victorine would happily retreat to her, or perhaps their, chambre should Darlene would wish it. 'But,' the apricot haired woman eventually said, 'I am told Smithe-Higgins - or is it Higgins-Smith? - has some of the finest: vins français, vini italiani, portugais....saca? As my gift to you, I can send the wine to your soirée. But if you must taste the wine before serving, we would have to venture there ourselves.' Victorine tried to recall the exact words from Lady Cavendish about living in the Inn. But all she remembered was the feeling upon her at that very moment, and that she felt odd. Had she misunderstood the meaning of Lady Cavendish? It seemed possible she had. But it did not seem important nor kind to make mention of it. While Lady Cavenish was a little unsure of Victorine, the frenchwoman believed she could win the lady over in time. So she skipped over the person entirely. 'I am so glad to 'ear you say so. I like this bustle. And the menu of course-,' she laughed, and tucked a straying apricot coloured coil behind her ear, 'but if I am to stay in London, I thought I might eventually rent a 'ouse eventually.' It was not precisely a truth nor precisely a lie. Quite astonished at the image of someone's foot being shot, Victorine gave a little start of surprise. A bad day indeed for her paramour. 'But this is an English saying, non? Was he truly so 'eartbroken that he shot 'imself?' Her once lover was far more fickle in his attentions to bother with such displays.
  9. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    Victorine found herself rooted to the spot as Caroline responded. She felt a small sluice of fear before it melted away, and mirth arose to replace it. 'I may very well pay this charge of yours,' la baronne chuckled as her eyes twinkled with mirth. 'I doubt I will 'ave ever been so 'igh in my life,' Victorine turned her apricot coloured head towards the aforementioned heavens and squinted slightly, before returning her impossibly light blue eyes back to the brave blonde: 'I think this will be a great adventure.' Victorine visibly brightened as a shared commonality was revealed, and she clasped her hands together - both in relief and in intrigue. As to her own lineage, Victorine said: 'my mother was English, and my father français.' While she had french heritage, she had a new English title and estate. That, the frenchwoman considered, should topple her into the English basket surely? But it was surely her accent that gave up the game and set her apart, despite her efforts. Victorine spoke with a slight Picard accent, so very different from the courtly Parisian French. Being of French descent herself, perhaps this would be something that Caroline would notice. But it did signify little in the end. It was time for a formal introduction: 'I am Victorine, Baronness Ballater. And I am very pleased to go to the 'eavens with you.' 'Do you 'ave a 'usband or family here,' Victorine asked, curious about her companion, 'or a friends at this English Court per'aps, milady?' As she turned towards the steps, ready to ascend with the brave blonde in front like a Viking princess, Victorine started to think of the grand tableau of the City that would greet them and the very tall height they would be at. He knees had yet to falter, so she decided she was all in. Like if she were playing cards. The Frenchwoman did have a fancy for wages, and was considering how to achieve one with this very structure. 'We shall have the City in our 'ands I believe,' the apricot haired lass chatted lightly, 'are you curious to find out what should happen should we drop an item over the edge?' She had a few coins, but didn't want anything quite so dangerous to the below passersby to be used. Perhaps a button, or even her parasol? Floating it down over the edge with a cryptic message did seem rather enticing, but alas, her hand was poor enough to render cryptic messages complete absurdities.
  10. Victorine observed Frances' little witty delivery with an amused smile upon her lips. Lady Cavendish, perhaps, was like many a noblewoman who was able to hold her tastes like a barrier around her, like a shield. It was not such a bad thing; to know one's dislikes and likes, and to announce them with a little dry wit. Indeed, Victorine rather liked Frances the more for being so candid. Then, deciding to be brave, she ventured: 'I assume it is la manière of singing you do not favour,' the frenchwoman asked upon a whisper, 'rather than the lady 'erself?' Victorine had never heard an Opera before but she did recall the trill of the laughter from an opera singer from underneath her Father's door. Earthy, sultry and so very different from a strangled cat. But then, this opera singer had surely not been using that particular talent at that time. As for Lady Toledo, if there was anything Lady Cavendish could tell her, la baronne was willing to listen. 'I beg you to forgive mon subterfuge,' Victorine smiled languidly as Lady Cavendish discussed the steps of her plan, Victorine's grey eyes twinkling with amusement 'but I dare not alarm the Ballater steward that I do not intend to go back.' At all The questions were natural, and it was kind that the lady thought to keep propriety for another lady's servants. 'I shall give my your details, for the note, if you will?' Victorine did not want to reveal her weakness by trying to write or read without the time to sound out the words and practice the words. Without the efforts to prepare herself Lady Cavendish would surely think she was an idiot - if she had not already come to that opinion. 'Oh yes,' Victorine agreed as their time drew near. She had no desire to offend anyone related to Lady Cavendish, Duke or no. 'I believe I should need your 'elp to navigate this labyrinth,' Victorine got to her feet and patted her skirts to rearrange them into their old-fashioned style. 'Yet another thing I am to thank you for.' OOC: thank you for the thread! It was lovely!
  11. Victorine Folle

    What a View! (Wednesday, April 13th, midday) Caroline OPEN

    Amongst the mileu that washed this part of the City was Lady Ballater. Of a mind to take a full day in it's measure, Victorine had already spent enough coin for a new wardrobe and it's delivery to the Red Lion. It had taken a whole morning to discover her particular colours. Colours, she was told would dampen the colour of her own hair. But against their wiahyes she had taken a fancy to a small parasol of red with a decorative ribbon and decided to take it out to air Victorine was strolling nowhere in particular, and was wholly without design for her ventures - that is until she noticed a small group of people go in and out of the base of a large fluted column structure. This was rather intriguing as Victorine had considered it when she first passed it that it was merely an inanimate statue, or had perhaps merely looked without understanding. She entered behind another lady (Caroline), one who appeared particularly well dressed. Victorine was not quite expecting the inner staircase. 'Milady,' Victorine called out to the other in front, hoping that she would be heard, 'may I borrow from your courage and come with you to the top?' Victorine had never recently been off the floor to any height. As a child she had skittered across roofs without concern but as an adult full grown, she did wonder if she would suffer from la vertige!
  12. Not French. But very winsome. Lady Cavendish had been a lesson in understated charm, but now this lady presented a whole new opportunity. 'Ah,' Victorine slanted her impossibly light eyes towards Lady Oakham. Perhaps it was the kindness from this morning, her brandy-tea or the vision of the coquelicot about this lady's person but it seemed Frenchwoman was all to happy to help as Darlene suggested.The words "pre-excursion dinner party" caught her attention and her brows lifted up into their arches. But there was no shock in her face, rather amusement and intrigue. Just what was the late night excursion this lady was to undertake? As if she was involved in a conspiracy, Victorine pitched her head towards Darlene. 'it is convention non?' she commented upon a small shrug, eyes watching Darlene 'to partner wine by colour. But my secret Lady Oakham,' Victorine said, 'is to break these rules. What fine food do you serve for your friend, Lady Darlene?' 'I am Victorine Folle, Lady Ballater.' Smiling at the question from Lady Oakham, Victorine fought an urge to bite the inner of her cheek. Lady Frances Cavendish appeared to have found the idea bizarre that a lady would reside in an Inn without a Husband. Her maid also, and now perhaps Lady Darlene. 'Yes,' she looked about the busy nature of the Inn, 'is it very odd that I am here?'
  13. Thé, with a splash of fresh milk. Then, a few more drops of brandy. Victorine reclined in her seat, in a sea of indigo. The years she had spent in England had informed her that the English did not attend to their afternoon like the French. At Ballater she had always taken her tea and lemon cake alone. But now in le lion rouge, her goûter was taken amongst the dizzying number of people, no doubt the sound of clientele well served. She was very lucky that Mrs Golightly understood the tradition, and it was offered to her without a fuss. The brandy created a delicious haze, and added to her relaxation. Her morning had been well spent: practicing her singing and her encounter with Lady Cavendish, a lady who happily took her up. Hélas, she was not yet ready to retire to her rooms after such a good day. While her new maid was replete with gossip for their evenings, Victorine still did not understand most of it. Looking down at her plate, she saw it was empty. With a little moué, she realised she had already devoured the delights upon her plate. And then, as if her eyes had already been seeking beauty - the the most wonderful dress entered the Inn: light green (one of Victorine's favourites) patterned with a stunning red coquelicot. But she was even more intrigued by the lady when she began to look about herself, as if she was seeking something. Surely there was something French about this lady? She took her approach. Victorine approached the lady with a grand smile. She gave an elegant curtsy, and her impossibly apricot coloured curls swung about her face. 'Unlike you, I 'ave only just discovered the delights of Mrs Golightly's cuisine.' Victorine assumed Darlene to be a long serving noble customer of the Inn. 'But I see you take her meals elsewhere? Mais bon, what a clever idée!' Then her brows knit together, and said with slight astonishment: 'but you 'ave no wine, milady?'
  14. 'To a 'usband who grants you comforts, freedom-' Victorine raised her glass towards Frances, a sly smile curling across her face, '-and pays the billets!' It was an invitation to join a very pragmatic toast, and it rubbed her a little amusing. 'Per'aps I might one day toast to your children?' On the brink of her first marriage, Victorine had not yet acquired the desire for children. But neither had it ever been her duty to produce any. But now at five and twenty, Victorine wondered if she was this chance had long since passed her. As she took in what Frances said, and from the way she spoke about this Victorine felt comfortable assuming that Frances Cavendish would make a very fine maman. Dancing. Playing. Paintings. Wine. Indeed they had a few passe-temps in common. 'Mais voila,' she exclaimed, apricot curls dancing about her face. 'I sing a little but I prefer to dance all the night.' La baronne retrieved the bottle from the floor, and added more to Frances' glass, and then her own. 'I do not know any lady who is doing gardens. At least, I 'ave 'ad no thought look for one who does. But I 'ave seen 'edges cut into a maze!' The conversation swept towards the choice of housing. 'This is a useful kindness.' Victorine's impossibly light eyes swept up from her glass towards Frances. 'But I would also trust your opinion, just as I would trust any opinion coming from an agent recommended by your Duke Steward,' the frenchwoman took a healthy sip of the wine quite without recognition that she had said anything peculiar. 'As I am alone in England I cannot be too careful, non?' 'Then I will 'ost you when the time comes. I shall invite you. Are there any other ladies you enjoy the company of?'
  15. The frenchwoman nodded as Frances' talked, and described her 'lot' as it were. Her apricot coloured curls rustled and swung to and fro as she nodded. 'I do know very little,' she said, frowning slightly. La baronne felt that now it was her that had caused Lady Frances offence; but thought an apology would merely underline her companion's pained feelings. As to her future, Victorine understood the tableau painted by this lady; but it felt ugly to have it summed up in such a way. And while Frances had said nothing as to her feelings on the matter of her life, Victorine believed she was not enthused. Or perhaps even believed that her husband to be and herself were incompatible. 'Helas-,' Victorine said at last, touching her hair with her fingertips. She knew very well what it was like to be jeered at, 'my face will never give such things to you.' 'I think you 'ave un esprit,' the frenchwoman whispered, 'of fortitude. Of all these things in this future life of yours, is there time for any passe-temps to bring you a little joy? Per'aps you are fond of music?' Victorine hoped this would be the thing to draw the conversation away from thoughts of the Earl, if it were at all possible. Moreover, Victorine thought to find a lady who might enjoy similar pursuits. She already knew they had painting in common, but they were also not so in common that things were banal. After Frances expressed no suspicion or doubt as to how Victorine received her title, the frenchwoman felt relief. The weight of her farce lifted from her shoulders. So it was not uncommon, but neither unusual. She breathed deep, and gave a little sigh. She could relax. Smiling with thanks, her cup was offered in response to Frances wordless query, hoping to catch more of the delicious drop. 'I 'ave no great affection for Ballater 'ouse,' Victorine confessed, 'it is dark and cold. I would like to bring it alive with colour, per;aps beautiful plants or fabrics. But per'aps a first attempt at something smaller would be easier, like a 'ouse in London. More so I could prepare a menu for you, maybe to match delicious wine with meats or even les patisseries for us to enjoy...' Victorine was comfortable at the Red Lion Inn, but Frances' earlier comments were coming to the fore of her mind. Given she was going to invite curiosity, why not use it? It was surely not going to continue to serve her for much longer.