So I finally picked up a copy of The Lady, A Journal for Gentlewomen, which I blogged about back in January. I was grocery shopping and, being short of bathtub reading, susceptible to such impulse purchases. It contained some entertaining light reading, including a dissection of the seven tribes of incomers to the countryside. (After some consideration husband and I both concluded we were closest to the description proffered for the group of incomers called The Realists; we certainly weren’t The Hassled Parents or The Bling Brigade, although I am guilty of wearing “witty Wellingtons” à la the Cath Kidston Weekenders.)
The Lady also came in handy in aiding the escapist fantasies I am prone to have when work starts to get too stressful. This class of fantasy tends to involve quitting my job to become a chef or a wedding planner or to take over the local post office and add on a tea shop selling tasteful tat. My last few weeks in my real life office have included several crises, a volcano ash cloud stranded manager (without whom I had to handle the crises alone), a launch in India, and a narrowly averted business trip to Beijing this week on impossibly short notice. In short, I was primed for escapist fantasy when I starting skimming the classified pages of The Lady and found this advertisement under the cryptically named section, Situations & Appointments:
Opportunity for semi-retired couple: Part-time housekeeper/lady’s companion and gardener/handyperson required. Excellent accommodation in detached, two-bedroom cottage; own garden, parking, rural views to sea. Terms and conditions negotiable. Near Whitby in North York Moors National Park. Visions of Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins and the tragic romance of Remains of the Day flashed through my head providing just enough escapist fantasy to propel me through the remains of this week.