By Katherine Givens
Originally published in the Daily Love.
March 29, 1810
I must agree with your mother. If you continue to walk in the winter winds, you shall catch a cold. Please stay healthy. If not for your sake, for mine. I have become so very accustomed to receiving your letters. I look forward to cracking the seal whenever a new note reaches my hands. And for your amusement, I shall tell you about my short excursion to Derbyshire.
It was three years ago. I was visiting a friend of mine, the Earl of Matlock. The fellow is like a father to me and his wife, Victoria, is a very pleasant creature. Both are far past their prime, but their passion for life is very evident. The couple acted as my guides as they showed their homeland with a twinkle in their eyes and various private smiles. They introduced me to the wilderness of the county and the small villages that surrounded their manor.
My favorite place was a small inn that was once owned by an eccentric named Mary Powell. Her grand nephew now owns the inn. We still have contact through letters. I remember the first time I met George, the current owner of the inn. I was sitting in the tavern drinking from a bottle of whiskey, minding my own business. I was eyeing a pretty girl. Her father caught my wandering eyes and threatened to blacken both. The father did not appreciate it when I told him to, “Take the stick out of his arse and loosen up.” I apologize for the crude phrasing, but that particular point of this memory gives me cause to smile. The man and I began tossing a few punches. George had to come over and threaten to beat us with that stick the father pulled out. All of us, including the father, began to chuckle at John’s wit. In the end, the father sent his daughter home and we settled our differences over a few bottles of whiskey and port. John kept us company the rest of the night. I long to return to Britain. I long to return to Derbyshire and visit the earl and Victoria. I long to see John. I long for home.