start the clock over.

My aunt arrived on Tuesday night — yes, the aunt I hadn’t seen in something like fourteen years.

Lord, but she is smaller than I recall; I feel positively bulky next to her. I realise it’s because she is short, and built like I am, and also does very heavy work. I am softer-faced, softer-bellied. I think I may even have softer thighs. It’s odd to be the next-smallest instead of the smallest of us three, odder still to bear a greater resemblance to the American girls around me than to my own aunt. (To the point of considering short-shorts. What? Marelie, who are you? — But I never go anywhere requiring shorts. But there are hot days indoors here. But I have blankets for that. Oh!)

I’m still fifteen to her, in many ways, as I haven’t left home, haven’t got a job; there is no explaining “panic disorder is a beast” or “I can’t fix any of my disabilities overnight”, let alone “We’re still figuring out what the picture really looks like”. I look like my mother when she was younger. Hm. There’s one I never figured.

The days are so full, and my head stuffed to bursting. Company manners mixed with “we’re all family here”: who am I? Am I my mother’s failure of a daughter, or am I the girl who’s got good reasons to be who and how she is, though they’re tough to explain? And I don’t want to make anyone angry, except that for some reason my temper’s on a short fuse. I asked Sadira how to handle that and she said she’d been much the same way herself once. I think I will keep hanging around with her. She has a glint in her eye that says “Yes, I’ve lived and I know it, and if you stick around you might learn how to survive, young Garnet.”

Because who would know that better than our Once and Future Baroness?

How I explain Thescorre: “Oh, this is my American family.” It’s no good trying to get our Rosi into garb, and I’ll be at Curia wearing… at least the ersatz-Elzbieta hat (and Gollum is here, and I couldn’t be more pleased for them all). Things people say are boring actually wind up being really fascinating to me. I love the inner workings of our Barony.

Not enough time left. How was May so very uneventful and June is flying past? The days get longer, not shorter, until the 21st — gracious, how’m I meant to squeeze everything into these next two weeks? Two weeks to make up for fourteen years, two weeks in which I am still Elen Woderose, Herald-at-Small, First-Time Autocrat (Long-Time Listener).


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