A Day of Pain

Last week I mentioned that I was going to Hillwood House, the home of the late Marjorie Merriweather Post. Post designed the house to be a living museum and it is beautiful. She was a collector of decorative arts, especially from 18th century France and pre-Communist Russia, like the Fabergé egg shown here (not from her collection).

There were some Regency era paintings. One I correctly guessed as a Thomas Lawrence (I was so proud of myself). Another one I asked about, but our tour guide was obviously a Russian scholar and nothing else quite registered with her. So she didn’t know…
The Lawrence, was the Portrait of Mrs. Michel nee Anne Fane.

It was a lovely day spent with writing friends!

Today won’t be so much fun.

First is my trip to the accountant for the taxes. I used to do our taxes myself, but as they got more complex, I’d have an anxiety attack every time. It is so much better to hand them to the accountant. She likes reading Romance, so I always bring her a book.

It got me thinking about taxes during the Regency, when there were taxes on everything. From What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew (which, by the way, is on sale for $5.99 on Amazon), there were taxes on “land, income, the practice of law, newspaper advertisements, glass, candles, beer,malt, carriages, menservants, coats of arms, newspapers, paper, bricks, stone, coal, windows, corn, soap, horses, dogs, salt, sugar, raisins, tea, coffee, tobacco, playing cards, timber, silk, and…headgear.”

I don’t feel so bad now…..

Except, I have to go to the dentist afterward. My dentist is a great guy and an enthusiastic supporter of my writing (he once phoned me on a Sunday to tell me about a History Channel show about dueling, which he knew I was researching). He’s a bit advanced from the Regency dentist, though. This is from the Jane Austen Society of Australia, about Jane’s visit to the dentist with three of her nieces:

‘The poor girls & their teeth!’ a Visit to the Dentist by Joanna Penglase
“Mr Spence remonstrates strongly over Lizzy’s teeth, cleaning and filing them and filling the ‘very sad hole’ between two of the front ones. But it is Marianne who suffers most: she is obliged to have two teeth extracted to make room for others to grow. ‘When her doom was fixed’ says Jane Austen, ‘Fanny Lizzy and I walked into the next room, where we heard each of the two sharp hasty Screams’. Fanny came off lightest, but even her ‘pretty teeth’ Mr Spence found fault with, ‘putting in gold and talking gravely’, moving Jane Austen to grave doubts about his motives. ‘He must be a Lover of Teeth & Money & Mischief to parade about Fanny’s’, she declares.”

It is some comfort that my dentist is not Mr. Spence!

I hope you have more wonderful things to do today! Things without pain. Tell me about them!

(I am watching Sense and Sensibility at this moment….Edward Ferrars……((((THUD))))

Oh, this is the last day for my contest. Enter before midnight!

Oh Oh, I almost forgot to invite you to the Wet Noodle Posse blog. We’re doing a whole year on writing and April is Conflict month. We have lots of guest bloggers in April, including Jo Beverley! And we’re giving away a signed copy of one of her books to one lucky commenter.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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11 Responses to A Day of Pain

  1. Oh no!!! Taxes AND the dentist. How awful. When you get home, curl up and watch some Jane Austen movies on TV. That’s my rX. 🙂

    A few years ago I saw a travelling exhibit from the Post museum, and it included Faberge eggs and wonderful jewelry (like Empress Alexandra’s wedding crown!) I can’t imagine a whole house full of such things…

  2. I read the rest of the dentistry article, Diane–made me feel quite ill! Almost as bad as the Nature documentary that was on last night before S&S, about forensic botany/zoology, where at one point the narrator intoned: Sadly, this will be the maggots’ last meal.

    For some reason that phrase is sticking with me.

  3. Taxes AND the dentist? And on a Monday? I hope it all goes smoothly…

    I have the day off, because we have tickets for the Mariners’ season opener this afternoon. Unfortunately, I was really sick over the weekend, and I’m still pretty shaky on my feet, so I hope having a real breakfast and lunch will give me enough energy to actually go to the game and enjoy it!

  4. Mondays are good days for chores such as taxes and dentist. As it is everything moves in the post-weekend fog, so the pain and annoyance are not as noticeable. And good for you on getting both out of the way on one day. Why spoil two days?

    So what are your plans for the afternoon? Sounds like you’re due a cuppa or two.

    Susan: Hope you feel well soon. You’ve been hard hit by preschool illnesses this year, haven’t you?

  5. Elena Greene says:

    I’m also of the theory of getting all the pain into one day if possible. Why mess up two days of writing?

    Yikes on the period dentistry. My own dentist is a nice, funny guy who keeps asking when I’ll write a dentist hero. I’m afraid he’ll have to keep waiting…

    Feel better, Susan! It’s been a horrible year for illness over me and my kids too, plus all those school delays and closings–when ARE these children going to get an education, I ask you?–nothing to do with getting my book done, of course! At least we seem to be pulling out of it finally.

  6. Cara King says:

    Hope you do feel well enough to enjoy the game, Susan!

    And Diane, {hugs} on all your painful Monday stuff! And hope the dentist is as easy as possible.

    Todd is away, so I’m going to spend the day feeling sorry for myself 🙂 and then tonight I will watch Sense & Sensibility (which I didn’t have a chance to watch last night.)

    And remember, everyone, stop by here tomorrow to talk about Sense & Sensibility!!!

    Cara

  7. Diane Gaston says:

    Sadly, this will be the maggots’ last meal.

    Awwwww, poor maggots….Too bad I missed that show.

    Susan, I hope you have recovered and have a wonderful time! Our new stadium for the Nationals opened this weekend and our team won!

    Keira and Elena, I, too, think it is good to get these things out of the way.

    Cara, I cannot WAIT to hear what you (and everyone) think about S&S. Our PBS station repeats Masterpiece on Wednesdays so if anyone missed it, see if you can find it on Weds.

    Taxes – no results yet, so the pain may come later, but at least I had all the right forms for her. Whew.

    Dentist – just putting the crown on, so the pain was minimal and I didn’t need Novocaine. Yay.

    I consoled myself by going to the Talbots Outlet and buying clothes! Great prices. I got 2 t-shirts, three sweaters, and a cotton blazer. Whoo hoo.

  8. janegeorge says:

    **Sadly, this will be the maggots’ last meal.**

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. You made my Monday. I can’t wait to intone it at some opportune moment at the financial services day job.

    Diane,
    Retail therapy. Even better than Ben & Jerry’s therapy. 🙂

  9. doglady says:

    jane, the only thing better would be retail therapy FOLLOWED by benandjerry’s therapy!! Clothes at Talbot’s? Wonderful, O Divine One. I mean with a day like that the only thing you needed to top it off was a mammogram or a colonoscopy!

    Someone really needs to start a book with that line. I mean think of the possibilities!

    I spent my day at Wal-Mart Hell, BUT tomorrow is my day off. I am trying to get my ducks in a row for San Francisco and frankly panicking a bit about it, BUT it is a nice thing to panic over. I guess!!

  10. Diane Gaston says:

    acck. Next on my “list” is to go to the gyn and internist, and that means mammogram and colonoscopy. I’m waiting until the book is turned in though.

    The retail therapy really did make me feel good. I engaged in it on my way back from the Tax Lady. The Talbot Outlet is about 15 minutes from my house, but the last time I was there was last “Tax Day.”

    I have to stay away from that Ben & Jerry’s…or my new clothes won’t fit.

  11. Todd says:

    Cara wrote:

    Todd is away, so I’m going to spend the day feeling sorry for myself 🙂

    Not to add to the guilt, or anything! 🙂

    I am at the moment sitting in the lobby of my hotel, checking my email and stuff, ’cause the wireless internet is too weak to connect in my room. I’ve just spent three hours working on my talk for Imperial College tomorrow, and probably need at least two more before I’m done. Such a fun way to spend one’s time in London! But I suppose it beats taxes and dentistry. (They will wait until I get back!)

    Still, I hope to have a little time this afternoon to go back to the British Museum and Sir John Soanes, which are both close by.

    Todd-who-is-jet-lagged-and-guilty-in-London

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