Ponsonby, Week 4, Part 1

My Dear Ladies,

Permit me a moment of sentimentality, as I believe this is the last letter I shall be writing to you. It’s been an absolutely amazing experience, and I wouldn’t have wanted to share it with any two other people. I’ve got a marvelous life, a darling husband, and two precious daughters, not to mention a five-star rated restaurant that serves tea steeped precisely to perfection. I must insist that you all join me regularly down at the G&K so that we can reminisce about the old days and gossip about our descendants, but for now, I must describe to you the last heady days of my tenure as Dynasty Founder before passing the reins to my eldest.

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Honey brought in the week with a bang. A quick perusal of the drink-making guide revealed that the most highly valued drink she could make without death flowers was the Amygdelight, which required her to be focused, so we moved the bar out into the backyard and she set to work.

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She did take a few unscheduled breaks. She is a teenager, after all, and very curious about the effects of juice. I elected to look the other way.

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Waylon Vo and Darling Walsh came round to cement her good friendships. Also someone named Aditya Banerjee. She’s quite popular. It’s difficult to keep track.

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And Advik, bless him, produced a masterpiece portrait in record time.

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Here’s the museum display. There’s seven drinks, though they’re not all visible. We had to enclose the entire thing in glass to keep it safe, and even then one or the other of us is always wandering round to the back of the building, attempting to “clean up” the results of Honey’s hard work. Thus far, we’ve not been successful, and the value of her museum contribution (including the portrait) stands at $8,621. My own portrait comes in at only $1,325, but I’m quite sentimentally attached to it, so it hangs in museum as well.

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From there we proceeded to tie up loose ends on Honey’s aspiration. Her licensing income rolled in Sunday morning, bumping her up to the final tier of Musical Genius, and as you can see, I got the short straw and had to take up the pink bunny guitar so I could receive some mentoring from my lovely daughter. She’s merciless, but after three hours I could plunk out a reasonably recognizable version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” so all in all I’m rather pleased. No doubt I’ll be the star at our next campfire party.

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From there she just needed to have played an instrument for a certain number of hours, so she sat down and began leveling piano as she’ll need it for her career. She’s an astonishingly quick study, and had nearly maxed it by the time she was through.

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You may not recognize it immediately, but what you see here is a money factory. Advik painted until his fingers went numb, Raj banged out dining table after dining table, and Jessica and I prayed for the dragon fruit to grow. Her wellness is high enough now that she can give me aromatherapy massages, so she’s preparing me here for what we’d hoped would be my final day at work.

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Here’s a better shot of the museum. It’s simple, but classic, so I like it. Honey is harvesting exactly sixteen dragonfruit to take with her when she moves across the street.

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Tada! Which she was fully prepared to do at 9:24 Monday morning, when she completed her aspiration. (She’d taken a vacation day from school.)

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Sadly, Mummy was not quite as prepared. I know I look pleased about the “great work” I was deemed to have done that day, but it wasn’t quite enough for my final promotion, and I was sore indeed! After all I’ve done for Dewey, Cheatum & Howe! The glass ceiling stands firm, though, it seems, unless one finds a way to punch through it.

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There being nothing left except a quick renovation of the restaurant to complete, I decided to tempt fate and see if the wishing well would be as kind to me as it had been to Eve. It was not.

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I feel bound to say that I think the well itself doesn’t even know what it’s doing at times. My tense moodlet implies that I was given a “chance” at a promotion, which is just patently untrue. I was very nearly demoted!

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Honey responded to the bad news by entering a “loud phase.” Ah, well. She’s a talented musician, so at least when she makes noise it’s rather pleasant. Through several thick walls.

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She made good use of her unwanted extra time, however, and set out next morning to make some new friends, and hopefully future housemates.

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Both music lovers, she and Joaquin le Chien got on famously, and were friends in no time at all.

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She was not as successful at her next stop. Here you see her counting cats. We’d anticipated three, but as it happens there are four, all belonging to Miss Caterina Lynx, so with the two gents from the Bro household, and Caterina herself, their addition to the household would leave no room for a baby, so she moved on without even introducing herself. Pity. Cats are such nice company, and whichever of the Bros she doesn’t marry will likely want some female companionship of his own.

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After next work day I’d managed to squeak my way back up to “Ok” work performance, but it was painfully obvious that if we wanted Honey to move on any time at all this week I was going to have to face the well again.

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Sweet Raj surprised me by installing a brand-new private well just for me in the backyard (the money factory had been busy!). This one seemed to like me better than the other one, and gave me a lovely green glow, which you’ll both know means a guaranteed promotion after next shift, and we were back on track again.

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Having nothing else pressing to do, we celebrated by heading out to alien night at the bowling alley. Eve, that sweet young thing in the blue bolero is someone I’ve not seen before, but who might deserve a closer look! She’s a young adult, and single (yes, I asked, and no, Raj was not pleased!), but lists her profession as “bar regular,” so I can’t be positive that she’s an alien, but she did turn up for alien night, so who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky!

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By the way, dear, it’s so lovely to see that you and Corey are still so much in love. You’re just darling together, and so affectionate. I’m quite jealous, as Raj doesn’t really go in for public displays of affection, but he’s very sweet when we’re alone, so I can’t really complain. Much.

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I had to giggle, Mary. It seems your brother-in-law has taken up bowling. He does look rather smart in the uniform, but those shoes! And I can’t imagine Jana thinks much of his buxom teammates!

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Eve, dearest, a word of advice:  I know you’re not fond of Rhonda, but perhaps you might try and keep your antipathy a bit more under your hat? Stiff upper lip, dear, and all that.

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And now for the bad news. We’d held on to Jessica for so long that we’d begun taking her presence for granted, but her time was up late Tuesday night. The worst of it is if I hadn’t gotten greedy and used the wishing well, I’d have probably been promoted Tuesday and Honey would have moved out in time to keep our beloved gardener alive and healthy indefinitely, but it is what it is. She was a great help, and we’ll miss her deeply.

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You’ll no doubt think us heartless, but in order to distract ourselves and keep the sad moodlets away we all sat down to a puppet show performed by our little Domino while the reaper performed his grim task. Jessica and Domino were very fond of each other, and Jessica did enjoy the shows greatly, so you might say the performance was in her honor.

Allow me to savor my time in the spotlight for just a few minutes longer, my dears. I’ll bring my portion of this tale to its thrilling conclusion next time.

Wistfully,

Loelia

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