All In A Day’s Work

Think you’re busy? Too much packed into your day?

We’ve all been there, right? Especially those of us who write while still managing to work a full time job (or two). I know I have a planner that I stick with, and  I’ve got myself scheduled pretty tightly from 7 am to 10 pm. That’s bedtime for me. 10 pm. Only, not tonight. No, tonight I came home from work, went to the gym, then went to WalMart for the weekly lunch shopping. Didn’t get home until 9. It is now 9:53, and I am still eating this salad. (Srsly, why are these so huge and so cheap??)

But today I had to do some research for my current project, A Lady’s Wager. See, almost all of the book has to take place within a ten day span during the Season of 1816. So what kind of activities would throw this couple together, I wondered. Now, I’ve read my share of Regency’s. But I seriously had no idea. Not a single clue.

So again, I ask you – do you think you’re busy today? Check out the activities available for a woman of the Ton.

Wake up sometime before 10 am because
10:00 am – Riding in Hyde Park
Home for breakfast, which might be a simple affair or a full blown fancy schmancy affair.
Then, pay bills or write letters or shop or call upon very close friends
Then, luncheon – after which the men go to their manly pursuits, leaving the woman to choose from afternoon activities such as:
– cricket matches
– promenading in the Park
– attending scientific lectures
– receptions
– small musicals and concerts
– archery
– bazaars
– dramatic matinees
– polo
– races (presumably horse, but what about rowing?)
– lawn tennis, lawn bowling
– garden parties
– picnics
– a trip to the cafe or to a men’s club (where a woman could be invited to dine prior to an outing)

THEN, another turn about Rotten Row in the late afternoon – walking or riding.

5 pm – Afternoon tea, again either an informal affair or a crush
7 pm – dinner, formal, dozens of guests with footmen and waiters

Then, off to the theatre, opera, or a private soiree

And all of that? Just a warm up for the man balls, routs, and soirees that start anywhere from 10 pm to midnight, and go until 3 am.

The good news is that I do not believe I will have a problem creating ten days worth of varying activities. But seriously. How did they do it? I would die.

Now then, it is Tuesday. Tidbit Tuesday, to be exact. Here is today’s Tidbit. It is one of those pesky scenes that came to me out of order. I’m not sure where it will occur, but I do know it is a Garden Party, so check that off the list!

“Oh, I would not know. I’ve not ever left London.” The words were said so nonchalantly, he almost didn’t pick up what she had actually said.

When he did, he slowed to a halt next to her. A couple moved around them, the willowy brunette stifling a low giggle. The lawn of the large garden tucked away behind the Hatford’s mansion was freshly mown, leaving behind that unmistakeable of cut grass. Perhaps they would have a bit of summer, after all, thought Stratford. Then, Sarah’s words came back to him.

“You mean to tell me that you have never left London? Not even to take the waters or to join some house party?”
Sarah looked away, her gaze fixed upon her hands. “Not even once, Major.”

He knew she had recently lost a fiance, which was bound to be a sensitive subject. “But surely you attended, erm, that is to say…” He broke off before finishing. How to broach the painful subject? Was it not bad enough that she had loved before him? That she still wore the muted colors of half-mourning?
When she looked up, sadness muted her emerald eyes. He cursed himself ten times a fool. One did not – could not – woo a woman by reminding her of a painful, or tragic, loss.

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