The Mornings After

The first salon was a qualified success, I do believe. Considering its spontaneous occurrence and that I was more than a little manic to be back in the Neath, it was well attended and quite diverting. I credit much of this to the guests, and the “Shroomgria,” (ETA: this term was coined by the linguistically adroit Dr. Mason) which was a hit. By the time I closed my doors behind the last of the guests I was exhausted and slept dreamlessly, for the first time since shortly after I arrived here months ago.

Yesterday, inspired by the artistic landscaping I’d done for the Duchess, I planted a tiny mushroom garden on my balcony. Strictly ornamental, of course, nothing medicinal or mind-altering at all (well, I think not, anyway). It’s simply a way to have something lovely to enjoy close at hand, reminiscent of the lovely wildflowers I enjoyed during my recent expedition to the surface.

In other news, I took dear Theodor’s instructions to heart about that silly counterfeit head of St. John the Baptist and placed it by my bed as I slept. I awoke with the knowledge of yet one more thing I probably did not wish to know as well as that ravenous hunger that one only gets from nightmares in this place. The last two times I have come away with this voracious appetite I’ve sought the remedy right away. This time I believe I shall live with it awhile and see where it goes. If any of my, erm, delicious friends would care to share their experiences with me, I would appreciate it greatly.

In the meantime my adventures in learning about the Correspondence Stones continue. After the blood running from my eyes ruined three good blouses, I decided to seek out some expert help. The first antiquarian who thought to decipher them exploded in flames right before my eyes — whyever he thought sleeping with them on his chest qualified as a “good idea” I cannot begin to say — but I have found another who also seems quite enthusiastic about the process. It is an intellectually fatiguing study, one that is assisted by the smooth, ordered, crystalline beauty of a good chess game and the liberal application of laudanum before bed. I hope to have some kind of breakthrough with the Stones before my “day” here is done.

Many thanks to all of you who’ve indulged my most recent chess-playing spree. The insights I’ve obtained have been well-employed, I assure you!