I believe it was Dorothy Parker who once said, “I’m too fucking busy and vice-versa,” when her boss asked her to come in during holiday and work. Of course, Dorothy was only five years old when I was stabbed to death, so clearly I learnt of this quote post-mortem.
Well, I never used that excuse, but I must say, the constant grind of work, work, work did have me seeking the perfect snappy comeback to the barrage of requests suffered by an Empress: Imperial visits abroad, court balls, open carriage parades, the rigid etiquette of state dinners. On and on it goes. One needs one’s beauty sleep if one is to be available for the unceasing duties.
Every morning I am dressed by waiting maids (though I finally put my foot down on that), and then there’s the constant fittings, and the absurdly wasteful rule that a pair of shoes be worn once only! Ridiculous.
The only solace, sometimes, was to count the minutes until I could climb into my bed, alone, and take my night’s slumber with a silken mask over my eyes and a paste of milky-slugs upon my cheeks.