In the summer of 2011 I played the role of Cecily Cardew in a professional production of, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. As part of rehearsals our director asked us to write a diary as our characters. Here is a small selection from my diary, for the delightful Miss Cecily Cardew…
The snow has finally cleared and today uncle Jack has departed for London. He said he was sorry to leave us. Uncle Jack is a frightfully bad liar. I once again asked if I could accompany him to London, he said no, and brought me a new pair of gloves. They are the prettiest gloves ever to be seen in Hertfordshire. Miss Prism has a cold and is therefore utterly unbearable. I shall visit with her on Tuesday. I am particularly delightful on Tuesdays. My hair has grown over the holidays which is pleasing. I just have this feeling that Earnest will like me better with longer hair. I have thought of Earnest only once today. Not because my affections are waning, but because that one thought of him has been with me the entire day. I must be in love with him. When one thinks about another person the whole day, and can only eat one small cake. They are usually in love. I wonder if Uncle Jack has mentioned me to Earnest this afternoon. I hope Earnest thinks of me often, and can only eat one small meal a day because of it.
Miss Prism is still unwell, which please’s me. Not because I wish her ill, but because my heart and mind can be free from distractions. Like French and politics. I don’t care much for French or politics. When I travel it shall be with Earnest. I will of course have to make all of the arrangements, he is, I am sure hopeless in every way. News has arrived that uncle Jack will return for a visit on Friday. I hope he will have talk of Earnest and his terrible ways. When he finally asks me to marry him, I will say, yes, naturally. Then I shall cry. I have been practising crying for a week, and I do it extremely well. Tears are very fashionable at the moment.
Miss Prism is better and my days are once again filled with her voice. I try to distract her as best I can. Sometimes however, one just ignores her. I don’t mean to be rude, but I just have so many other wonderful and important thoughts to entertain. Today my favourite thought is this, my wedding to Earnest. I am determined he should propose, I am just uncertain when that beautiful day will be. I often think Miss Prism should liked to have been married. I think her demeanour lovely, like the spring, but time has passed her by. Is there ever a year when love suddenly stops passing by your garden gate. I often worry the same for uncle Jack, then I stop myself. It is different for men. I think I shall buy some flowers this afternoon, to brighten my window. I hope Earnest will always know my favourite flower. The rose. Has there ever been a more pretty or dramatic flower, as the rose?
Uncle Jack won’t tell me anymore about Earnest. He has put a stop to all gossip, and my only way of reaching the world, beyond our country walls. Uncle Jack can be so thoughtless at times. The only thing he would share is that Earnest brought a new pair of silk slippers, and that they look god awful. I love uncle Jack but when it comes to fashion and taste. I believe Earnest out shines him at every corner. Earnest must have wonderfully good taste, why else would he be so wicked. When we have children, as we must one day. I hope they have his nature and my eyes, what a family we shall be. I will also require several dogs, like the queen. Earnest will be fine with that I’m sure. Miss Prism is in the library taking a nap, so I shall go and speak to Merriman. I enjoy our moments alone together. It’s the only chance I ever get at feeling even slightly wicked, speaking with the servants.
It is my favourite month of the year. It is the month in which we celebrate my favourite Saint, Valentine. I am hoping that Earnest will arrive in a carriage and whisk me off to Paris. Of course this will never happen, it is too soon. Our secret love can not blossom in the winter months, it needs sunshine and picnics by the lake in order to flourish. The summer. I shall wait in till the summer.
I often wonder how long a girl should wait for the love of her life to arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, and I have come to the conclusion that all one can really do, is trust in your own mind and heart. Trust that they will tell you when you have waited long enough and it’s time to walk to the large gates on the grounds of your beautiful estate and go tell him yourself that you’ve waited long enough and he should now, this moment marry you, and buy you a house in Oxford.
I hope it snow’s this month. I think snow on Valentines day is the most romantic thing of all. It’s like the heavens are dressing the day, making everything pretty. Something nice for lovers to look at as they sit by the fire, reading to one another.
Uncle Jack and Miss Prism are talking on the stairs about my studies, what bores they are. I already know everything there is to know about French history. I shall tell this to Uncle Jack over dinner tonight. He is heading to London again on Tuesday and I am thinking of asking him to bring me back a hat. A green one. A green hat would look fetching against my pale winter skin. I shall first judge his reaction to the French history announcement.