My dearest William,
How very daring of you to suggest a little amusement with the nurse; I will give it some thought. I am sure your mother would be horrified if she knew what we were planning and would not welcome me into the house at all. What a pity that she discovered our affair and has a dislike of me already or perhaps now that I am widowed she may be more tolerant of me.
In the meantime I must deal with more mundane matters. My dinner party is this coming Friday evening and I suspect that Henry will make a nuisance of himself. I asked him to suggest guests and he has only asked that he might bring his mother, his sister and her husband. I fear it has the making of a rather boring evening and am hoping that some of my guests from the neighbouring villas will lighten the atmosphere a little. I will continue my letter after the event and keep you up to date on the latest news from Rome.
It was as I had thought and Henry seemed to think this dinner party was for the purpose of introducing me to his family. I don’t think his mother took to me; she was quite chilly at times. His sister, Edith, was as boring as Henry and I had no doubt at all from the looks he gave me that her husband would have welcomed a little distraction. I wouldn’t have objected had he not looked so dreadfully like my dear Adam.
The other guests were much more interesting. In particular the lovely Italian lady, from the villa along the avenue from mine, was amusing with her stories of Rome and her family, who apparently have lived in the area for centuries. She kept up a constant chatter and I was glad of her as Henry’s family proved so boring. Leelah is the Italian lady’s name and her husband is Giovanni. He has always seemed quite stern, taciturn even, when we have met but Leelah assures me that he can be very good company when they are alone. She has offered to introduce me to his brother, Antonio, at a dinner in her home next month. It may be worthwhile if her husband’s talents run in the family.
I am afraid that I may lose Milly to the gardener. She meets him several times a week by the back wall in the garden. I watch them from my bedroom window, unbeknownst to them of course. She is becoming quite bold, seeming to care less as time goes by of being seen. She has quite small breasts; I feel you would find them attractive. It strikes me as I write that I am paying a gardener to make love my maid when he should be looking after my bougainvillea!
You may remember that I mentioned the ginger cat that lives in the garden? He has become very friendly, curling up on the end of my bed during my siesta. I may have to bring him with me when I travel again; at the moment he is the only male in my bed! William, I love it here in Rome, especially the warm weather. I was never happy in wet and windy England, except in high summer of course and only then when it was seasonably warm. I may never go back there and must decide what to do with the house if I am not to return. Perhaps you have some advice on the subject?
I look forward to your reply.
Your fondest cousin,