Author's Note:

Firstly I would like to congratulate you on making it this far. This applies to those of you who have read this from the start, rather than clicking that "" button… I also would like to apologise for my absence, work got busy, and then summer school started over a month earlier than I was expecting (1st Nov rather than 1st Jan 2013).. So I've been trying to keep up with that and I was house sitting and I joined a gym etc etc. I head to Melbourne in the morning for a shopping trip and thought I should post this chapter before I left; since you've been so patient as to wait.

now Anne's dating profile in this one is taken directly from obscure traits of mine, i CAN skull orange juice sans vom. be glad i didn't include "can burp the alphabet backwards." because i can do that one too.

This particular one is a day's worth of entries: it's 4 regular entries in the one chapter because (I'm lazy) I wanted to make up for my absence.

This story is winding down now and I don't expect it to be much longer before I finish! Hopefully (muse allowing this) I will have another update for you when I get back, so check here again around the 15th dec or so!

Don't forget to read and review you adorable bunch of austenites!


April 28th, 2012 (morning)

Camden Place, Bath

I just…. I just wanna go back to sleep.

But you know when you wake up super early and you're definitely awake, but all you want to do is go back to sleep because it is far too early and no one else is awake anyways.

Well that's me this morning.

It's 5am. I woke up about 15 minutes ago, and after rolling around trying to get back to sleep I'm giving up. Some people say that when you wake up like this that someone is dreaming about you. Well they need to stop dreaming about me and let me sleep!

Then again one of my classmates from my English degree once told me that waking up at an early hour was a sign that there was something going on in your life that you needed to give to God (she was a Christian, but not one of those crazy bible-thumping guys that are always door-knocking at ridiculous hours, she also had a point too. At that point I was up at all hours because it wasn't that long after what happened with Fred…)

Either way. I am awake.

I usually get up about 5.30-6ish for my run, so I'm going to stay under the covers until then.

Liz is going to Prague this afternoon for a modelling gig and dad flies out for Los Angeles tonight, so they're heading to Heathrow airport about lunchtime, and since I'll be at work in London when they get back, today is a sort-of goodbye-for-now.

Hm, it's almost 10 past now, it takes me about 5 minutes to get ready for my run and then another 5 to warm up properly. So if I get up now I'll be ready to run about half past (which is when I'm normally waking up for my run.) do I get up now or not?!

Nope. I'll wait. I can't be bothered moving just yet.

I have been told that Adrian, Fred, Charles and James have been going for morning runs as well around Bath, but I've yet to encounter them. I like to think the only reason I haven't yet is because they're running so far behind me and I just manage to outrun with my epically fast pace. In reality they probably go out at a more appropriate hour (like 6.30am), like everyone else here.

It rained last night so it's likely to be fairly cold this morning, which means that half the regular runners won't bother this morning, which leaves the streets and paths even more deserted than they already were.

I personally prefer these colder post-rain mornings. There's just something about the way that the cold air hits me that makes me want to just keep running (Dementor, Dementor!).

Okay, it's ticking closer to half past now, I'm going to get up, out of bed and get ready.

April 28th, 2012 (a more decent hour of the morning)

Camden Place, Bath

So you know how I said before that I hadn't encountered the guys on my morning runs?

Well, it was a hilarious coincidence (possibly fate or Karma) that I did today. Right after I said I hadn't.

I was taking a shortcut between streets to get to the park where I normally go and hey presto! There they were! Turns out we were all heading the same direction, so I joined them until we hit the park (in which I then left them to eat my dust!) but it was just so… I don't know. Weird?

I wore decent looking running gear today (not my baggy t-shirt) so I looked the part of a professional runner all decked out in my puffy vest, leggings and sweatband keeping the frizz out of my eyes.

Then they were all looking at me, then I could have sworn they all sent looks at Fred when I crouched down to tie my left shoelace (which I stupidly hadn't done a double knot for). Oh jeepers, they know. They must know. Or else they don't know and they have plans to set us up.

I don't know I am so confused. Why can't things stop being confusing and just.. Make sense.

Why am I so convinced that everyone knows everything?

Is this premonition or paranoia?

Either way, I ran faster then them all.

I just had breakfast with dad and Liz and their heads are full of their upcoming trips. Dad's asked us whether or not there's anything he can bring back from Hollywood for us, and Liz's head is just full of clothes and how high the heels she'll be put in will be.

Me, I'm was just trying to eat in peace.

Relative peace. I can compromise.

After dad and Liz have flown out I'm locking up the place for them, and Penelope will be staying with some friend of hers whilst I bunk on the couch at the Musgrove's for a couple of nights.

Hmm. I'm starting to get nervous about starting work, They're putting me into a hotel room for a few weeks, then I fly out to one of their research ships in the Atlantic, moored just south of Spain.

I'm going to literally be on a boat in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by sciencey guys and sailors.

Surrounded by guys.

Not sure if I should be looking forward to this, or dreading it.

That sounds so sexist, I'm sure there's some women in the team

April 28th, 2012 (post-seeing dad and Liz off at the airport)

Small café in Bath

I thought I'd escape the insanity for a while. Get out of the house and all. Get away from people and familiar faces.

If I'm leaving for work in a few days I need to be prepared to not see familiar faces. Plus I'm a complete coward and I cant bear to see Fred after what happened after my last update.

I don't even know where to begin on that front. I mean. how? Why? WHAT?

Lucy.

I'm just going to hope her name passes as an explanation of what happened.

At least until I stop being so embarrassed by it all.

I'm literally sitting in this hard café chair squirming right now.

Okay. I can do this.

So I have told Lucy about everything to do with Fred and I. In a moment of weakness, I told her all about us, and what I did… well, she had to say something aloud, to me; in front of everybody.

That woman is going to kill me. Or I'm going to kill her. Either option is open still.

Okay, so obviously I'm going to have to spell it out for you all, since you don't have access to my memories…

This is basically a transcript of what happened… I refuse to elaborate, exaggerate (or any number of E words) on the following.

Me: "So I'm leaving on Tuesday, you guys are here until the fourth aren't you?"

Mrs Musgrove: "Yes, hope you don't mind, but Monday, we're having a huge dinner here for you, a send-off if you will."

Me: "Woah, that's so lovely of you!"

Lucy: "well, we've got to give you a few things as well, we can't have you working out in the middle of the ocean without some home comforts."

Mrs Musgrove: "Like those sea sickness pills, biscuits, and not to mention some things for your birthday!"

Me: "I'll probably be back by the time my birthday rolls around!"

Lucy: "Don't ruin our fun Annie-bear, it's happening. We're having food and presents for you, and with any luck we'll find you a boyfriend before you leave so you'll be inclined to come back. Surely there's someone here in Bath, or even in back in Uppercross we can set you up with?"

This was then followed by a hip nudge, a wink then she tilted her head to behind me… where Fred was sitting with Hannah, Robb, Mary and Charlies. I could have hit her. I could have died from the embarrassment.

They weren't even sitting five metres away and despite the fact they were playing with Mark and Ryan, I'm pretty sure they were eavesdropping.

I'm getting second-hand embarrassment from just writing about it.

Which is why I'm hiding out in a little café, enjoying the post-lunch lull and enjoying the peace and quiet.

But I'm mostly just hiding.

Except I'm pretty sure I just saw Adrian and Fred just walk into this very café. Head down, head down. Do not engage, repeat do. Not. Engage.

They saw me. Look busy, look very busy, type, type fast, typing with a serious look on my face, tapping away on the keyboard. Might as well have a sticky not with DO NOT DISTURB written on it on my forehead. I am the model of professionalism. I have two degrees under my belt, I am a professional career woman and nothing can unsettle me. Nothing, nope.

I can see Adrian coming over out of the corner of my eye. Must act as though I am oblivious, what I am typing is rather important and requires my full attention and I haven't caught onto the fact that he is trying to get my attention, must not look away from screen. Nope. Adrian. Stop. don't come closer you'll be ruining my incredibly important train of thought and if I lose this muse I shall be forever ruined career wise and I will have the ability to blame you.

Crap. Never mind. He said hello, no getting out of this now.

April 28th, 2012 (post-encounter)

Still in the small café in Bath

Whatever entity is in control of my life, I am pretty sure they just enjoy throwing me curveballs. Nice big ones with spikes and hard surfaces that enjoy catching me in the face. Metaphorically of course; but I do kind of feel as though I've been whacked in the face with a basketball or something.

Of all things to discuss, Adrian came over to ask whether or not getting a commissioned painting for Hannah and Robb's engagement would be an appropriate gift.

Short answer is.. I don't know!

He has this friend who does life paintings and stuff, he also does portraits taken either from real life, or from photos, and he was thinking of getting a painting done for them.

It's kind of a cute idea, but with the whole world going digital, and Robb being the computer geek that he is, would an old fashioned water colour painting be a good idea, or a subtle insult to technology?

Again, I don't know.

Somehow we got onto the topic of relationships, and how Adrian was surprised that the whole online dating thing took off like a rocket. He couldn't see the point of online match-making websites and thought the whole 'algorithm' business was rubbish, and that pairing people up as compatible based solely on their claimed interests was no way of summarising their character. I told him he had a fair point, and that those sorts of things were just marketing strategies, but also that it took a fairly confident and brave person to use such websites and be completely honest in what they're looking for in a partner, and that it opens up a whole other community of people in which to search for partners from.

This was then followed by him asking me if I used any of them, to which my reply was merely a laugh and say nope. Which is true. I made a profile on matchmaker-maths once, it never got any hits, despite the fact they claimed to have over 100,000 members. So I deleted it and pretended it never happened.

I mean, let's be honest here, "21 year old female, petite, loves action movies, Shakespeare, Disney and comic books, can quote every line in Harry Potter, can skull a 2L bottle of orange juice in under 3 minutes (without puking afterwards) and owns an expansive movie collection" doesn't appear to be appealing to the male gender as a first impression. Probably should have thought that one through a tad more thoroughly.

Eh, it's done now. It was over 4 years ago.

And I certainly didn't admit any of that to Adrian or his very silent companion.

Then they left, their coffee order was finished, and they said their see-you-laters. I mean, I will be seeing them in a few hours since I'm crashing on the couch at the Musgrove mansion.

I think I may pack up now and enjoy a slow walk back to Camden Place. Penelope had her things packed up and had left before Liz and dad headed to the airport, so I just have to pack my things up and then head on over to the Musgrove's…

Such fun.

April 28th, 2012 (late evening)

Musgrove's time-share mansion

I don't understand why couches need to be so narrow. I may be small, but if this thing wasn't one of those pull out bed/couch things I would be rather uncomfortable sleeping on such a thing. It also has the downside of being right next to the kitchen, so any midnight snackers will probably wake me up.

I don't care if there's any of Mrs Musgrove's famous chocolate cake in that fridge (there's about 2/3rds of a cake left), if anyone wakes me up at 3am as they cut a slice I may hurt something.

Unless they cut me a slice and bring it over to me with a glass of cold milk. Then I might be appeased.

I'm like the kitchen guardian. One must sacrifice an offering for safe passage.

Man, I'm hilarious late at night. I should run my own late-night comedy TV show. I would be prime time television and everyone would love me. I'm like a comedy gremlin. I'm super serious by daylight, but as the day comes to a close all my hilarity, sarcasm and wit comes out to play.

I'm also incredibly modest at this time of day too. One of my better qualities I think.

Oh yes, I should be a great comedy proficient.

This is how I'm spending my third last night as a free woman. Sitting on a pull out sofa, drinking orange juice and writing in my diary. Hardcore.

I should also note that during this time I find myself hilarious. If I wasn't concerned about waking everyone up I would be cackling madly like I've gone insane… Which I may well have.