Foreign Affairs

Greetings to you, my colleagues!  We’re nearing the end of a wonderful sunny day in my Top Secret location, and the mood is just right for this next update.  After many months of searching, I’ve found a letter from the mysterious Miss Alyssa Rynne.  We’d had hints of her more, shall we say, exotic pastimes.  But now I truly see why she makes such an excellent pen pal.


Shanghai, Sept the 26th 1885

My dearest Miss Theo,

Thank you so much for sending the lovely flowers from your latest travels to the Amazon. I sent a sketch and description to Dex and she assured me they are quite safe to use to enhance the fragrance of my beloved face scrub. Your gift arrived with the Italian ship. It was quite fortunate; I was nearly out of my olive oil and was getting a bit desperate. I even asked Nai-nai if the peanut oil she uses in the kitchen would work, but thought better of it in the long run. Thankfully the Italian ship with its hold full of olive oil and prosecco arrived in time.

With it came the new Italian ambassador as well.  I spent a lovely evening bidding his predecessor farewell. I shall miss him, but this new one looks just as promising. I’ve also been working my charms on the Japanese ambassador but he is a bit more reticent. I’m using all my training from Kyoto but getting nowhere. Ah well, you know I like a challenge, and once I get his attention I should also be able to get some useful information from him as well. As always I promise to pass it along to the rest of the Ladies when I finally get something we need.

Oh yes—the face scrub I use? I cut local lemons in quarters and pack them in salt and olive oil in jars and set them in a sunny window for a month. The local lemons are quite sweet and have very thin skins. When you take them out the peels make the most delightful garnish and the olive oil is a slightly gritty and infused with lemon. Nai-nai puts it on greens when I want a light supper, but I always a sneak a bottle into my dressing room to use one my face. I rub it in carefully with my fingertips and rinse it off with steaming hot water and a soft cloth. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and luscious.

I’m glad to hear all is well in your travels. I do wish I could see your adorable sheep. Your descriptions of them sound delightful. Alas, I’m afraid it will be quite a long time before I can return home again.


And who needs daytime soaps when you have letters like that arriving in the mail!  Ahhh, it’s such a decadent change from our usual adventures and explosions.  Though I love a good airship adventure as much as the next Victorian Women’s Historian, it’s nice to know all our Ladies weren’t crashing through the jungle or up to their elbows in engine grease.  Hopefully the others got to pay Miss Alyssa a visit in Shanghai and get pampered (and visit with some ambassadors!) now and again.  No wonder the Ladies were always ahead of the game with connections like that.  Oh, and I’m sure you noticed the “LTFK” insignia – it’s been popping up a few places lately, and I’ll definitely start questing for clues as to what it might stand for.

But perhaps that will have to wait, as I suddenly feel the urge to climb into a luxurious bubble bath and soak for a few hours.   Maybe work in a little home spa face scrubbing, something bubbly… I hope you all enjoy a pleasant evening too!


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