romance

To My Lovers

For those that loved me for just one night, or barely a day; for those that loved me for a season and those that loved me for a reason, too. For those heady, halcyon loves of my youth and as well the calmer, platonic loves of more recent years. For the requited, the unrequited and the loves of which I never dared to dream. For the passions that lasted barely hours and the passions that endure still, never spoken, the words never uttered… this is for you.

The heart is but a simple thing, yet impossible to fathom. It is a feral and vulnerable beast. It is capable of immeasurable endeavours and, unchecked, will lead one into wild and dangerous territories. When the quieting and reasonable voice of the head speaks its fundamental truth, the heart sings loud to the soul and, more often than not, we will dance to that oh so seductive tune.

And so the heart is an unreliable barometer of love. My heart has been broken, yet it has gone on to love again, harder and more fiercely than before, each and every time. My greatest loves have ended with little more than a sigh of resignation; others induce tears and the listening of sad songs even now. 

 

So perhaps it is the soul where love truly lies? 

For those that cheated, those that lied and those that lead me astray; the ones that played me, betrayed me and the very special few that thought that maybe they could break me – it was still a love of sorts, was it not? 

Love is a thing that can never be owned, but can only be given. It’s power lies in the giving. Withholding or retraction only diminishes the power of love. So give, with whole heart and mind, all the love you that have. Alcohol and music are there to negate any unfavourable results. Trying to protect the heart only makes it more vulnerable – like any muscle it must be exercised and pushed, and, above all, risked. Life without heart is hardly a life at all and a battered heart is surely a sign of a life well lived.

And so, my lovers, the persistent and the brief; the meaningful and the moments of madness; those true loves and those just in lust; the lovers that never quite were, the loves that never evolved beyond meaningful looks across a marriage; the ones that hurt, the loves that made me laugh; the loves that should have been, could have been, would have been… the love for a different time, a different place… 

I thank you all for the love. 

And you know I love you. Don’t you?

No Sex Please, We’re British

The world of PorterGirl is famous for its stiff upper lip but there is a distinct lack of stiffness of a more salubrious nature and one would be forgiven for thinking that everyone at Old College is dead from the waist down. That’s not to say that there aren’t amorous stirrings among the academic elite and their contemporaries, so let us take a moment to learn a little more about the Lotharios of The City’s most notorious seat of learning…

Head Porter

An unlikely romantic lead, certainly, but our own dear Head Porter occasionally finds himself the object of the affections of tourists and visitors to Old College. In First Lady of the Keys we learn that he has an estranged daughter from a previous failed marriage, the details of which remain a mystery. In the forthcoming adventure, Sinister Dexter, Head Porter explores the potential of his improbable appeal to the opposite sex, landing him in perilous circumstances with some very unsavoury characters.

Professor Horatio Fox

The dashing American is the twinkly-eyed charmer who catches the eye of Deputy Head Porter the moment he sets foot in Old College. His wit is almost as sharp as his suit and his fedora and irrepressible sense of adventure make him irresistible to our bowler-hatted heroine. Although no physical manifestation of desire is ever realised, it’s clear he is quite taken with her also and Deputy Head Porter finally reveals the extent of her devotion by asking him to call her by her actual name. Such a flagrant diversion from convention says more than the removal of clothing ever can.

The Dean

When one thinks of The Dean, flirtations are not the first thing that springs to mind. However, in The Vanishing Lord, he declares himself the undisputed Best Looking Chap In College – a fact that remains undisputed, but perhaps because dispute with The Dean is generally believed to be bad for the health of all concerned. He embarked upon a fake affair with Deputy Head Porter and there is also a question mark over one night spent drinking in his rooms with her. She was too drunk to remember the details and he is too much of a gentleman to elaborate, but there is suggestion that perhaps an ill-advised liaison took place. The chances are, we will never know for sure – and perhaps that is for the best.

Hugh from The Unlikely Law Association

Hugh is the mild-mannered rake in The Vanishing Lord, what he lacks in brains he more than makes up for in charm. Although Deputy Head Porter has no untoward intentions towards him, she is very admiring of several of his physical attributes – including a very sturdy set of thighs that are occasionally revealed by small blue running shorts, and a fine pair of forearms that particularly catch her eye. His golden good looks do not go unnoticed by other members of College, with both Head Porter and The Dean expressing thinly-veiled jealousy of the dim-witted Adonis.

Porter

You would think that a greying, grumpy old man with an obstreperous moustache would be the last person to embark upon passionate endeavours, but to the great surprise of everyone he is the most successful of the Old College Romeos. A blossoming romance with Detective Sergeant Kirby emerged during the case of the missing painting in The Vanishing Lord and shows no signs of abating. No doubt The Dean disapproves of this fraternisation, but Head Porter and Deputy Head Porter are quietly pleased for their curmudgeony colleague.

Humphrey Babthorp

The original Old College Porter, whose handwritten diary is discovered by Deputy Head Porter in The Vanishing Lord. It seems that in 1448, Old College was a veritable hotbed of romantic interludes and Humphrey describes in some detail the illicit romps he enjoyed in the kitchens with a very obliging maid. Deputy Head Porter will never look at bacon in quite the same way again.

And there’s more…

Third PorterGirl novel Sinister Dexter brings further opportunities for repressed hanky-panky and with it some new academic playboys…

Hershel

The wayward student from First Lady of the Keys returns for the new term with a heart swollen with desire for his fellow student, the prim and proper Penelope. He finds an eager confidante in Deputy Head Porter, who does her best to smooth the path of true love. The mood is somewhat dampened by a spate of unusual deaths, but I doubt that will stand in the way of a red-blooded young man with one thing on his mind.

Professor Palmer

A new academic year brings a new arrival – the internationally renowned economist and notorious ladies’ man Professor Palmer. Tall, suave and self-assured, the Professor has his eye set firmly on The Dean’s job… and anything vaguely female with a pulse. Even the unassailable Head of Housekeeping finds herself weakening at the knees, but will he add Deputy Head Porter to his ever-growing list of conquests?

Detective Chief Inspector Thompson

Not a Lothario, exactly, rather an unimpressed observer. With even members of his own staff under the influence of Cupid’s arrow, he is horrified that the mounting body count at both Old College and fierce rivals Hawkins is secondary to the complex personal scenarios of the academic elite. Which, as a University man himself, really shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise.

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