Though I wish my life was idyllic and that I could lose myself in 'Austenisms' and live a 21st century version of the 'Austen life', I'm afraid the real world has intervened in an untimely and most abhorrent fashion.
It was 12.30am on Saturday and Spanner and I were sound asleep upstairs, as were Miss Hissy and the loyal hound downstairs.
My dreams of Mr Darcy and something erotic to do with water (possibly triggered by the infamous lake scene in the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice) were interrupted by the phone ringing.
I staggered downstairs (Spanner pretended to be asleep) and took the call from the father of one of my eldest daughter's friends, who was driving his daughter and my daughter PP (variously stands for Petulant, Precious or Precocious Princess) home from a BIG night out.
So BIG in fact, that I needed to be at the ready to help carry her from the car when he arrived.
After 10 anxious minutes his car pulled up, with PP slouched in the back seat.
I don't know if you've ever held up a drunk person before, but it's really hard. PP is tall anyway and she was wearing boots, so she towered over us. I felt like I was an animal handler at the zoo trying to help a newborn baby giraffe that was struggling to stand. PP was all slithery arms and legs. She stood, then slumped, tried to stand again and failed again.
When she saw me, some sort of vague recognition dawned and she muttered: "You're kidding?"
The father and his daughter, who looked rather shamefaced (or was she just trying really hard to appear sober?), drove off, leaving me to get the flailing PP into the house.
As we reached the front verandah, she paused and, as if it was all planned, with great dignity vomited onto my one and only daphne plant (do you know how hard it is to grow one of these?). The vomit came out in an explosive gush and splattered her boots, but miraculously missed everything and everyone else, including Spanner, who by then was in a support role.
Inside, after the incriminating evidence was hosed off the front step, I managed to get PP into bed, still wearing her party clothes. On both sides of her mouth were a series of black lines. She looked a mess.
"WHAT ARE THE MARKS ON YOUR FACE?" I asked, observing my dishevelled princess with a little more empathy than on her arrival - I was grateful she hadn't vomited in the car or the house.
"MARKS? WHA...?" She could barely talk and the words were slurred.
"THEY LOOK LIKE CATS' WHISKERS."
"AHHHH, WHISKERS... CAT..."
Then she winked conspiratorially at me and tapped the side of her nose. It was pathetic and, I hate to admit, rather comical. I know, I know, it's not a laughing matter.
I got a bucket and several towels and placed them beside the bed, while she continued to mumble, "you're kidding".
The rest of my night was restless and I came into her room several times to check she was still alive - thoughts of Bon Scott and Jimi Hendrix' sad and lonely deaths preventing a peaceful sleep.
Of course, yesterday PP was mortified. I didn't say too much. I didn't need to. I'll ask about the cats' whiskers some other time.
Yesterday morning I hosed the front step again as the smell hadn't quite disappeared - and I didn't fancy the dog licking up any tasty leftovers!
The two morals of this story are - don't have kids and don't plant a daphne next to the front verandah step.
PS: This drawing is of Jane Austen, shortly after hearing my version of the events. Although she expressed some sympathy for PP, Miss Austen still wrote PP into the role of the silliest of the Bennet daughters, Lydia.