Jan 14, 2008

Winter Night Revelry

The Second Annual Snowflake Ball

Gathering in Loch Avie

Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by: Thomas Campion (1617)

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

Thank you for such a wonderful night. To say that I was - and still am - overwhelmed by the merriment, beauty, and love which was the result of all of you in attendance at the Snowflake Ball in Loch Avie this past Saturday would be an understatement. The night was more than I ever hoped.

Thanks, in particular, to mo charaids, Edward and Christine (McAllister) Pearse, for the fine music presentation and hostessing and technical assistance. Also thank you to my cousin, Gabrielle and to Diamanda Gustafson for some last minute help with more dance poses as the crowd grew, a couple of special benches for resting and watching Nellie, and for helping me keep the fun going well-past the wee hours of the morning.

Chatting with Lord and Lady Primbroke just prior to the first dance

Greeting new acquaintances and old friends. (Her Grace of Carntaigh, Gabrielle Riel, on the right.)

Special thanksgiving for Mr. TotalLunar Eclipse. Sir, thank you for working to make my vision of the Conservatory a' Ghaidhealtachd a reality. It is truly a beautiful building and very special to me thanks in no small part to your friendship and the artistry with which you work.

Mr. TotalLunar Eclipse and Miss Eugenia Burton

A spectacular view. The wrought iron and glass ceiling is a dramatic crowning touch.

Taking time to say hello to guest as the first dance commences. (in the background, Carntaigh, Primbroke, and Lord Kintyre and Lady AutoPilotPatty )

As I look back on the night, I am most pleased that the old and the new mingled and each others' company. Early on in the evening I had the pleasure to speak to not a few new citizens of our fair Independent State. Many were excited to attend the ball, but had questions about formality and etiquette at such an event. "What should I wear?" "How strict is the period theme?" "How does one use the dance card?" "I really want to attend, but I am feeling a little intimidated by it all."

Guests meeting and greeting one another

Happily all of those with whom I spoke, and many other new citizens, decided to brave the unfamiliar waters of a formal ball and arrived in Loch Avie as Lord Edward was setting up his musical equipment. There were at least 26 of us in the sim well before the first dance began at 7:15pm joyfully chatting and getting to know one another a little better.

As many of these new friends took my hand leaving the ball, they commented on how much they enjoyed the event, and how welcoming everyone had been to them. It warms my heart, truly, when our community can come together for a time and be fully at peace and be so welcoming to one another and to strangers.

I was also pleased to welcome friends from Steelhead, Babbage, Lovelace, and some Caledonians that I have not seen in ages. Imagine my surprise as Mr. Deckard flew by waving his hellos just as we were beginning the event. (Sadly he was apparently unable to join us.) Later in the evening, Miss Hypatia Callisto joined us as did Miss Charlene Trudeau, Miss Serra Anansi, Her Grace of Primverness, Mr. Shaunathan Sprocket, and Miss Eggberta Echegaray. Save for Hypatia and Serra, I have not seen these folks in ages. I was smiling from ear to ear to have a chance to talk to them for a little while, to offer them some whisky and some wintertime hospitality.

Lady Kintyre, and Sir ZenMondo

Captain Ballinger of Cape Wrath twirls a dance partner around in the snowy fields of Loch Avie

Mr Iason Hassanov in top hat and scarf twirls me amidst the steam during dance set number two.

The setting underneath the aurora and stars

Lady Kate Nicholas joined us for a little while in the middle of the evening. Despite the lag she experienced, she tells me that she had a lovely time. Here she discusses entomology with a scientist who expressed interest in joining the Royal Society.

Dancing with Touma Yoshikawa.

His Grace of Cymru and Miss Samantha Glume

Dear friends, Colonel Exrex Somme and his lovely lady, Callipygian Christensen

Her Grace of Primverness, CoyoteAngel Dimsum and Miss Charlene Trudeau enjoy a quiet conversation near Nellie's Cove

Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket of Babbage catches up with us shortly after his arrival

Mr. JJ Drinkwater and Miss Serra Anasi, Seneschal of Winterfell

Peeking through the windows of the conservatory as I dance with Mr. Marcus Tairov

Lord Kintyre and I tango as Miss Eggberta Echergaray looks on

The Marquise of West Spierling Isle, Darkling Elytis, and I dance together once again....this time with shoes on (unlike our jig-waltz at the Thanksgiving Ball).

My dear friend, Baron Bardhaven, arrived as we were extending the festivities well-past the planned end of the ball.

Dancing into the morning hours

Lady Amber Palowakski and Mr. Roy Smashcan dance to the more up-tempo songs as the party continued.

The last dance of the night with Colonel Hotspur O'Toole

And so I went off to my bed, with tired feet and a happy heart. Thank you for allowing me to host you once again. It is always my pleasure to do so. There were 60 or so that attended the ball and danced to the music, talked to friends, and made new acquaintances. What a night!

As I quoted previously:

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


Gabrielle Riel said...

Thank you for such a lovely evening Eva! It was truly magical!