Jan 29, 2010

Day Awakens

For my faithful readership, this is nothing new. However, for those who may have only just discovered the Realm of the Red Rose, I will note that from time to time, I enjoy publishing poetry in these pages. Even anonymous pieces like the one I found earlier this week. I find the imagery of light - light that had faded and is now new again, particularly beautiful and poignant.

by Anonymous

Across red wounded earth, the night a harsh dancer around me.

Only the horizon remains, a faded line like the ring of a distant
moon, but a rising glow.

So long, so long in shades of gray....but watching the sky unfold again.

Daring, still trusting...

Trusting an awakened light.

Jan 25, 2010

A Joyous Burns Night to all of you!

Even though life has been such that I am not able to celebrate Burns Night in the way that I normally would (in both SL and RL), I want to wish all of you a joyful Burns Night. I shall hope to return to my traditional Burns Night Supper next year.

A Winter Night

Robert Burns
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?
When biting Boreas, fell and dour,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,
Far south the lift,
Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
Or whirling drift:

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-choked,
Wild-eddying swirl;
Or, thro' the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl:

List'ning the doors an' winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
O' winter war,
And thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle
Beneath a scar.

Ilk happing bird,-wee, helpless thing!
That, in the merry months o' spring,
Delighted me to hear thee sing,
What comes o' thee?
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
close thy e'e?

Ev'n you, on murdering errands toil'd,
Lone from your savage homes exil'd,
The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd
My heart forgets,
While pityless the tempest wild
Sore on you beats!

Now Phoebe in her midnight reign,
Dark-muff'd, view'd the dreary plain;
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
Rose in my soul,
When on my ear this plantive strain,
Slow, solemn, stole:-

"Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost!
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows!
Not all your rage, as now united, shows
More hard unkindness unrelenting,
Vengeful malice unrepenting.
Than heaven-illumin'd Man on brother Man bestows!

"See stern Oppression's iron grip,
Or mad Ambition's gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
Woe, Want, and Murder o'er a land!
Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
How pamper'd Luxury, Flatt'ry by her side,
The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear,
Looks o'er proud Property, extended wide;
And eyes the simple, rustic hind,
Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring show-
A creature of another kind,
Some coarser substance, unrefin'd-
Plac'd for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below!

"Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe,
With lordly Honour's lofty brow,
The pow'rs you proudly own?
Is there, beneath Love's noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,
To bless himself alone?
Mark maiden-innocence a prey
To love-pretending snares:
This boasted Honour turns away,
Shunning soft Pity's rising sway,
Regardless of the tears and unavailing pray'rs!
Perhaps this hour, in Misery's squalid nest,
She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast!

"Oh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's clamorous call,
Stretch'd on his straw, he lays himself to sleep;
While through the ragged roof and chinky wall,
Chill, o'er his slumbers, piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine!
Guilt, erring man, relenting view,
But shall thy legal rage pursue
The wretch, already crushed low
By cruel Fortune's undeserved blow?
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!"

I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
A cottage-rousing craw.
But deep this truth impress'd my mind-
Thro' all His works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind
The most resembles God.

Jan 11, 2010

After the Snowflakes Fall.......

**From the diary of The Red Rose**

Snowflake by William Baer

Timing’s everything. The vapor rises
high in the sky, tossing to and fro,
then freezes, suddenly, and crystalizes
into a perfect flake of miraculous snow.
For countless miles, drifting east above
the world, whirling about in a swirling free-
for-all, appearing aimless, just like love,
but sensing, seeking out, its destiny.
Falling to where the two young skaters stand,
hand in hand, then flips and dips and whips
itself about to ever-so-gently land,
a miracle, across her unkissed lips:
as he blocks the wind raging from the south,
leaning forward to kiss her lovely mouth.

January 10th~

One would think that I would be completely and utterly exhausted. Under normal circumstances I suppose I would be. But I find myself still floating on air, or should I say, 'dancing on snow'. This year's Snowflake Ball has been over for more than 10 hours and I can still hear the strains of the Blue Danube, and Queen Elizabeth's Galliard, and In The Mood, and La Cumparsita, and Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman. We really traveled through time with the music this year. Mediæval, Romantic, Classical, Futuristic (from the 20th and 21st centuries). It was wonderful. Mr. Ghost did phenomenal work taking my thoughts and suggestions for theme and music and creating a playlist that all the guests seemed to enjoy.

This event has always been special to me. Along with Beltane celebrations it is probably my favorite event of each year. Only attending the first Snowflake Ball held by Shenlei Flashart, I fell in love with dancing in the snow. I was so pleased to be able to create a tradition of holding this event each January, first in Loch Avie, then in Port Caledon (shortly after the Open Space Debacle), and now in my family home on Isle of Skye in Winterfell Anodyne.

This year brought a fantastic group of friends and neighbors from all over the Steamlands. Dressed to the nines, they danced. The company was grand and the conversations sentimental, humorous, and interesting.

We officially danced 11 sets, but many did not want to even think about leaving at the appointed hour. *smiles softly* Mr. Ghost and I conversed and decided to play & dance on for another hour. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to leave the romance and beauty of the setting and the wonderful music. It truly was another magical night. A night of remembrance, hope, and love.

Yes. Yes, we will do this again next year and for as many years as I am able.


A few pictures and a short slide show from the night~

Mr. Ghost and Miss Hypatia

Lady Eleanor Anderton's wonderful Flickr Slideshow.

And my slideshow:

Jan 7, 2010

Traveling in Musical Time at the Snowflake Ball

As the excitement continues to grow for my annual Snowflake Ball, I am becoming very excited about the theme that was chosen this year:


At the appointed hour we will all step out onto the ballroom floor, which is covered in snow (yes, this event is usually held outside). Is this indeed the grand ballroom of Caisteal Teanacadh or is it some wonderful place inside a Tardis in this Steampunk world of ours?

We are pleased to find that we recognize the faces of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, but something seems to be a bit askew. Not everyone is in the dress of the Victorian era. Some are dressed in garb more appropriate to the middle ages or the age of enlightenment. Some are in futuristic looking robes - not unlike we have seen during our time travel into the 21st Century. All are, however, formally attired and ready to dance and dance.

The orchestra this year has also been doing some time travel. I am told by our orchestral conductor, that Time Lord, Mr. Icarus Ghost (who appeared on the Caledon scene a little over a year ago having regenerated from his old self, Zenigma Suntzu) that the music mix has been inspired by his travels through space and time.

As I have stated previously we will work our way through musical eras from the 12th century to the 21st century. A bit of a twist that I believe you will enjoy is that some of the music we will hear are futuristic interpretations of the works.

While the etiquette of the ball will be quite formal & Victorian, our fashions, our music, and our dances will be an eclectic mix of past, present, and future.

I truly look forward to welcoming you with and open heart and open arms.

The First Annual Snowflake Ball, Caledon Loch Avie
January 2007

The Second Annual Snowflake Ball, Caledon Loch Avie
January 2008

The Third Annual Snowflake Ball, Port Caledon
Dancing on Ice
January 2009

Jan 4, 2010

Oh sure! Fill Your Grand Ballroom With Snow.......

And suddenly a group of walruses decide to move in!!

Thankfully, as a professor with The Royal Society, I could call their resources and experts immediately.

Dr. Nicholas happily took charge of the situation, performed some biological measurements, tagged the animals and called in the Society's research vessel to take these fine creatures to a more suitable habitat.

The large alpha male of the group happily gobbled up some of Steelhead's finest salmon.


Jan 3, 2010


It's time again for the Snowflake Ball!!

This year it is a bit different as it will be held in my home in Winterfell and indoors. But do not let that deter you from joining us. The Grand Ballroom is undergoing transformation even as we speak and will be filled with snow and ice (thanks to Professor Nicholas' grand snow-making device) for the annual event.

Our theme this year is Dancing in Time.

I have suggested that you wear formal (or Black Tie) from one of many periods in time spanning the 12th through 21st centuries. How enjoyable it will be to see the different eras represented in the same room all at once!

But Dancing in Time also means that we will do some musical time-travel with music styles representative of each of the following eras during the 11 dance sets of the night:
  • Mediæval
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque
  • Classical
  • Romantic
  • early-mid 20th Century
  • late 20th Century - 21st Century

This will, in fact, remain a formal event which will use dance cards to record the names of the ladies & gentlemen with whom one intends to dance each successive dance. Such cards appear to have originated in 18th century, but their use first became widespread in 19th century Vienna, especially at the massive balls during Fasching before Lent.

It will be my privilege to have you join me in my home for this joyous Winter Formal event on

January 9th from 7pm-10pm SLT

SLURL to Isle of Skye here.