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Monthly Archives: September 2008

A few weeks ago, I attended my third Playford Ball!

Our local Playford Balls are where those with a lot of experience in English Country Dance get together to dance a lot of very difficult dances, both old and new. Many folks dress up — and as English Country Dance was popular for a long stretch of time, the costumes come from a variety of eras!

My two favorite parts of the ball were

(1) dancing two particularly tricky dances: “Hortonia” and “Whately Barn” (which were both designated “for those who know,” and were therefore not called); and

(2) watching one particular dance from the balcony above: the intricate patterns flowed into each other with such smoothness and beauty and it was a true joy to watch.

So: if you were going to invent a country dance, what would you name it?

Cara King, who learns country dances by practicing with her stuffed animals

And remember: next Tuesday, we’re discussing BRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Here are some photos I took…

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My oldest friend…er, I should say, my friend for the longest time...came into town and we took a little road trip in Maryland.

Barbara and I knew each other in high school in Alabama. We both lived in Ft. McClellan, then an army post. I showed you photos of my house there and talked about the trip we took to our (censored) year High School Reunion in 2006. That was Excellent Adventure, Part 2

But we also had Excellent Adventure, Part 1 in October of 2005, when my last Diane Perkins book was released.

This Excellent Adventure, Part 3 took Barbara and me to Baltimore and Annapolis where it mostly rained and we mostly wandered from restaurant to restaurant. Seriously, we had Maryland steamed crabs and I’ll bet very few of you did that over the weekend. Tie in to Risky Regencies — we saw the Baltimore Basilica, America’s first cathedral, built during the Regency. In Annapolis we stayed at the Robert Johnson House, now a historic inn but during the Regency, a private home.

In Baltimore we stopped by the Barnes & Noble at the Inner Harbor and found Scandalizing the Ton. Here’s proof!

The highlight of our trip, however, was our first stop at Edgewood Arsenal, an army post where both Barbara and I lived twice, but never at the exact same time. In those days it was called Army Chemical Center but they changed the name when “Chemical Center” became politically incorrect-or so I suppose.

Army Chemical Center was a beautiful post on the banks of the Gunpowder River. It was a wonderful place to be a kid, with no end of things to do. We could walk to the library, the movie theatre, could ride bikes to the swimming pool and around the post along the river. We played tennis in the evenings, practically in our back yard.

I lived in an old farmhouse with bricks dating back to the 1700s (tie in to Risky Regencies…this house existed during the Regency) There’s an historic sign outside it that says Presbury Preaching House. Barbara lived in a house on the river very nearby.

My house (and me):
I found this online and it must refer to the family that owned my house.

Early Methodist usually built a preaching house and school on the same grounds. Private homes were also used to hold meetings. Such meetings were held at the home of James Presbury, father of Joseph Presbury. Joseph Presbury donated land for the Old Brick Church of Gunpowder Neck, December 23, 1772, where the earliest written record of a quarterly conference is still available.

Barbara’s house (and Barbara):

The heartbreaking part of this is that my old historic house is a shambles, the wood unpainted, the porch and the grounds full of clutter. At some point it had been turned into offices, but it was not in use now. There is scaffolding on one end so maybe there is some effort to restore it, but no one worked on it while we were there.

Even the residences in use, beautiful houses, probably build in the 1940s, like Barbara’s old house, had peeling paint in places.
The whole post was deteriorating, paint peeling, some buildings deserted, very little activity. It was very sad.

But we were ecstatic that we’d found where we’d lived.

Have you traveled back to your childhood homes? Or are you there still?

Have you had any Scandalizing the Ton sightings? The release date is Oct 1 so it should be showing up on the shelves.

I have a new contest on my website. Several chances to win books from my backlist.

And there’s still time to donate to Cystic Fibrosis for our Unleash the Story challenge.

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If it’s Saturday, I must be packing to hop on the Eurostar to head to London! What I’m doing there…

Stepping back to the 16th century at the Tower

Watching Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe! (and also wishing I had tickets to the RSC’s sold-out Hamlet with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart)

Visiting Bath for the day (tea at the Pump Room!)

And hopefully taking in museums and eating fish-and-chips in fun pubs

Cheerio, and see you next week!

At what age, I wonder, do people get involved with politics? I have had a passing interest for some time, but have never had the fevered intense fascination I’m feeling now before.

Is it ’cause I’m getting older? Wiser? Both?

I dunno; it might be just me. After all, people of any age get political, whether it’s protesting a shorter lunchtime at school or anti-apartheid demonstrations that close down college buildings (as happened when I was at Barnard) or the draft.

I guess it’s when politics get personal that we get passionate.

So instead of settling in, as I should be at the end of a long week, to a good book (note to sharp-eyed folks: I’m talking a REGENCY book, so I can stay in keeping with our site. Carry on) and a glass of wine, I’ll be tuning in to watch the first Presidential Debate. I will have wine, though.

In some ways, this avid passion makes me feel as though I am contributing something to our times, even if it’s just opinion from a grumpy mom. Perhaps that is why women–who until recently haven’t had much of an opportunity to get involved directly–participate so ferociously, if fired up. For example, the new movie The Duchess will likely touch on Georgiana (because we’re on a first-name basis) and her political maneuverings.

Have you been active this campaign season? What are you doing tonight? Do you have suggestions for any good debate drinking games?


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…using Regency as a search term.

First, not so much of the real stuff as you’d expect. Quite a few books and some furniture. But also some strange things. Did you know there was a design style called Hollywood Regency? There seems to be a lot of it up for sale, and no wonder.

You are bidding on a Mid Century Hollywood Regency Serving Bar Cart by Aldo Tura in Lacquered Goat Skin! This piece is HOTT! Art Deco influence and STUNNING Hollywood Regency styling! Goat skin finish has a beautiful golden blond color and wonderful grain!

Goat skin finish? Why would you want a goat skin finish on an item used to serve drinks?

This one is even more bizarre.

DOG FOOTSTOOL or OTTOMAN. Just found stored away at a Ca. estate. Not sure what kind of dog he is supposed to be.. possibly a Bulldog? Very nice and clean. Looks like he spent most of the time stored away

Frankly if I owned this I’d keep it stored safely away too.

How about this little monstrosity?

Vintage Mother of Pearl Regency Glam Poodle Pin Brooch. This little guy has got the look! He is studded by nine high sheen thick cicular Mother of Pearl disks. On his head and tail he has a brushed pink enameling with black tips on his paws. The puppy has a single green glass faceted eye with a cute as can be pose.

I’m not convinced it’s a poodle. Those are hooves. And it’s one-eyed. I think it’s a cyclops.

This too is a Hollywood Regency piece that would give me the creeps if I owned it.

This is a hand cast piece…..pottery/plaster over resin……….and each and every finger/thumb look very realistic! This is new, never used, no damage anywhere….there is felt on the bottom to protect your furniture. A truly magnificent piece……sure to please! Don’t miss out…….you won’t see another one soon!

Just to cleanse the aesthetic palate, however, here’s a pic of the rug I’ve just bought on eBay for my office. Isn’t it pretty? Ridiculously cheap, too.

Have you had any good eBay experiences recently?

Or eBay disasters?

Or found any inappropriately named Regency items?

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