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…
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.
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.
If it’s Saturday, I must be packing to hop on the Eurostar to head to London! What I’m doing there…
Cheerio, and see you next week!