(Parthenope seated at her workbench, Bacigalupo in an easy chair by the fireplace.)
Bacigalupo: ‘May I speak?’
Parthenope: ‘One moment. Counting.’ (pause)
Bacigalupo: ‘Is this one of the very tiny ones?’
The Masked Ball rapidly approaches and I thought that you may like to know a little about the friendship that is the foundation of the ball.
I am mesmered and this is the blog I set up in late November of last year, ostensibly to talk writing, my books and the dream of publication. When The Stumpwork Robe was published in Dec of 2008, I had contacted Bo Press to buy a tiny book called The Silk Road for a friend of mine who had just turned 60. I talked briefly via email to the artist because in a previous life I had created artists’ books including a couple of miniatures of my own. As we communicated initially, I told her that I had just been published in the UK, whereupon she immediately bought my book and reviewed it on Amazon. This was Pat Sweet.
Rebecca’s next chapter:
Sarina alighted from the gondola, stepping onto the rather narrow walkway that ran in front of Via della Principessa, one of the most exclusive shopping streets in Veniche. Today’s errand was to select trim for the shoes she was having made for the ball.
Scribbler59’s entry in the backstory competition: read on and enjoy the romp!
“But, Marsie, it’s The Must Have Invitation of the Year,” I pouted. “And I toiled to persuade the Direttore of the Museo di Veniche to grant me an invitation … for the two of us, of course,” I added quickly as I squeezed close on the loveseat and caressed a lock of his blonde hair off his furrowed brow.
No ball post today. Today, Sunday in Australia, has been a superb day in my neck of the woods. One of those days where the sky is blue and the river is calm and there is an autumnal somolence that is best illustrated by the amount of time it takes a leaf to flutter to the ground on such a still day.
I am quite over the dramas of the moment. I am sick and tired of my heart flipping back and forth like a fish on the hook every time the door opens. I am seeking out Parthenope and Sarina because when we are together the three of us, we have many laughs and besides I want their advice on my gown. My dressmaker has completed it and it is divine. I was a little concerned that the white wouldn’t become me, but as my hair is chestnut coloured and my maid has streaked it with lemon juice to provide highlights, I am confident that this at least, I can pull off. As to the confidence of having de Fleury as my partner and having Blakeney stalking him like a hunter stalks deer . . . well that is a whole other thing.
In writing the post on balls in my past, my memory alighted on gowns. And I cast back to find the first instance of my love-affair with silk. It was when I was a little girl and Mum walked along the hall in her ball-gown to kiss me goodnight before she and Dad went out. I could hear the silk even before she reached my door, the whisper as folds collided seductively with each other, the shush as she sat on my bed, the cool feel of the folds through my childish fingers. And the fragrance of Crepe de Chine which was her favourite perfume.
With all this talk of balls and dancing, I (this is me, mesmered, this time) tried to think back to when balls first held a fascination for me. And perhaps it was when television came to our home when I was young. There were wonderful old movies, costume dramas where dashing officers with pristine white regimental jackets would hold beautiful women in their arms and sweep around massive dance-floors, the gowns of silk rippling as the couples spun ever faster.