maanantai 30. syyskuuta 2013

Jane Austen Festival 2013

 It's been nearly a week since I came home from UK and now I finally feel ready to write something about the lovely week in Bath. I had a wonderful time all week long, although I didn't really participate to that many programmed events, mainly due to the expensive prices. I spent time with a small group of friends and we came up with many things to do on our own, such as promenading in the town, outings to Prior Park, card game evenings, dining out in our ball gowns, musical soirées and impromptu dancing - in a word everything that fine Regency ladies would have done in their time! I also participated the Grand Promenade on Saturday, and was one of the models in the Regency fashion show, went to a lovely harp concert and attended a dance workshop taught by John and Aylwen Gardiner-Garden.

Again, the city centre of Bath being the way it is, all beautiful Georgian sandstone buildings, protected as a national landmark (I think), it really created a lovely atmosphere for the whole event. Every day it was funny trying to make your way accross the city centre, being stopped every two steps by people who insisted taking photographs, told how beautiful, wonderful and lovely we all looked etc. That really did good for my self esteem :)

I do want to go back next year, and I try to make it happen, one way or another.

Here's a pile of photos I took over the week:

Promenaders gathering on the Royal Crescent lawn on Saturday


Parade Gardens after the promenade

Stalking the pretty costumes :)

Steps In Time group dancing

Adrian Lukis read the first chapter of the Pride and Prejudice and opened the week-long reading of the book. I only wish he would've read more, he was so good and a pleasure to listen!

Tea at the Pump Room
Looking familiar?

With Megan and Angela

Of course one has to try the waters in Bath. It tasted like stale, lukewarm bottled water.

Posing at the Pump Room window, observe the old Roman Bath in the background.

More posing the drizzling rain...

Megan practicing her handwriting and channelling Miss Austen

On Sunday evening I was struck with an amazing bout of luck; we went to a party at the Beckford Tower and when we stepped in there was a man packing up three harps! I'm a harp player myself so of course I jumped ...I mean asked politely about the harps and enquired if I could maybe try to play them! He very generously let me do so, and so I got to play a gorgeous harp from the 1790s and this smaller one (which was an even bigger treat), the only playable harp left that was made by John Egan in the early 19th century! I've seen similar ones only in museums and now I got to play one! Needless to say I was over the moon with it all and had I not been in such a civilised company I would've run around the tower, screaming :)

Wonderful Megan fixed my bothersome hair for the party.

The game here is Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and the poor footman was ordered to stand in as a pinboard.

More games, the Blind Man's Bluff

In this one, everyone had to copy whatever the person sitting on the chair did.

Straight out of a painting

Entertained by singers

At the harp concert

Some harp lutes

Sarah Deere-Jones playing

Northumbrian pipes and harp

More posing

John and Aylwen Gardiner-Garden waltzing at the workshop

Prior Park on the wettest day of the week

Part of the Prior Park house, which is now a private school

Being very athletic ladies we hiked down to the Palladian bridge and up again and produced many magical engravings to commemorate the outing.

Picnic in the summer house in the pouring rain.

The Palladian bridge

Angela and the curious swan

Graffitti in Times New Roman :)

                                                              200 year old vandalism :)                


Cards, wine and conversation

We gambled atrociously that evening...

...even with ninepins.

Aurora's winnings of the evening, including the hat and a portrait miniature of Megan's dead husband :)

Megan's lost valuables that she was forced to buy back from the winners.

My hostess of the week had a timeshare cat :)

Musical soirée in the Underwood residence at the Circus

The music inspired us to dance!

Conversing in the Circus backgarden

Megan looks like Miss Austen again

There was a skylight in the Royal Crescent stairwell
View from a Royal Crescent apartment window I got to visit.
Through the looking glass.

Participating the free guided walking tour
All our outdoors activities were doomed to be conducted in the rain

Pretty spencers in the rain

The walking tour route took us under the Sydney Gardens bridges

Ladies purchasing tea at the Guildhall Markets

Crooked house on Pulteney Street

Suddenly we felt very ungracious and clumsy so we had to hurry to the Queen's Square to play a game of Graces

Miss Stephens, with her gracefulness restored

I found some antique lace in the strangest shop I've ever been to. There's about 90cm of this one...

And a bit over 3m of this one; very, very thin yarn and small hook was needed to crochet this lace.
I finally found some gloves that are the right size (and price!) Both are leather, the longer ones go over my elbows and the shorter ones are maybe chamois and are long enough to cover my forearms.

I managed to find some costume jewellery in Bath. Of course none of it is genuine, just pretty. I really have to research period jewellery more, but this will do for now.

Victorian folding button hook from the Covent Garden markets