Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Duke of Wellington's Ball

On 31st May I attended the Duke of Wellington's Ball. It was a regency ball held at the City of London club (a sort of private members club) - beautiful old building dating from 1830s.

After drinks in the Drawing room, we had supper in the Ballroom. 

So many gorgeous clothes and headdresses

Suzy and Sandra looking beautiful. :)

Me in my new gown. It is made from a sari that my sister bought me in India. The sari was transformed into a beautiful gown by Charlotte Raine. I just love it. :) 

The sideish back. I love the sleeves as they allow free arm movement. It's so nice to be able to dance in a gown with sleeves that let you raise your arms above your head. :)

After supper we all chatted in the Drawing room whilst that Ballroom was cleared of some of the tables.

There was a harpist playing beautiful music.

We then went back to the Ballroom for some dancing. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing, but sadly only half the dance floor had arrived (the organisers ordered one twice the size) so there wasn't enough room for everyone to dance every dance.  :(

The dancing ended all too soon, and we spent the rest of the evening chatting. At one point two people stood up and gave an impromptu concert in the corner where we were sitting. This girl and also a guy who I didn't photograph for some reason (not sure why!)

After the little concert, we made our way up to the roof terrace for some chocolates. :)

Jag (keeper of the chocolates), Claire and Sandra

Me, a very elegantly dressed French lady (not sure what her name is), Sandra, Claire and Suzy.

Some of the soldiers who stood as a guard of honour outside the building as all the guests arrived. Here they are with some of the guests at the end of the evening.

The Ball ended all too soon, but I had a lovely time. I hope the Calton Set (who organised it) will hold another ball next year. :)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hunton Court - Battle of the Nations

Last weekend I went to a Napoleonic reenactment at Hunton Court in Kent, Battle of the Nations. We all arrived on the Friday when the weather was hideous  - chucking it down with rain for the entire night and absolutely freezing...

 ..but everyone still managed to put their tents up. :)

After a freezing night where I wore 2 pairs of pyjamas, tights, long socks, stockings, an extra top, a cardigan, a hoody, and slept with 2 sleeping bags and a duvet, I woke up to a cold but sunny, and thankfully rain-free, Saturday!

The morning started with a presentation of the soldiers to the owner of Hunton Court. So all the soldiers lined up and marched from the campsite to the house.

Mine and Rosie's shadows in the sun. :) on our way to watch the march.


 In mine and my friends' reenactment groups the ladies (all that weren't dressed as soldiers) weren't technically invited to see the big house. But we really wanted to see it, so we joined the end of the march behind a group of French soldiers hoping no one would notice us! :)

Leah and Rosie lined up behind the French

Soldiers being inspected by the owner of the house.

Marching back to camp

With friends :)
Leslie, Rosie and Leah
I wore my new regency shirt (based on the one Romola Garai wore in 'Emma') which was beautifully made by Naomi at Historika, and my new pinky/red gown that I made. I attempted to do some hem tucks, and was very pleased with the outcome until I came to hem the gown. The tucks were wonky and as a result, at the back, half of them had to be folded up into the hem!! I really need to go on a sewing course!!!!!!!

After the march a few of us decided to visit the shops.
I love Maureen's basket backpack, very useful. :)

I stupidly didn't take any photos of the shops, I was too busy shopping. :) I bought a lovely regency apron. Well actually I ordered one. There was one for sale but it wasn't made of 100% cotton. Apparently it's really dangerous to wear any synthetic material too near a campfire as it could easily catch fire. So I asked for one to be made in 100% cotton. Hopefully it should arrive in the next week and a half. Will post photos when it does. :)

In the afternoon there was the big battle - British against the French ( and a few Americans). I don't think that there were any Americans in the Napoleonic wars. Though I could very easily be wrong as my knowledge of military history is pretty appalling.

Loading the canons. They were so load I jumped every time they went off!

The French fort.

British soldiers

French soldiers

The British soldiers in a line. As you can probably tell, as well as being bad at military history, my knowledge of the different French and British regiments is slim to none! 

After the battle

There was a man portraying a Napoleonic era surgeon, who was going to do a reenactment of a leg amputation for the public! Rosie was asked if she could pretend to faint during the "show". Leah and Leslie were to catch her and I was to fan her once she had fainted. Here we are practising, and trying very hard not to laugh! :)



Leslie, Leah and Rosie in their camp. The are part of a different group to mine. But Rosie and Leah really kindly let me stay in their tent, as that weekend my group only had one tent between five of us!

The Saturday night was just as freezing as the Friday but I survived (one of the soldiers in my group kindly lent me his great coat! don't know what I would have done without it!). Sunday was lovely and warm and sunny. :)

Poor Leah woke up with sun stroke, the medical officer gave her a bottle of lucozade and told her too stay in the shade. So we all spent the morning relaxing in the shade. Leah and I had great fun playing Go-fish, using my 18th century style cards (their first proper outing :) ).

Despite turning my mobile off every night it still managed to run out of battery by the Sunday so I couldn't take any photos :( (Rosie took the one above). I really need to remember to take my camera to events!!

Overall I had a wonderful time (though my face got rather sunburnt!)