Flight of Fancy

Yes, yes, I'm leaving you for a time, for a wild flight of fancy. Well, sort of. I'm taking a much needed little vacation to a lovely little island off the coast of New Brunswick, with stops at at least four flea markets in Maine along the way. It's almost too much to be excited about.

This trip is why I haven't been around so much the last few weeks -- I've been trying to get all my ducks in a row. About half successful with that.

So I thought I'd give you a flight of fancy to look at for the next week:

In my quadrille club, we will be serenaded exclusively by the dulcet tones of tamed beasts. Even among the most refined of beasts, there exist the politics of the orchestra pit:


A Pair of Trousers, Summer, Hen, Shepherd Girl, and Finale

"The term quadrille came to exist in the 17th century, within military parades, in which four horsemen and their mounts performed special square-shaped formations or figures. The word quadrille is probably derived from the Spanish word cuadrillo (Spanish diminutive of cuadro, meaning small square from Latin quadrus, quadra, quadratus meaning square, block or square section, squared or square-shaped, respectively)."

"This performance became very popular, which led people to perform a quadrille without horses. In the 18th Century (estimated around 1740) the quadrille evolved more and more in an intricate dance, with its foundation in dances like cotillions. It was introduced in France around 1760, and later in England around 1808 by a woman known as Miss Berry. It was introduced to the Duke of Devonshire and made fashionable by 1813. In the following years it was taught to the upper classes, and around 1816 many people could dance a quadrille.

The quadrille (in French quadrille de contredanses) was now a lively dance with four couples, arranged in the shape of a square, with each couple facing the center of that square. One pair was called the head couple, the other pairs the side couples. A dance figure was often performed first by the head couple, and then repeated by the side couples. In the original French version only two couples were used, but two more couples were eventually added to form the sides of a square. The couples in each corner of the square took turns, in performing the dance, where one couple danced, and the other couples rested.

Where the music was new with every quadrille composed, the names of the five parts (or figures) remained the same. And if it were performed with dancers – audiences also preferred to listen to the dance alone, and not dance to it – the way of dancing to the parts remained (mostly) the same too. The parts were called:

Le Pantalon (a pair of trousers)
L’été (summer)
La Poule (hen)
La Pastourelle (shepherd girl)

Via here.

Why all of this? For thew simple reason that quadrille is one of my favorite words, and the names of the various parts read so beautifully as found poetry. And it look like fun:

Fall Quadrille Society, anyone?


Patrons & Benefactresses, Feel Free to Come Forward

Not that this house is amazing, per se, but we could live in it. And it could be amazing:

Mostly I think I could make it work. I could make it cute but not cloying, and certainly pare it down into something charming and closer to what it wants to be. Of course, as always, a few issues -- it has no kitchen. Like, literally none. This is the hole where one used to be:

Also, the bathroom has no sink:

BUT it's in one of my favorite neighborhoods, it's less than two blocks from water, the windows are new and relatively efficient, and it has a new roof. Also a decent sized yard for an urban area (or at least compared to where we live right now):

And it has three bedrooms, painted many shades of awful, each with at least one angled wall (which I for one am all about):

I also like that trees fill the view from every window -- I'd rather look at leaves than almost anything else. And three bedroom is perfect: one for Steven and I to sleep in, and an office/guest room for each of us. Plus, raw basement storage and workspace, where I could start all kinds of messy projects and not clean up after myself:

What can Nick be thinking? you are doubtless asking yourselves. I am thinking that this house only costs 50,000 dollars.

Yes, 50 thousand. And I probably wouldn't want anything that was in the house to begin with. I would bet money that the kitchen was a hot mess, and what's left of the bathroom has to go. So really, that someone has gone to the trouble of stealing them is a huge plus. I'm grossed out by the idea of paying for other people's fugly renovations.

Decent floor and woodwork throughout (though clearly that newel post has suffered a bit over the years):

So really, all I need is 50,000 and for the house and another 50 to start doing everything else. Who wants to give it to me? Feel free to donate. I promise I'd give you a blog that would outdo all the reno blogs that I love out there -- I'd out 16 D16 -- throw a brick through The Brick House -- and hindsvik the Hindsvik! (Which sounds like and expression for stabbing someone with a shiv to me, though they say "Hindsvik is the name of an old church in Northern Iceland" ... not buying it).

Sigh. Oh, poverty, poverty. It would be such fun!


Sound Advice


If it should become necessary to push me around in a pram at some point in life, I demand that my caretaker invest in Mr. Punch's Patent Nursemaid Screen.

Found here.


I have hung our cave with roses, with soft rugs, the last of Victoriana. (For Steven)

Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.

All interiors by the incomparable Mongiardino and stolen from here. And thank you, Perry, for the Sylvia Plath.

This Is Spinal Tap


I Sing the Body Electric

I've been thinking a lot about the nervous system and the brain;

I think Tony Duquette did, too ...

Though these are supposed to be based on fountains and the play of water, I don't buy it.

Reproduced by Remains, and fiercely coveted by me. They remind me of the Bodies exhibit and the inside of my head.



Bibelot Alert

One dollar table last Sunday: Well, look at that ... isn't that bronze and coral? Carved into a ladybug? What a curious box ...

Hmm, what's inside?

Okay, yes, you are mine, my little chickadee ...

It's easy to make me happy, but even more so if your a little German bronze for $1.


Not For Pleasure Alone

There's not much more enchanting than a miniature theater, complete with sets. The opening of one of my favorite films, Fanny and Alexander, wouldn't be the same without one. Note the motto of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen written on the proscenium: “Ej Blot Til Lyst,” which translates from Danish to Not for Pleasure Alone:

How beautiful is that? While finding that clip, I stumbled across these:

All images found here.

I think I need one. I'd be in good company; check out Margo's theater, at 3:39 in this clip:

Create your own:

Or buy an Edward Gorey version and have absurdist fun like these kids:

Though I'd cut the white border from around the figures. A bit distracting.
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