I attended the holiday dance at Bellefleurs, and had marvelous fun, but as I haven't had official confirmation on posting pictures of people who aren't actually staff...I'm being chary with the images I took. Discretion is a significant part of House Sakura, and as discretion hasn't been my strong suit in the past, I'm doing what I can to reinforce the impulse early, and often.
(At Bellefleurs for the Viennese Holiday Ball. Miss Lynn Mimistrobell is in pink, Duchess India Canning is in white, and I am in blue.)
Without actually being there, I'm not sure I can adequately describe how beautiful the Bellefleurs estate is. The wide expanse of green that surrounds it is really its own thing; but inside, where everything is burnished wood and medieval wall hangings, icons of saints, marble urns, gracefully appointed furnishings in gracefully appointed rooms...The place radiates beauty and warmth, and that's without talking to the staff.
(Another Duchess Canning in Tudor England, hanging above the ballroom's fireplace at Bellefleurs.)
And in the ballroom, for the Viennese ball, the pervading sense of warmth and charm had increased, if possible. Radiant lights on the evergreen, glittering candles, a sideboard groaning with a variety of delicate nibblements and sparkling drinkables on silk and brocade. And the dresses--for any lover of fashion, they were more than enough to get drunk on, by themselves.
(And my humanized self, dancing in front of the poinsettia display and fireplace at Bellefleurs.)
And I honestly expected to go in feeling tense, and nervous, and out of place, and instead, I came in feeling warmed, welcomed, and I had so much fun dancing the night away to a mix of Strauss, holiday standards, medieval pieces...and it all worked. Start to finish.
Even when the evening descended into one-punmanship, it was still fun. So much joy 'midst the glittering throng...
And at the end of the night, I was hired as a new Courtesan for the House of Sakura, so on the heels of all that joy, all that enjoyment, all that lovely wonder...the deep, abiding feeling that I am back to doing what feels right, and finding my way on my new path. This truly was a lovely holiday spectacle in many ways, and I am both humbled and thrilled to accept their offer.
So, while it is still in my nature to wander, far from where any eyes can find me...I'll be seen a fair amount at Bellefleurs from now on. And happy to be there, indeed.