The bad news: Editing is taking my host far longer than he thought it might.
The good news: He’s restructured his approach to afford time to other endeavours, and I once again have leeway to keep up my blogging. Huzzah!
And the timing could not be better, because, oh, do I have news…
The townhouse is appointed, the china is selected, the menu is set, and the invitations are sent: I’m coming out, May 1st.
It’s a fashionably late coming out, to be sure. The season started with a bang round Christmas, and it’s only to run until the end of June.
But the London ton, as I have been informed by my realtor-cum-informant, Oli, feel quite a great deal of forgiveness toward my late entry, on account of my involvement with another season–that of fashion.
Were I simply lazy, or shy, or reticent, I wouldn’t have received a single invitation to turn down. Since I am hard-working, philanthropic, and glamourous…they’ve been gracious with my regrets, and willing to wait and gossip and RSVP to my dinner in the affirmative.
I suppose I am grateful?
But there was also some not-so-small part of me that hoped everyone would just throw up their hands and ignore me. As it turns out, I’m painfully shy in personal settings, despite my time on stage and runway. The thought of inviting perfect strangers into my home, with the goal of rendering them otherwise over the course of one dinner, terrifies me.
Two things keep me from turning tail.
First, as always, my husband. Not only did Rome have its own sort of season, in which he was well-versed and well-known, but also…I’ll be damned before I run away from something while he watches. The look on his face would be just too much. And even if I bollocks something up, he’ll be there to smooth things over and redirect attention. (To be sure, the ton is quite taken with the idea of a Roman in their midst.)
Second, Lord Akeldama.
I think I may have mentioned my obsession with this vampyre elsewhere on the site, or at least my obsession with Gail Carriger’s steampunk comedy of manners, which so delightfully skewers and celebrates the London season in turn.
But if not, you’re hearing it now. I am so taken with Lord Akeldama, rove vampyre of steampunk London, that Alex had Miss Gail sign his portrait for me at a recent meet and greet event in Seattle.
I about died again.
And then, in a fit of confidence, I trussed myself up in a silk dressing gown, poured champagne, and opened a stack of new invitations to closing parties. I even sent a few RSVPs–mostly to houses that seem like fun (Nell Gwyn, my god!), but also to a few conservative soirees, which I plan to attend in full velvet dress clutching my son’s teacup piglet.
I also finalised the details for my dinner, sent out one last round of looking-forwards, and reviewed my full guest list one last time without feeling like to climb under the table and cry.
In case you’re wondering, here’s what my coming out party will look like, in a nutshell:
5-8 pm: cocktails and crudites in the ground floor reception spaces (first floor to American readers). These are done up rather Victorian, with dark wood, rich reds and blues, and pops of white and gold that draw attention to the windows and bookshelves. I’ve hired a string quartet to play for this portion, as well as (handsome) doormen
8 pm: introductions. Marcus and I come downstairs with the children, introduce ourselves around, and go up to dinner. Traditionally, I would send the children to bed after introducing them, but I fear the wrath of Mira more than I fear the wrath of society, so they’ll be eating with us, and Mira, at least, will attend the first portion of dancing.
8:15-10: formal dinner in the first floor dining room (second floor, Am.). Menu items include Roman grain salads, a Roman-London hybrid fish plate, a London beef main (with beet option for the vegetarians, such as myself), and ices. This portion of the home is lighter, with the reds and blues faded to rose and periwinkle, with pops of green and grey and the addition of Roman elements, such as ferns and columns.
10-2: dancing in the third floor ballroom (fourth floor, Am.), and open viewing from the rooftop terrace–both very modern spaces with clean lines, chrome, and glass. The string quartet will return for the first portion of the evening, and then round about midnight, I’ll re-introduce the two doormen as the first of my in-house modelling/runway clients and do a quick turn with them on the catwalk, finishing out the evening with a band and last rounds of cocktails.
Second floor of the home (third, Am.) is off limits. This is our family space, divided between children’s bedrooms and the master suite. And we’re also not utilising the garden floor, which is where my client-boarders reside–two at present, but five rooms total…more auditions over the summer.
And that’s it! It’s all rather posh, but I’m becoming resigned to the idea that I am, in fact, a bit posh these days. My blushes…
Will be sure to post how it goes.