onsdag den 23. november 2016

In Berlin with Jane Austen

The weekend in Berlin went too quickly, with plenty of laughter, sunshine and silliness. Friday was a busy day with arrival of my friends and I to Berlin, dance practice, concert in the concerthaus and to end the evening, out on the town at a speak-easy look alike bar, where my friends and I were dressed up in 1920’s clothes and stayed out until the early morning hours, hehe 😂
Saturday and Sunday was equally busy days, with several important sights in Berlin, including; TV tower, Alexander platz, Altes Museum, Holocaust Memorial, the Red City hall, the parliament building which was heavily damaged during WWII, Berliner Dom, Brandenburger Tor, the memorial of the book burning of ’33, the Wall Museum and Check Point Charlie where I had my official passport stamped with; two Check Point Charlie stamps, British, French, German and DDR stamps which was very neat.

 Brandenburger Tor
Berliner Dom with my friends

Impromptu fencing match

Tv Tower on Alexander Platz

Memorial of Book Burning in '33
Check Point Charlie

Check Point Charlie, American Zone

Germany during WWII

The Wall, or what's left of it

 Amazing to think that it has only been 26 years ago that the wall was torn down! It was a revelation to see it. Plenty of pictures were taken, sights visited and listed for more exploration in future. 

Saturday evening was it the long awaited Ball!!!
The ball at Schloss Fredrichsfelde was well attended, including Her Majesty Queen Louise of Prussia and the dowager Queen.

After you have entered Schloss Fredrichsfelde and left your cloak in the cloak room, gone up the ancient but elegant staircase, you hand your card to the Master of Ceremonies, he goes in, – you wait nervous and anxiously for him to announce you – you finally walk into this amazing room, the ceiling like a summer blue sky, people dressed in proper 1816 clothes and jewels all around – and there in the middle of the room sits the royals; Queen Louise of Prussia and the dowager Queen, you walk up and drop into an elegant court curtsy and nearly drops your tiara, and you feel the heat of your blush from the cleavage of your dress to the very roots of your hair! Amazing, horrible and interesting to say the least. You back away and end up next to your friends while you try to regain your composure.

The court introduction felt like it must have felt like 200 years ago when you are a new debutant! Nervous, excited, hoping you will not be a wall flower, scared of embarrassing yourself – which I accidentally did!
Queen Louise of Prussia

But the dances were familiar and well trained thanks to Martin from the Jane Austen Center in Bath, and other dance teachers. The dances included, The Duke of Kent, a dance my friends and I are very familiar with from our visits to Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival. The men and women who attended was in most cases beautifully dressed, the food was good and the company the best with my dear friends! So I felt like Lydia Bennet and danced nearly every dance during the evening!
During a dance
Me in my new ball gown and emeralds

Christin, my regency sister in cream and diamonds

The ball looked like a movie set, and we the guests actors, dressed to the nines in regency clothes, jewels and titles. It was well organized and the music matched the beautiful surroundings! Schloss Fredrichsfelde is the only castle I know in the world which is located within a zoologist park.
The ball in full swing

Just before another dance

Another dance

The Queen and two lovely guests in regency

Look at that ceiling, is that beautiful or what?
 The ball was like taken straight out of a Jane Austen book, Schloss Fredrichsfelde was even more beautiful than any Austen location I have ever visited! With the painted ceiling, the fantastic acoustics and the amazing portraits, it felt like I had stepped through the looking glass and straight into the world Austen described in minute details in her books.

So I am definitely coming back to Schloss Fredrichsfelde sooner rather than later. So will I see any other Austen lovers there in May, maybe for the next Queen Louise Ball?

As the last official energizing dance was danced, before a good friend started to play waltz music, and many couples took to the floor and twirled around to the waltz. There were many talented dancers, even I was given a chance to learn a few more tricks to be able to dance a waltz.
Piano music 🎶 followed, though very talented my friend did not conquer the technical details and the many years another guest managed to display on the piano. The few remaining guests who listened were spellbound!
A very talented dancer and pianist

My friend Ciaran playing, me enjoying the music

The talented pianist, and me enjoying the performance 

 Soon after that, I was called upon to perform to the best of my singing abilities, and without music, music sheets and with a small audience I sang to my hearts content! The song came from the musical “The Sound of Music”, it was ‘Edelweiss’ which I performed, and I have NEVER heard better acoustics than in that ball room!! Among the audience was my dear friends; Eva, Vera and her beau, Ciaran, and my regency sister Christin, another female guest and Her Majesty Queen Louise! I was afterwards on a high from the amazing feeling of success and a loud applause for my performance 🎶🎉🍸

The whole visit ended on a rather stressful if lucky ending! I was in the airport with 5 minutes to go until my flight was boarding!! I made it home after an amazingly funny weekend with my good friends.

I personally hope we can repeat it in the coming year.


Dear Readers and followers,

As many may have noted, I do not update this blog that much anymore - but there is a good reason I can assure you! It is simply because I have another blog I am writing on these days, which is easier to manage. If you will kindly look it up;  www.interestsofajaneaustengirl.wordpress.com
There is articles, book reviews, interviews and of course my Austen adventures!
It has been a very busy autumn, and apparently the new year is going to be just as busy, with Austen adventures and university.

So please dear readers, look up the new blog and I shall try and update here once in a while :D


lørdag den 15. oktober 2016

Austen in Germany

After this year’s festival in Bath, I have kept in contact with several people who live in Germany; including my regency sister Christin. Well I saw there would be a ball in Berlin, since several friends is to attend – and within days these wonderful friends had persuaded me to go with them… okay okay more or less begged me to go.

So therefore I am going to Berlin for the first official time, and on top I am to attend another regency event, which will make it 3 times this year! I am quite looking forward to visiting Berlin, especially in the company of friends, go dancing and have fun.

So are you coming to Berlin?

For myself I did know there were regency balls in Europe, but in Berlin? I had no idea! So now maybe a new dress is in order? It would work wonders with the jewellery I bought in Bath at Guildhall.

I am only happy that I am going with friends, and I am looking forward to seeing Berlin, maybe visiting a few museums and historical points; including what is left of the Berlin Wall. Mostly I am to see how the world have changed as my generation knows little about the Cold War, as our grandparents remembers WWII and our parents knows some about the wall and the time around it.

But all in all looking forward to meeting up with friends again, and of course meeting new interesting people.

Interview with Cassandra Grafton & Ada Bright

Thank you ladies for being here on my blog! It is a pleasure!

So what made you both decide to write your book?

We’ve always enjoyed writing together, pretty much since we first met 14 years ago, whether it is fan fiction, blog posts or just joking around on a Forum. We’ve wanted to take that energy and turn it towards writing a novel together for years. Then one day an idea presented itself, and all we had to do was wait for the perfect timing for both of us to get to work on it!

Why Bath? How did you decide on Bath?

Ada: When co-writing, in particular co-writing with someone who lives half way across the globe from you, it is essential to have some sort of common experience to draw upon. In our case, we had been together in Bath for Cass’s birthday one year (we even stayed in the Royal Crescent).
Bath is such a distinctive city and small enough that I could really get a feel for it even in a short time.  Cass had been many times, of course, so she could take point on what neighborhoods we wanted to deal with and things like that, but I could add my own true impressions and feelings about the city because we’d spent time there together.
Cass: Also, the idea for the story arose during a visit to Bath and was closely linked to Jane Austen and her residency in 4 Sydney Place, so it was a no-brainer in the end!
When it came to getting together to hammer out the plot and define our characters (the only time we did meet up in person during the whole writing of the book), we initially debated the pros and cons of my flying to LA or Ada coming to Switzerland. In the end, it just had to be Bath!

How did you decide on the ‘magical’ charm? Your Austen knowledge?

Cass: Most Jane Austen fans are familiar with the few items of jewellery known to have belonged to Jane and in particular the story behind the topaz crosses given to Cassandra and Jane by their brother, Charles. It seemed the obvious choice to create something inspired by these!
As a sailor, Charles had sailed to many far off places, and it felt fitting that the ‘magical charm’ had been placed on it in one of these!

I cannot help but ask, as I am sure I am not the only one who want to know, but any scoop on who inspired Dr. T?

Both: That would be telling! We want the readers to be able to form their own picture of what they think he looks like!
The thing is, you see, as a reader you use your imagination to picture characters based on the hints the writer gives you (if any! Jane Austen was notorious for giving very little).
Writers use all sorts of ways to picture the characters in books, but when you are co-writing, you both have to be able to picture the same thing! As a result, on this occasion, we decided we would pick actors who looked how we wanted our four leads to look. This was based just on how the actors look, we would stress, and not on any particular character they had played.
It helped us to be consistent if we referred to anything about their physical appearance, be it height, hair color or otherwise. It also meant we got to spend a very enjoyable afternoon in Bath ogling… er, carefully researching on Google Images!!

The book was clearly inspired by the Jane Austen festival but was Morgan by any chance inspired by Ada, since she is from California?

Ada: Morgan is actually the personification of all the ways I have felt culturally different from the Brits in my friendships and encounters in the country. I love the British people, and they have been consistently lovely to me, so it cracks me up when something about the way I am (which is so normal for me in California) tickles their fancy.
There is no end to the joy it gives me to share my earthquake stories or – more often – how weird it is that their every thought in design or building isn’t first and foremost about earthquake preparedness. Crazy as it is, I actually crafted Morgan after one of my favorite actors who, ironically enough, is British.

How did Jane become the co-heroine alongside Rose?

Ada: Ha! Well – unintentionally is the word that that comes to mind! We had a lot of discussions about how difficult and intimidating it might be to write Jane and decided we should steer far clear of it. But she just wouldn’t cooperate.
Cass: Yes! We blame Jane! She was meant to be in the background, but a bit like the character Baby in Dirty Dancing, we found out nobody puts Jane Austen in a corner!

How many times have you and Ada visited Chawton? Both for research and pleasure?

Cass: I’ve been many times, usually for pleasure, and one of the best was when Ada and I went there for her first visit this summer! She and her husband came over for our launch party for the book’s release in Bath, and our first stop after meeting them at Heathrow was to travel to Hampshire!
As for research, let’s just say that might be next!

Luxury Lettings and James… Is he inspired by husbands/boyfriends or maybe even a best friend?

Ada: If Morgan is the symbol of the cultural things that make Californians Californians, James is the counterpoint – he’s my vision of how British people respond to me… I mean obviously they don’t all fall in love with me, but they are, sometimes against their will, usually pretty entertained by me!
Cass: Choosing a holiday lettings company happened pretty naturally, simply because I stay in holiday apartments in Bath so often (several times a year). Of course, any experience I have is from a client’s perspective, and I’m pretty certain our interpretation of how it works from the office was a tad exaggerated!
There were definitely a few small elements of James’s personality at work that came from a former boss of mine, but I’m not saying which!

Can we as readers expect adventures in the 19th century with Jane?

Ada: *cough* Hey – look at that bird over there! I wonder what that bird’s name is. Like, not his species, but literally, what do his friends call him?
Cass: What an intriguing question! I can’t imagine why you might think that could happen…

And lastly can we expect a Happily Ever After Ending for the main characters?

Ada: I certainly hope so!
Cass: Wait! You don’t think we gave them one?! Ada, seems we still have work to do!!

Review of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

This lovely story sets in Bath on a early September morning, only days before the start of the next Jane Austen festival.

Rose Wallace, this story’s heroine is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friend and the start of the festival, though a recently arrived guest will turn Roses world on its head.

What would you do if your whole life disappeared because Austen never wrote her famous books? As a lover of Austen’s works this idea seemed intriguing to me, but also got me thinking about how Austen and her works have influenced my own life.

With a displaced 200 year old author, a necklace and hints from the past; can Rose save the most beloved stories of all time? And also turn her own life around both professionally and romantically?
This story also caught me since it’s setting is Bath, and many of the mentioned places, I have walked, stayed at, visited or just seen while being in the Georgian city. It felt like being there through Roses eyes, even if I was sitting 42000 feet above ground reading this exciting, lovely and nerve wracking book.

You are definitely being forced through a lot of emotions, while reading, which I see as one of the best achievements an author/authoress can accomplish.
Therefore a big cheer for Cass Grafton and Ada Bright!

Review of Searching for Captain Wentworth

Set in Modern Bath, finds Sophie Elliot trying to write her first novel. Her great aunt offers her one of the appartements in the family’s old townhouse in Bath. Here weird things and sights show themselves to her, and a new neighbor shows up; a VERY charming and good looking one at that.
Yet again reading my favourite Persuasion inspired book, and completely lost in the story, and happy to once again walk through lovely Georgian Bath through the eyes of Sophie! It is obvious that Jane Odiwe knows Bath very very well, and she manages to catch her reader within a few pages!

Now things start to happen, meeting Jane Austen in Regency Bath and her family, including her charming sailor brother Charles. Times shifts several times for our young heroine, mistaken notions and identities, a missing white glove and a blooming romance between two characters.

The setting changes to Lyme Regis, after a nasty fall a lot like Louisa Musgrave in ‘Persuasion’ Sophie wakes up to find herself in Lyme with no memory of how she ended there. A partly broken heart with time shifts and confusion about Josh Strafford- and one reality as sure and certain as the other in Jane Odiwe’s own words.

Luckily after many tears, Sophie is united with her very own Captain Wentworth, ‘Anne was all tenderness, and she had the full worth of it in Captain Wentworth’s affections.’ And of course a happy ending.

A Persuasion inspired read which will leave you with your feelings in a mess after this wonderful romance. I suggest a box of tissues for the end.

Review for Mr. Darcy's Christmas Calendar

Yet again Jane Odiwe dazzles me with her writings of time travel – Regency vs. Modern world. Her writing draws the reader into the story before half a page is read, and you are hooked on finding out more! I can only recommend Jane’s books!

The scene sets in Chawton, Hampshire in England – the home county of Jane Austen.
For me it was a happy revisit to see Chawton again, and Jane Austen’s house. It made it much easier to put myself into Lizzy’s shoes.

Lizzy Benson is visiting Jane Austen’s home on the 1st of December. She meets a very unpleasant Mr. Williams, and a woman who I as a reader immediately recognised as Mrs. Bennet. In the museum shop Lizzy buys a calendar for December. Soon she is dressed in regency, and going through the house where she meets Lydia Bennet, alongside Elizabeth and Jane.

A snow storm makes it impossible for Lizzy to leave that evening and she ends up in Jane Austen’s own room. And then the magic begins from the calendar which will change Lizzy’s life for good.
During December, Lizzy meets a wealthy Wickham, the Bennet’s, Bingleys and Mr. Williams again, – but no Mr. Darcy. But a visit to Derbyshire changes the plot and we as readers are finally introduced to Mr. Darcy. As time pasts Lizzy becomes comfortable with her life in the regency times. And with each new door on the calendar opened Lizzy falls in love.

She also helped Jane Austen change the plot of “First Impressions” to the plot we all know from “Pride and Prejudice”

Well I better not say anymore except that I couldn’t put the book down, and it has a VERY happy ending. Definitely coming back to this book soon again – might actually try and read it as an Advent calendar this year in the run up to Christmas like some of my smarter friends did.

Interview with Cassandra Grafton

Hello Hello Again, dear readers!

Welcome to Cassandra, thank you for appearing here on my blog! I will go straight to my questions;

S; What made you start writing Austen inspired fiction?

A combination of things, really. I’ve been writing since I was a child, but even as an adult, I struggled to get beyond the first few chapters of any story.
photo-1-ada-and-cass-at-hogwartsAda & Cass at Hogwarts

Then, I met my friend, Ada, on a Harry Potter forum in 2002. We were in the great void between books 4 and 5 and both searching for a way to enjoy the world J.K. Rowling had created whilst we awaited a new book. We hit it off, and before long we were co-writing Harry Potter fan fiction! It was the first time I’d ever managed to complete a story!
Then, in 2005, the Pride & Prejudice film came out, and we moved into co-writing Austen-inspired fan fiction, having no idea there was such a vast empire of JAFF enthusiasts out there!
The film has its many critics, but I was swept away by the cinematography, the beautiful score and just the romance of it all. I think every adaptation has its faults, but I love them all for different reasons. It’s Jane Austen, after all, and I can always find something in each version to enjoy. In my head, I liken the 1995 series to a sumptuous 5-course dinner, whereas the 2005 film is a delicious midnight snack!
I then tried my hand at writing solo, and began Lizzy Bennet’s Diary (this was posted online back in 2006, and re-posted in 2014 at Austen Variations where it still sits.)
 Cover of A Fair Prospect Vol I

On a high from finally having completed a story on my own, I then began A Fair Prospect. It’s the only book I’ve written solo so far. I was a co-author with four other authors from Austen Variations on The Darcy Brothers, and then Ada and I finally did what we’ve long promised ourselves we would do, and co-wrote a novel together which came out in July.

S; When did you have your first meeting with Austen and her works?

In 1977. Pride & Prejudice was a set book for a school examination. I fell in love with it, and quickly went on to take every Jane Austen book from the library!

S; Do you travel much to do research for your books?

Ha! Well, in publication terms, I’ve only ever produced books in the Austen-related genre, so my travel for research has been restricted to England (though I did write some notes for A Fair Prospect during a trip to Florence and used them in a conversation between Darcy and Elizabeth!)
Bath is my favorite city, so I was keen to get Darcy and Elizabeth there when I wrote A Fair Prospect. I had a lot of fun moving the characters around the city, and I did a lot of research in relation to their lodgings and where I wanted certain key scenes to happen.

However, in 2014 we moved to Switzerland and, rather hilariously, since then I’ve visited Bath about 6 times a year! Our new book, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, is set there but in the modern day, so a lot of knowledge about the city was already there, but I did do some extensive research at Bath Library, where the Local Studies Librarian was incredibly helpful and supportive. It’s a real delight to know that all my books, including the new co-written one, are in Bath Library!
Aside from that, I’ve visited London occasionally and Derbyshire often for research and the latter is a key location in a JAFF novel I’ve been tinkering with for about 4 years. Perhaps now I’ll make an effort to finish it!

S; What do you enjoy the most about writing your books?

Letting the characters take the lead and seeing where they take the story. Of course, that can be a nightmare too sometimes, but I love that you can sit down and plot out a rough outline and when you get to the end, you look back and realise you had no idea how the story would pan out!

 S; When did you discover the JA festival and how many times have you attended?

I first found out about it and attended in 2009. We lived in the USA from 2001 to 2006, and came back to North Yorkshire, so I didn’t even realise the Festival in Bath had been set up and ran annually!
Then, in January 2009 I was taken ill and needed a few courses of treatment. To give me a focus and to keep my spirits up, my husband encouraged me to find something we could do when it was all over, which just happened to be September! Bath had always been a favourite city of ours, but we hadn’t been since returning home from the USA, and as soon as I discovered the Festival, there was no looking back!

JA Festival 2013 – photo credit Jane Odiwe

This year will be my 6th time, having returned in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016! I’m already booked to return for the whole Festival in 2017, too!

S; Which book is your favorite of Austen’s works

This hops to and fro between Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion. I think it always was P&P in the past, but in more recent years, I’ve become more attached to the story and characters of Persuasion. Perhaps that’s an age thing!

 S; What do your family think of having a popular if not famous Austen author as wife/mother? Does it ever affect your personal life?

They know how long I’ve wanted to be a writer, so they are very proud of me, but it never affects my personal life in any way whatsoever and is rarely discussed, unless a new book has come out. My husband has to live with the day to day, of course, when I’m writing, but he’s very interested in what I’m doing, so it’s nice to have someone to talk things through with.

S; Which Pemberley do you prefer? Lyme Park or Chatsworth?

Hmmm, neither? We really love Chatsworth, but not necessarily as Pemberley! We lived in North Yorkshire for 7 years and it was an easy drive down to Derbyshire to visit and we went often at all times of year. My husband even ran the Chatsworth 10k one year!

I also like to check in on the Darcy bust now and again to be sure he’s still there, because he went into storage for a while!

Lyme Park is an impressive building and the view from across the water, which we see in the 1995 series, is lovely, but I’m not so keen on the interior. It’s also not in Derbyshire!
My favourite Pemberley exterior is actually from the 1980 TV series. It may not have the handsomest Mr Darcy, but it’s the closest adaptation to the book and was the first series I ever saw. It’s Renishaw Hall & Gardens in Derbyshire. The gardens are just gorgeous, especially in the early summer months. The scene where Darcy surprises Elizabeth as she walks with the Gardiners is perfectly captured here.

Without question or doubt, the latest one! Co-writing with your best friend is one of the best experiences ever, and so much fun!
Photo 8: Ada and I in Bath with the book cover!

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen is not fan fiction, though there is the Austen link with Jane herself joining us for the ride! It’s about friendship (online friendships especially), a gentle mystery with a hint of romance, and it all takes place during the Jane Austen Festival in Bath!
We both fell completely in love with our characters!

S: And finally Which Darcy do you prefer?
The one in my head! He’s been there since 1977 and no one has fully supplanted him yet…
Thank you, Cass for talking with me! And can I just say, your new book is wonderful! I can’t wait for the sequel

lørdag den 24. september 2016

The Jane Austen Festival 2016

Another festival has ended, and that means the approach of winter - but it seems that summer doesn't want to let go of Europe quite yet.
This year's trip to Bath ended up being more adventure and discovery than festival for me. In company of  few friends, you know who you are ;-)

A visit to Little Combe, Montacute House (third most haunted house in GB), Dorchester, Taunton, Winchester, Lyme and Stourhead Gardens was the order of the days (Wednesday 14th and Friday 16th)
So I got to follow in the footprints of Anne Elliot, Captain Wentworth, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy at the Temple where Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy screws up his rainy proposal, enough to say I have more than enough pictures!

Though I did attend a few things during the festival. Including John White's Social Grace talk! Amazing man and lecturer, the fan dance workshop was good fun with Martin or Mr. Bennet from the JA center calling the dances and taught us a few dances, it was really good dancing again! I have missed it! It allows you to talk with so many interesting people at both workshops and balls.
The John Mullan, 'Let's talk sense' talk! My goodness, no wonder that man has made Jane Austen and her works into his lives work. He knows her books forwards and backwards! A true joy to listen to! And he was a very pleasant man as well to talk to.

The Pride and Prejudice Musical, my god! It was SO funny! I have never laughed so much, I was literally falling off my chair half the time from laughing at the hysterical show that was the musical. The songs were pretty good too, and the actors were very good - I couldn't believe it when I found out that they are not professional actors! Their playing obviously didn't fall in everybody's taste but for myself I was in stitches of laughter every 5 seconds. And a shocking admission, I really liked Wickham! He was dead charming and dead handsome! First and last time I will admit that! Haha

And of course the Fartingales Ball in the Higher Rooms - The Assembly Rooms. Loads of ladies and gentlemen in wonderful costumes. I met up with people I have known for 3 years now, it was also great catching up with people and meeting new people, dancing and fooling around with friends.

Despite drama, it was a wonderful week! The sun was shinning, also on the mini promenade to finish of the festival on the 18th of this month. For myself my Austen experience did not end until well after midnight, after a wonderful Austenland pool party at a friends house, with drinks, great food and loads of mischief.
I also managed to visit 4 different counties, I did interview Jane Odiwe over tea at the Jane Austen Center Tea Room, I also managed to talk with lovely Cassandra Grafton - she has recently published a co-written book, "The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen" which is a WONDERFUL book. I will put up my interviews in separate blogs in the next few days.

All in all a wonderful holiday has ended and another winter season is ahead of us.

If you want to read the whole blog and view pictures at the same time, then visit my other blog; https://interestsofajaneaustengirl.wordpress.com/

mandag den 5. september 2016

Autumn & Austen

Yet again autumn has descended in the Northern Europe & Scandinavia and that can only mean one thing; The Jane Austen Festival is rapidly approaching!

I know quite a few ladies who are packed and ready to go, even if there is still several days until the start of the festival. This year is my 3rd year in Bath,-  I can hardly believe it has been three years already!

This year will also be the third house party that The Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society will host, with Laughing with Lizzie as joint hostess with long time friends Emma and Laurie. At this wonderful house party, the heads of the German and Danish Societies will also reside with several other wonderful and colorful guests, this also includes Jane Austen Authoress Joana Starnes.
Hopefully we will also see Cas Grafton and Jane Odiew,  both of them Austen authors, and in my usual After Piece on the Festival, I can reveal that a few interviews will be present – I will let your imaginations make the necessary deductions *wink*

Personally, I am looking forward to seeing long time friends, I have not seen since winter. I am also looking forward to dancing, and attending the many activities around Bath alongside my fellow Pineapples friends. Reunion with regency clothes, and regency family & friends. It can only end one way; Pineapple Mischief.

In my own personal plans, is visits to Lyme and Sidmouth Gardens – also known from Persuasion and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, 1st proposal scene in the rain. Therefore I will join my friend and fellow Pineapple, Cati on her road trips to these wonderful locations.
New dresses, spencers and hats bought and made, – jewellery packed, trunk to be packed in the coming days; Check! Now every girls problem; which shoes to bring? Dancing slippers obviously! But the British Weather is known to be traitorous so maybe autumn boots? Ballerina shoes, of course and maybe the new elegant walking shoes with the lace D’Anglais?
Fans, shawls and gloves ready, pressed and ready to be put in their box for traveling; Check!
And of course limit what I bring… *sigh*, problem!

I wonder if Jane Austen would ever believe how popular she has become during the 21st century? America has two or more Austen Societies. Australia, England, France, Malta, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and many more have societies. Variations of her works are booming on the internet, from Amazon to Beyond Austen, with authors from all over the Globe. Variations are also being made into movies these days; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Love and Friendship just to mention a few.

Several well known authors are members of different Austen Societies including our own regency aunt Joana Starnes, Jane Odiew and Cas Grafton in the British Society – like Abigail Reynolds and Jack Caldwell are members of the American Society. Of course America and Great Britain are also in competition on how many people attend their respective festivals…

The Clock is ticking and I cannot wait as it can only end in loads of fun, little sleep, laughter and friendships being rekindled.

torsdag den 26. maj 2016

More Regency Interest

Dear Readers,

First of all, I know it has been a while since I posted anything in here, but not much is happening lately. I am very sorry, but I will soon have news to report of more Jane Austen fun. Second of all, I have lately made a new blog, for more personal interests besides my beloved Jane Austen Society. This new blog is called: https://interestsofajaneaustengirl.wordpress.com/

I hope you will go and read it! Maybe even leave a nice comment or two. Thank you all for bearing with me and thank you for reading my blog and the nice guys who are following me, thank you.

tirsdag den 8. marts 2016

First House Party with the Pineapples

First House Party with the Pineapples

February 1st held the beginning of another adventure for me; yet again I was off to England for an Austen adventure. This adventure took me to Buckinghamshire, to Woodside House not far from High Wycombe. 

The hostess of the house was none other than my dear friend, and regency cousin Miss Sophie Andrews, also known from the blog, “Laughing with Lizzie.” As her co-hostess was Miss Emma Theobald, also a dear friend from my time in Bath.
My arrival to High Wycombe also came with making a new friend in Miss Charlotte, later on referred to as ‘Marianne’ and soon after I was reunited with my dearest friend and regency sister Christin! And I was also reunited with Sophie, Mark, who is Emma’s fiancée and our mutual friend Ciaran.
The house was everything that was charming, with marble statues and rooms to spare for us and our friends who was to join us for our week long regency house party. The first evening went with unpacking, laughing and catching up on what had happened since we had last seen each other in September. 

The second day saw the arrival of our photographer, Alejandra, or Alex as we all call her. She took a million pictures of us, the house and the surroundings, and nearly before the day began we all laughed with each other over one thing or another. During the afternoon, after a pleasant walk, discovery of the church, we all, that is Ciaran, Charlotte, Christin and Emma playing cards, Sophie is practicing her piano playing, while I sat writing in my diary, the perfect domestic regency household. The day also saw the arrival of Alinka, from now on referred to as ‘Kitty’. Ciaran and Mark also impressed us ladies with their sword play on the lawn, early that afternoon.¨
The third day saw us visiting a national trust property nearby, we had at this point been joined by Louise, referred to as ‘Lydia’, Samantha and Aunt Joana. The house had such a wealth of history, as it was one of the premier ministers of England’s home during the Victorian age apparently. The library was BRILLIANT! I so wanted it! Well we did arrive back to the house, where Alex had started interviewing us, Christin and I was during ours when Laura arrived. Well that evening was the murder mystery; nobody was killed in the end except Mr. Thorpe.
The fourth day was bake off, and arrival of Lucy and Amy. We heard music, laughed, took walks, and laughed some more. A true Regency Soirée that evening, with a delicious if very late dinner from Chef Ciaran. When we passed midnight, we all took to our feet with dancing to wild 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s themed music, like ‘Thriller’, ‘Grease Lighting’ etc. Christin and I had also gotten the idea to take character shots, so Sophie as Lizzie Bennet, Emma as Emma, Ciaran as George Knightley, Lucy as Lucy Steele, Alinka and Louise as Kitty and Lydia, Mark as Mr. Bennet, Charlotte as Marianne Dashwood, Aunt Joana as Lady Croft, Amy as Catherine Moorland, Christin as Elinor Dashwood, I was voted on as Anne Eliot, the rest was decided on later. We had a blast to tell the truth, and didn’t fall into our beds until 2-2.30 am. 

The fifth day or Christmas day, as we all had themed it, saw the arrival of Mira to our crazy guest list, a shopping trip to Marlow, where the girls went mad inside a vintage shop, while Christin and I bought out the book shop. While on a walk with Christin, Mira, Charlotte and Aunt Joana, who by the way is the worst chaperone ever, we girls got a chance to play out some of our characters conversations, which left us laughing, and as it had rained during the night, we came back to the house, wet but in high spirits.
That evening we had catering in the house, which left us plenty of time to get ready for our Christmas Eve. This evening, we were joined by Captain Richard and his lovely wife Kate from Yorkshire, and they made a joyous couple to our already crazy house party. The food was splendid, so were the wine, and the gifts as well. Everybody had bought a gift, to be given to someone in the house – I gave Christin a hair band, which was matching to one of my own – you can’t keep sisters down. I personally received a beautiful Tea mug from Mira with famous novelists on it. Again Sophie and Emma surprised us all, by saying that ‘Santa’ had given everybody a gift, and I thereby received a wristwatch with pineapples on it, which I treasure. We played loads of games, which is a traditional in the Andrews household, which was very good fun! After midnight, we played a few more games, and to end the evening, Ciaran and I practiced the scandalous waltz!

The sixth day dawned, again the weather was fair and it was the day of the Highbury ball! The last of our guests had arrived, including Hazel and Keith, referred to as Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, our dancing master Andrew Rawe and again we were joined by Kate and Richard. We had our dancing practice during the morning, and used the afternoon to re-group and get ready for the ball. The ball had barely begun before some of us, cough *Ciaran, Mira and I* cough were flaunting propriety and dancing a waltz! We had a ball, yet again, and danced, laughed and talked. During dinner, Sophie read from Austen’s “Emma”, very fitting in my opinion as we were having our own Highbury ball. Then we had to make our pledge to the group, it went something like this; “I hereby pledge my loyalty to the pineapple, Jane Austen and the prince regent” – and just to make it even more hilarious, we had a pineapple on a pedestal to actually swear our loyalty to. When I made my pledge, I couldn’t help but amend it a little bit, as I am Danish, “I hereby pledge my loyalty to the pineapple, Jane Austen, the Prince Regent and the Queen of Denmark.” – But the thing which was even funnier was the way that Captain Richard made his pledge, as he kneeled!! Too bad nobody got it on video! We ended the ball with Sir Rodger De Coverley which is also mentioned in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” in the part of Christmas Past. 

On the seventh day, which is Gothic day, the weather matched with being grey, gloomy and rainy – almost matched my own mood, as my holiday soon was ending. The morning started with a dance practice, before we had to say goodbye to both Ciaran and Andrew. Let’s just say that Andrew is a task master, but he does it very well! My own favorite dance is Mr. Beverigdge’s Maggot.
As the weather was so horrible, we were restricted to the house, I started to feel quite caged and that normally doesn’t sit well with me, but as we played Northanger Abbey as in a play my own mood began to be sunny again due to laughter and how ridiculous everybody seemed, including myself. Well our play went overtime, and we ended up having to rush into our Gothic evening dresses, buffet dinner followed with yet a lot of laughter spread over the table as we toasted Emma & Sophie for an amazing week, and Emma’s birthday. Then we heard a reading from Northanger Abbey, and then Marianne read from Mysteries of Udolpho while the rest of us were sipping Melon liquor. The rest of the evening was spent playing murder mystery cluedo, and werewolf. We ended up talking, playing and laughing until around 3 o’clock, where most of us went to bed as we had an early start the next day, much to everybody’s dismay.

February 8th, Everybody woke after about 5 or 6 hours of sleep at 8 o’clock, it was extremely weird being back in 21st century clothes as we had been in regency the whole week, and I have to admit we got a lot of weird looks in Marlow the other day, but gosh we had a blast, every day was a ball and a party which was never-ending. After clean up, the last packing and breakfast, Aunt Joana and Marianne drove, Christin, Lucy and I to the station as we were traveling together to London. Lucy left Christin and I at Kings Cross, where we spent the time on talking and having our picture taken at Platform 93/4. Finally, Christin and I had to say goodbye which was horrible to be honest, as I will miss her dreadfully! I hereby end my story here, as I just hit Heathrow Airport.