Tuesday, 24 April 2007

The Answer To Everything

Dearest Em,

I am very sorry that I haven't written to you in a while. I don't have a proper excuse; I think I've just been having too much fun making dresses and helping Miss Paris (and playing on catapults and springy boards and dancing). Life is rarely dull in Caledon...

What shall I tell you about first? I suppose Steam City happened before I went swiming with Miss Virrginia and flying with Miss Paris so that should really be the one, oughtn't it?

The Guvnah Sir very kindly said that we could go and play on the proposed site for the new neighbourhood and you really can't refuse an offer like that. We'd missed the steam elephant racing and it was all very quiet, so Alfonso set up two of his catapults for us to play on. We weren't alone for long though; the catapult does seem to attract people in a most mesmeric sort of way. Alfonso couldn't resist the opportunity to test his new invention on a willing band of guinea pigs and brought out his Moon Rocket.

It didn't exactly work, but people seemed to be enjoying themselves so Alfonso knocked up some launch boards from the spare building materials that were lying around. That was much more reliable, although there were a few, er, well, embaressing moments.

Its not like Mr Margulis to be so underdressed (except when raving, of course; this was entirely due to the acceleration he assured me), but we were all far too polite to say anything. And Miss Paris and Miss Schnabel were very well organised; they were packed for every eventuality, as proper ladies of adventure always must be.

And then there was Mr Buchanan and his shark. I'm not quite sure what was going on there, but the shark didn't seem to mind too much and I could have sworn he was smiling as he blasted skyward.

It has to be said that the citizens of Caledon are always up for a bit of a giggle and if it includes being catapulted into the air at a huge rate of knots, so much the better. I managed to make it all the way over Port Caledon in my inner tube and I landed in the pond in Caledon II as well! I slept well that night, let me tell you.
It was a shame that Virrginia couldn't be there, knowing her fondness for all things aerial, but I did get a chance to have a small adventure with her when we went swimming at Rua.

This was after she taught me to fly an ornithopter. Let us just say that I'm marginally less bad at that than I am flying with my own wings (we only got stuck upside down twice. Or was it three times?). And the flying goggles were rather useful under water too. There were some nice sea urchins that Virrginia had a sit on (and as she pointed out, exploring requires a great deal of sitting) and quite a lot of interesting wildlife.

But poor Virrginia wasn't feeling too grand and kept swooning (which isn't really a good thing when you're underwater, mermaid or not), so we called it a day and she went for a lie down at home. I wandered over to Tanglewood, where Alfonso was mending Miss Paris' steam elephant (who'd banged his head when he'd been playing with the catapult and he hadn't been quite right since). After my lovely husband had wiped his hands and tidied away his tools, Miss Paris offered to take us all for a celebratory ride.

I'm not sure that Alfonso had completely cured the bumped noggin because this Snorty had a moment of reversion to the activities that made his forebear so infamous. Mr Gray assured us he was fine despite his skewering and the trip continued apace. I didn't stay for too long as I was feeling rather exhausted from all the swimming and flying, but it was fun swooping over Caledon a la elephant.
So, as you can see, its been all go here. I do hope you get the chance to pop over for a cup of tea soon, its ages since we had the chance for a proper gossip and you know how pixies have to satify their natural curiosity as often as possible.
Take care, dear Emilly.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Miranda Miranda

Dear Diary,

Its been quite a weekend, let me assure you. Its been lovely to have my husband home from his travels, although his workshop has never been so busy (still, keeps him out of the tent). He does love a good challenge.

Although I think its fair to say that this was much more of a challenge for those viewing it than it was for him. His Uncle Monty has a lot to answer for, that's all I'm saying. I'm not quite sure how he got into my banquet frock, just that I need to thank the seamstress for making it from such durable and stretchy fabrics.

And then there was the catapult. Now I knew that was fun, because we played with it over at the Circus. And it was lovely to see all of our friends having great fun experimenting with exactly what you could throw using it.

I seen a horse fly, I seen a dragon fly, I seen a house fly, and I've even seen an elephant fly. But a zebra????

And then there was Miss Cyn Vandeverre, shortly before some naughty witch turned her into a daffodil (which coincidentally flew very well indeed).

And there was jousting. Not with horses; far more civilised than that. All it really needed was some cake and tea for the journey. Here you can see our gallant Guvnah hurtling towards victory (although Miss Kelley needn't have been quite so alarmed).

And then there was the dancing. It all started so innocently at first, although Alfonso had obviously had too much sun by that point of the day.

And then it began, quietly at first: the Caledon Ladies' Pagan Dance Society, later to become the Secret Miranda Society.....(I somehow don't think Miss Paris had any idea of the repercussions her chance comment would lead to!)

Somehow, I was reminded of Aunty Pan's dance troupe...

At this point, Oolon was still clinging to his dignity and stood as our token male (although Alfonso's and Mr Margulis' dignity had long since waved bye-bye):

It didn't last...

Poor Mr Nino looked most bemused by the cavorting and gyrating sea of blue and red; he found it quite impossible to judge the best dressed competition.
And then the wings came, and the jester hats....

And of course, the bright glowing lights...

Still, her Grace Gabrielle took it marvellously well that we had erm, well, descended into madness on her lands...for the second night running...
Shortly after I retired to the Colony, with very sore ribs and a happy heart. Dancing lifts the spirit (and hopefully we shouldn't have any rain in Caledon for weeks now...)


Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Stormy Weather

Dear Virrginia,
I hope you don't mind too much, but me and Terry went off on our own for a little Fey outing to a lovely place Miss Tamura had discovered called Metatheria. In some respects it reminded me of home, although everything was a lot bigger. If you ever get the chance, it would certainly be worth a visit (just don't go left, there were skulls down there...big ones)

And don't take any notice of the creepy whispering voices when you arrive, either. That's just there for the casual tourists who expect these sort of things (I think Terry called it an ambience, whatever one of them is, but it sounded like a lady to me).

Terry was as forthright as usual and boldly led the way into this (to me) undiscovered country. There were lots of very pretty trees and flowers, and a long langorous river and a waterfall and lots of interesting temples, nooks and crannies to climb over and sit in. And mushrooms, of course, this being Fey land (I would have been terribly disappointed if there hadn't been). And a big dragon's nest, which was sadly empty and not as comfortable as you might imagine considering the usual level of comfort most of the dragons I know prefer. Terry looked very funny perching in there, but Burt was too busy hiding in case a big bird came by and tried to eat him, so I didn't get any paintings; he's such a coward sometimes. There were some big birdies, but they had better taste than to go after Brownies (who tend to be a bit stringy and muddy).

The sound of running water was very soothing; swans and ducks dabbled and fish swam in lazy circles beneath the cool blue surface. We wandered over a bridge and found ourselves at the bottom of some very steep steps.

There was a lovely recreational area and a bar up the stairs (Em would have loved it) and that's where we met a Metatherian Sidhe, a very refined lady called Miss Ayres. She was ever so friendly. So were the other nice Sidhe people we met (yes, people! That hadn't all run away before we got there). Made quite a change to have someone else to chat to...

But that was all after we saw the dinky ice palace and I broke the swing. I've been very good lately, and I've hardly got my dust into anything, but there was a storm coming and the breeze was picking up; it must have wafted it into the swing mechanism. I didn't mean to break it, it just sort of, well, happened. Terry thought it was very funny but it was terribly embaressing.

See this was the swing before I tried to sit on it. Terry was having a nice relax and enjoying the flowers. Then:

It sort of got stuck. Still, you had a very good view of the flowers from that angle, although it was a little bit tricky to stay seated. You couldn't see the waterfall anymore though, which was a shame as it was a very magnificent waterfall. And I couldn't get it unstuck again, which was even worse; I do hope that the storm washed all the dust out - I've been too shy to go back and see for myself.

Where did we go then? Oh yes, up to the bar and then over the big, scary rope bridge to where the birdies were. We were looking for the Underground that Miss Ayres had mentioned, but the secret entrance was actually under the bridge and not over it; which makes perfect sense really. Still you never can tell with Fey, they do like to confound your expectations.

The Underground was luminous, with yet more bridges and glowing mushrooms and bridges and flowers. And there was a very pretty swirly thing, though heaven alone knows what it was there for. Mind you, I don't suppose pretty things really need a reason to be; its often more than enough that they simply are.

Terry thought we might enjoy a trip out on one of the boats moored nearby, but the storm was gathering pace and was creating big spouts of water. I know that both of us are pretty waterproof, but that doesn't mean that you go looking to get wet and I get sick if I whizz about too much (which is why I avoid travelling in that confounded bouncing contraption of Oolon's). I do apologise for the quality of the dageurotype - Burt went into hiding again when the spouty thing got too close.

It wasn't long after that the storm hit and what a doozy it was, too. We got a bit lost in the bushes trying to find our way back from the beach, but the branches were going all over the place as the wind picked up. Then I think we got caught in one of the usual storm related dislocations, because both of us found ourselves very unceremoniously dumped back at our respective homes (after a few moments of utter blackness). It's happened a few times lately, but I still can't quite get used to the strength of the Linden winds. We did pop back, but only briefly as it was about then that we received the call to Port Caledon...
Well, better get back to Alfonso; he's running about the Circus with two coconut shells and prancing about in a very alarming manner. I think its something to do with the Rennaisance Faire; at least, that's what he says it is. Hmmmmmm.
Anyway, I look forward to seeing you again soon. You take care and don't work too hard.
Your friend,