Cups and cakes

Gung hay fat choi! I can’t believe it’s the Year of the Rat already… I’m still writing “Pig” on all my cheques. We’re doing the New Year Treasure Hunt again, and I am quite looking forwards to it. Last year we ended up in 33rd place (not bad for hundreds of teams and our first try!)

So we went and had a lovely afternoon tea*, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco which is an amazing and elegant place. The tea was in the “Garden Court” which I expect could stand up to the Ritz or Claridge’s in London, and moved into the “Pied Piper” pub where we admired the original Maxfield Parrish over the bar. The costumes were fantastic and I have a brain-ful of ideas now. I especially liked the driving costume with goggles that one lady had (you can sort of see her behind me in the picture below). I am a fool for a goggle.

And there is a picture of us both here. R:tAG borrowed a monocle from a friend who also likes vintage clothes, and he looked quite dashing.

The dress was the most “real” thing I’ve ever sewn… by real I mean like clothing rather than like a costume. It was tedious but not difficult, except for the back closure. Which was really my fault anyway.***

I’ve been worried about my crazydar malfunctioning, and I was relieved to find that it is miscalibrated but is not completely inoperative when we were stopped by a little old man outside the pub who initially was just complimenting us on our costumes, youth and good health** but then found out I had an engineering background. He got a light in his eye, and I thought to myself “This will be either perpetual motion or Velikovsky” and sure enough, he wanted to know if I could help him with a design for an engine he had that would run on the “free energy of the universe.”

What is it about certain memes that attract certain minds (or is it vice versa?) I’m beginning to think that just like individual bodies are physically susceptible to some things (allergies, etc.) individual minds are likewise susceptible. There are generally gullible people, who just have a weak mental immune system I guess, but then there seems to be a correlation between specific ideas and specific personalities. The perpetual motion inventor, the crazy cat lady… you can almost tell by looking what their particular meme-infection is going to be.

Anyway, we politely disengaged ourselves from the little old man and wished him luck, but if you hear of a perpetual-motion solution to the world's energy problems soon, you heard it here first.

* Not High Tea, unfortunately, as I was feeling quite peckish. But they had lovely little finger sammiches of smoked duck and salmon and pear+Stilton (yum!) and cucumber, and scones, and little dainties, and about six different kinds of tea, and it was very good.

** And who doesn’t like to listen to that?

*** The pattern said to use hooks and eyes, placed alternately for strength (like, the first set would have the hook on the right, the set below would have the hook on the left, etc.). I had a devil of a time getting them to line up so I just used snaps. Mistake. Snaps are great for holding flaps together when there’s no stress, but between the close fit of the bodice and my wide shoulders, every time I moved my hand above my waist or further than 20cm from my body, I’d hear the “plink, plink, plink” of snaps popping open. I put in a few hasty hooks and eyes, so my modesty was not compromised, but I still had to ask R:tAG to re-snap me every 20 minutes or so. He took to whispering “Grrr! Hulk smash puny Edwardians!” which gave me the giggles and usually caused more snap casualties.


  1. Terry said...

    Nope, I actually heard it here ( first.  

  2. neuba said...

    You guys look amazing! Sounds like a lot of fun. Miss you!  

  3. cenobyte said... don't want to hear about our new electricity generator that's powered by cheese?

    Perhap your crazydar is simply overloaded.  

  4. carla said...

    I've done something similar with snaps and I almost put someone's eye out. Hugs, A. Miss you and hope your work situation has become more bearable.  

  5. . . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

    Hey! I'll be at the Treasure Hunt, too. Maybe we'll finally meet face-to-face.  

  6. zena said...

    I can’t believe it’s the Year of the Rat already… I’m still writing “Pig” on all my cheques.

    I lol'd :-)

    Lovely dress, btw. What pattern did you use?  


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