Being amongst so many Austenites helped helped to soothe my mind of the current predicament, if only temporarily.
Seeing all the ladies and gents dressed in their finery was a treat. Mr. Darcy would have had his pick of Miss. Bennetts, as the women largely outnumbered the men. We were frequently changing gender during the dance workshops and despite occasional mix ups, had lots of fun.
Not only is dancing a lively workout, it also lightens the soul.
The event was largely about learning the dances for the evening ball. There were a few talks, a little theatre and other workshops available.
We joined in 3 dance workshops and in the afternoon learned how to make feather quills.
A little practice is needed to get a good cut, otherwise it is fairly easy. We tested them out, made adjustments, then wrote a letter with our quills. The letter was then folded and sealed with wax and stamped.
As a longtime fan of letter writing and correspondence, I have already dabbled in letter folding, sealing, making envelopes and other creative mail art ideas.
This was the predecessor of the modern email and text message, obviously slower but powerfully intimate, personal and tactile. Receiving a letter is exciting, it fills us with emotion. The art and history of correspondence and the post is fascinating, without even looking at the art of writing itself!
Sadly it is becoming lost in devices and keyboards.
Today students write incredibly less than when I was at school. In fact, many students struggle with writing, not necessarily with writing well but with the physical act of writing.
Imagine then how Jane Austen, among others, wrote her books and letters by hand with feather quills and ink.
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.