These rich, complex, dusky damask roses with their headily scented folds, draw me into a world of passion and glamour and their myriad petals seem to curl themselves around a whisper, an intrigue, a secret. These roses, this vase of burnished gold belong on a fantasy table laid for imaginary guests. And within moments my guest list is made up and I am sipping champagne with Gustave Flaubert’s Emma Bovary and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Margarita.
Elegant and opulent, these flowers exude a sense of luxury which would lift Emma Bovary above the bourgeois society she so detested, but would they appeal to the daring and passionate Margarita, the hostess of Satan’s Grand Ball in The Master and Margarita? For those of you unfamiliar with Bulgakov’s novel, the inspiration for the ball scene was a Spring Festival which Bulgakov attended at Spaso House, ( the residence of the U.S Ambassador to the Soviet Union), Moscow, in 1935. Hosted by Ambassador William Bullitt, an event was created which surpassed every other Embassy party in Moscow’s history.
The decorations included a forest of ten young birch trees in the chandelier room; a dining room table covered with Finnish tulips; a lawn made of chicory grown on wet felt; an aviary made from fishnet filled with pheasants, parakeets and one hundred zebra finches, on loan from the Moscow Zoo; and a menagerie of several mountain goats, a dozen white roosters and a baby bear. The festival lasted until the early hours of the morning. The bear became drunk on champagne and in the early morning hours the zebra finches escaped from the aviary and perched below the ceilings around the house.
With guests with such creative and literary associations, my imaginary dinner could well be one of the most exciting evenings I have ever had! Excuse me whilst I top up the champagne coupes and hand around the canapés!
Lovely. These blood red roses are exquisite.
Thank you Gretchen and the fragrance is lovely too.
Add me to the guest list! Sounds like an evening to remember!
Now wouldn’t that be great? If only……..
Oh, my–such a scene! I didn’t know the Bulgakov reference–so interesting and such an over-the-top party! Your roses are gorgeous and I love the mental ramble they took you on. SO, what would the menu be?
What an interesting question……..I will have a think about that!
Your pictures and words are magical:-) It just takes one to bring the story to life:-)
The folds in the flowers are nature at her best:-) My ( great)grandmother, from Norway use to make paper flowers that looked like that…to think those are alive!I can just imagine the food that would be around that beautiful vase-I agree with the comment above…add me to the list, too!!!!!:-) please:-)
I love hearing from you! Do you know how to make the paper flowers? How amazing it would be , if you did. Yes, join us for dinner, bring a guest! What I really wish is that the friends I have made through my blog could all join me round the table!
I am glad you stopped by today since I lost your blog in my reader.I really admire your blog + how gifted you are in SO many ways….now I made sure it is bookmarked..I will be back to stare in awe at all the beauty you create:-)hmmmm maybe more like “gawking” -lol Your blog is one of my favorites!
Thank you so much! You lift my spirits so much with your kind words.
Perhaps you should write Historical novels? You’ve an amazing gift of detail in your story. I love the photograph, Karen! ~amy
Thank you Amy. Those roses, well, they are just so lovely, aren’t they? You will laugh about the Japanese pot, I picked it up at the market for a pound! ” Cheap as Chips” as they would say here in England. I am lucky that so few people value china here now, but sad at the same time. The value of pretty Victorian china especially has dropped so low that people can not give it away. I don’t think the young see any use for it at all.
I love china, it makes me very happy!
Oh, you should gobble all that unwanted china up & then photograph it, send it to Martha Stewart Living & your china’s price would sky rocket! What a beautiful investment too! The roses were begging to have a nose stuck into them! ~amy
Yes. I think you should write your own short story, in this setting….