I have been working some very late night shifts, dressing the ladies of Versailles.  They are the ladies of the court prior to the French Revolution, when all was grace and elegance and nobody knew what was going to happen next.

In the course of the run-up to Miniatura my work table gets a bit dreadful.


I used to work on the dining table, which was quite large before the OH destroyed it and cut the end off.  There was plenty of room for all the boxes of material.  There are thirty-one years worth of saved boxes of doll dressing material, which can stretch as far as the eye can see, or, as far as the end of the dining table, which, when I used to take my contact lenses out to work, was exactly the same thing.

Now, in my craft room, designed by me with floor to ceiling windows, like the windows of eighteenth century weaver’s cottages, for the light, I can see beautifully, but the room is not big enough for the dining table.  We are still dining on the dining table, downstairs.  I was going to buy a wipeable table for the craft room but had just inherited an eighteenth century folding card table.  This stood, folded, in my parents’ dining room, by the window, with a very small television on it.  As everyone knows, it is very rude, verging on common, to watch television at the dining table, which is the correct place for polite exchange of news and views, though not with your mouth full and your elbows on the table.  So, if you are going to have a television in there it had better be a small one and not on a proper television table, that would acknowledge its presence.  This is why they used an eighteenth century folding card table, I suspect bought to sell in the antique shop.  However it would not sell well because the unfolded table, which may well have stood, folded, in the sunshine since the eighteenth century, is a completely different colour on the inside.

However, in my craft room it can be unfolded and fit a small space to craft in and be folded so the room can be an overflow bedroom with a bed in it when the entire family arrive to stay.  And, anyway, it’s me, I’d far rather have a wonky faded ancient card table to work on as a modern work table, no matter how purpose-built.  People have been doing thinking at this table for about two hundred and fifty years, the table knows when you sit down, you mean business.

Very appropriately I have been dressing eighteenth century for weeks, in twenty-fourth scale.  I do love dressing the twenty-fourth articulated porcelain dolls, and currently, in the manner of Versailles, before it all went horribly wrong.  Therefore I have been up till very late having my kind of fun.  But. just like the aristocracy, it is possible to have too much fun.  Last night at half past eleven I was trying to jam a diamond necklace over the head of an aristocrat, in the normal way, and


her head came off!

Shocktrick shocks!  I had not intended the revolution to start yet!

The ladies of the court, needless to say, were utterly horrified.


Fainting occurred (on those without doll stands.  Those with doll stands didn’t have the opportunity, their feet are fastened to the floor.) They calmed down once I stood them all up again. That’s because they don’t know yet that they are up for the tumbril to Miniatura, where they will be sold, not even to the highest bidder but for a fixed price (£25) for aristocrats!  Each!  What is the world coming to (Miniatura, in a fortnight ) Zut alors!  Mon Dieu! Blimey!

Back to the eighteenth century for me, see you there.


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