Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome to the Third Annual Willow Manor Ball ~!

Welcome to the Willow Manor Ball!  The cyber event of the season is finally here. We have rolled back the carpets of the main hall. Valentino said there's nothing like tile for dancing the tango, but hardwood floors are the next best thing. The manor is bathed in romantic candlelight and the side tables are smothered in my favorite yellow roses.

Please check into the comment section and let us know you've arrived, and who might be accompanying you.  If you would like us to visit your blog, to fully appreciate your lovely attire and date, make sure you sign into the Mr. Linky widget provided at the end of this post.

Thank you so much for coming. I do hope you enjoy the evening, which is miraculously lasting all day long. Remember, everyone who leaves a comment today will be considered a guest and included in the drawing for one of two elegant door prizes. So, please come in and enjoy the manor magic!

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
George Gordon, Lord Byron

The ball is scheduled to start tonight at 12:00 midnight sharp, but my dearest friends, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Eugen Jan Boissevain drove all the way from Steepletop in their open Cadillac roadster, arriving scandalously early.  Fresh from the bath, I greet them in my white fluffy terrycloth robe, hair towel wrapped.  

I invite them to make them selves comfortable by the fire, while I attend to making myself glamorous.  Edna looks fabulous in a smart black cashmere coat and Russian style Persian lamb hat.  I'm so envious.  Wonder if she'll consider a swap for my Doctor Zhivago hat?

My escort for the evening is the charming George Sanders, who arrives, back from the other side, arm in arm with his cast from All About Eve, a delightful surprise, since I've always wanted to meet the formidable Bette Davis. As I take her hand, she promptly announces, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."  She obviously knows something is up, because the minute she steps aside to chat with Cro Magnon and Lesley Hornby, Zsa Zsa Gabor appears out of nowhere and takes the arm of her former third husband, who happens to be my date. 

Feeling completely jilted, Sir Anthony Hopkins arrives and gives me that killer gaze with those blue-blue eyes. He is such a dear and never misses a manor ball. I made sure we have plenty of his favorite liver, with some fava beans and a nice chianti. As he comes in close for a quick hug, I "accidentally" spill my glass of red wine on Zsa Zsa's white silk gown. Oopsies!  I whisk her off to the powder room for a tidy up. 

No sooner than I lose Ms. Gabor, a sultry Marilyn Monroe has taken her place. It seems my dear Mr. Sanders is in high demand this evening.  I smile wryly in their direction, with small eyes, and head toward the dance floor to find one solace in of my favorite crushes, the dashing Charles Simic. Maybe I can coax him into reciting some of his fabulous poetry while we take a spin on the dance floor? It's sure to make me weak in the knees and possibly catch the attention of my distracted date. Perhaps if I swoon, George will forget that pesky Marilyn and rush to catch me. It's worth a try.

Not only does Charles whisper enchanting words in my ear, he has me locked in quite a firm grip. You know that "thing" I have for hands, and this particular poet wins the Nobel Prize for Manly Hands this evening. Oh, look, he's wearing a pinkie ring. Love that. Not only are his hand nice, his feet are as light as his words. I so adore the dance of words on a page.  After I disengage my self from Mr. Simic's lusty hold, and steady myself enough to walk across the floor, I am thrilled to spot my good friend, the amazingly spry George Bernard Shaw, waltzing with a striking woman.  Could it be Vita Sackville-West?  Oh, Vita, daaaling! Or might it be the beautiful, enigmatic Virginia Woolf?

Please excuse me for a moment, and make yourself comfortable on this divan, while Alan Rickman recites Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene V, one of my particular favorites. 

Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out 'Olivia!' O, You should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me!

Don't forget Annie Leibovitz is here, wearing her trademark basic black, armed with her personal digital camera, taking candid shots for the December issue of Vogue, so make sure you and your guest find her and pose extra dramatically. After hearing the history of the manor ghosts, she is concentrating on the front stairway, hoping to get a rare shot of our whispy lady in white. It's highly improbable, though, since she only makes her ghostly appearances between 3:00 and 4:30 a. m.

Speaking of ghosts, Mae West is holding a seance in the candlelit library, in case you're interested. She is set on conjuring Rudlph Valentino back for the evening, rose firmly planted in her teeth, her ample cleavage powdered.

What am I wearing tonight?  Well, I found the most lovely white vintage organdy gown in Paris last week, but it is as stiff as Miss Havisham's wedding cake.  After a dance or two, I find I can't get nearly as close to my partner as required.  I slip upstairs and make a quick change into this fabulous strapless dress worn by Linda Christian on the cover of Vogue in January of 1949. Amazing how much I favor her in the dress. Accordion pleats are perfect for twirling. Now, I can tango the night away in sheer bliss. Shh!  Don't tell, but I have my beloved woolly socks underneath.

You've probably heard by now, that our Master of Ceremonies is once again the indomitable Leonard Cohen, who arrived a little while ago by helicopter on the front lawn, with a bevy of swinging backup babes. I requested "Dance Me to the End of Love", for openers. Stand back ladies, I have reserved his first dance. What's this in his hand? Oh my, dearest Lenny, you shouldn't have! I do believe he has brought me some kind of sparkly gift. He's so sweet, he know's what a magpie I am.

There are crates of marvelous vintage champagne in the cellar, I've been saving for this special occasion, as well as a bar set up with all kinds of goodies.  I've instructed the bar tenders to make delicious and very old fashioned "Last Word" cocktails.  (2 oz gin, 1oz green chartreuse, 1/2 oz maraschino, and 1/2 fresh cut squeezed lime, shake, add a fresh bing cherry for cuteness)  Cheers!  Feel free to throw your glasses and crash them into the fireplace, since they are cyber glasses, after all.

I don't know about you, but all this twirling around the dance floor has made me ravenous. Please help yourself to some of this decadent food.  We've once again spared no expense in hiring the most exquisite caterers in town. Scottish quail eggs are on the menu this year in honor of my Scorbie ancestors. My DNA is definitely tingling. If you see Tom Hanks anywhere near that caviar garnish, shoo him away. He scrapes the entire thing onto his plate every year. Gosh, he just can't get over that You've Got Mail thing. Thank goodness he's no longer sporting that stringy Da Vinci Code hair.  Save room for my favorite part, dessert!  Please don't be shy. Cyber desserts are completely calorie free, remember? Yes, it's that same lethal chocolate mousse we served last year, only this time, it's without that strange Drambuie and mustard concoction, that made everyone grab the nearest partner and head for the privacy of a potted palm.

It's a gorgeous, balmy evening. Let's take a stroll out to the gazebo, shall we? Maybe I can find Mr. Sanders and Ms. Monroe out here amount the shrubberies. Wait, isn't this her shoe? No, it's Mrs. Manion's panties. Near the tennis court, I see an amazon of a woman emerging from the darkness. Oh my gosh, George, is that you?  Sanders strolls up, hides the blonde wig behind his back and quickly attempts to remove the bright red lipstick with his breast pocket hankie. Oh well, I'm certainly not disappointed, since my dance card was filled with all my charming bloggy friends, as well as the dreamy Mr. Simic. After dancing until the wee hours this morning, it's time now for my beauty sleep. Sigh. It's been a magical evening. Please do stop in around noon tomorrow  for brunch, daalings, and we'll catch up on all the delicious ball scuttlebutt.

Ta-ta, my friends! 
Sweet dreams!
Thank you for making 
The Manor Ball a smashing success!


Leave a comment and you'll be included 
in the drawing for two elegant door prizes...

these lovely little enamel bird boxes.

Don't forget to sign into the Mr. Linky below if you would like us to visit your blog, to see what glamorous clothes you might be wearing, or who your lovely date might be!


  1. The ball is off to a wonderful start, since the early arrival of my very dear friend, Edna St. Vincent Millay! Welcome!! Come in and enjoy!!

  2. Wow. Now I wish I'd RSVPd. Have a lovely night.

  3. There will be no trading of the Zhivago hat.

  4. No RSVP required, Clever! Come in and have some fun!

  5. I don't know, Jeff, Ms. St. Vee's hat is uber-cool!

  6. Overwhelming ... everything! I am on my way, must wait for my escort!
    A lovely surprise twist!

  7. Whoa! The fiddle work in "Dance Me" is astounding. Everything is so fabulous! Yes, I will have another glass of port!

  8. good evening willow...everything looks lovely...

  9. I was so afraid I would miss the ball. I'll run quickly back to the Turtle and get into my ball gown before my date arrives!

  10. Helen, looking forward to meeting your enigmatic date!

    Michael, hello! Yes, do help yourself to another glass of port, my friend. xx

  11. Brian and Sandra, come in, come in!

  12. Oh Willow, the Manor is looking lovely...your lighting is perfect...I love the little shadowed corners and the well lit are a perfect hostess. It's been a long ride and I'm so glad to have finally arrived...I could tell you such stories!
    You are a walking dream in this gown and boy can you tango...the guests are steamy from watching you! It's such a pleasure to have a hostess that knows how to have fun...are those chocolate sprinkles in your cleavage? Talk to you later...must dance! Mr. Poirot is looking for you!

  13. Willow---I don't know how you do it! You must search for weeks on end to find the most beautiful pictures to post here for the ball. I know that you will be having a great time tonight. Wish I were there to sample that dessert. I looks divine. Are you privy to the recipe???

  14. Blue Sky, thank you! Welcome! Oh, dear, yes, those are chocolate sprinkles in my cleavage! (brush-brush) Now, where is that adorable Mr. Poirot??

  15. Teri, I'll get the recipe for you from our incredible chefs. Take a's divine!

  16. Oops..."it" looks divine. (Well, so do I actually! I have worked hard all year to lose weight and now I can finally wear that strapless dress that I have been coveting).

  17. Thank you Teri, the photos of Willow Manor I took myself! :)

  18. Oh...once a year for a special treat...what the heck!!! Chocolate is my favorite. This is so creamy and smooth. And those raspberries!

  19. Look who I brought

    Look no touching

    thanks for being a fabulous hostess!

  20. Oh, how I needed this "fantabulous" event. My girls have dolled me up and I am giddy having arrived on the arm of Patrick Swazey. We have already practiced a few dance moves and my girls are this moment watching "Dirty Dancing" at home. I'm sure their jaws will drop thinking of their mother dancing like that. Oh my, is that Johnny Depp I see? Oh my, what an evening to remember!

  21. Good evening, look lovely as usual! xx

  22. Margaret, I'm thrilled to actually meet you! Welcome! Yes, that is my friend Johnny Depp you see over on the stairwell. We are distant kissing cousins, you know. It's quite possible we share the same Cherokee great-great grandmother.

  23. Oh what a night! Willow you are a gracious and creative hostess! Your vintage dress is divine - I hope you will like mine from Mr. Dior. You brought together so many interesting guests and my Southern Gent Husband and I enjoyed meeting each and every one of them. I most enjoyed sharing a martini with Bette Davis. I know she looks tough, but I found her to be a pussycat just beneath the surface.

    I support the hat trade, if that's what you really want. It's nice to change things up once in a while.

  24. you've outdone yourself, willow daaaling. all details have been seen to in intricate detail right down to the last word cocktails. is there nothing you can't do?

    i shall be arriving on mr. joyce's arm, mr. fowles will be by shortly, and mr. feynman said he had some last minute physics problem to work on at the lab and would arrive with a case of edna valley pinot noir before midnight.

    until then, ta-ta and be sure to get your beauty sleep tonight. i know i certainly will ;-)

  25. Such a fabulously elegant party, and I love that you are wearing your woolly socks.

  26. Amanda, you don't mind if I take Mr. Joyce around the dance floor do you? Nora Barnacle isn't here tonight, is she? I need to have a little chat with him about Ulysses.

  27. you know.....
    if i weren't with cary tonight...
    i would cozy up to alan rickman. that is if you wouldn't mind too very much.

    xxx thanks again for inviting me.

  28. Oh hellow Willow,,,,how elegant everything looks!
    And YOU,,,,just SMASHING!
    (sprinkles and all)

    I just feel the sizzle in the air tonight,,,,must be that tango!

    Oh, please, just a tad more of that dessert,,,,it's to die for.
    (hope I don't split my seams)

    And say Hi to Harry,,,,he's been dying to meet you,I'll just make my way in to see Mae,,,it's been an absolute AGE since last we met!
    Thank you so much for the invite, and I am thrilled to have made it this year!
    Oh, and by the way:
    (whispering) I told Harry you'd prepared all this marvelous food yourself, that the caterers were just an ugly rumor. Silly me!

  29. This is still very overwhelming for a Bear. Sigourney Weaver, however, accustomed to these sorts of things, is gently guiding Bear along. We've visited Sir Anthony already — such a treat to meet him! And we're thoroughly enjoying Mr. Cohen's music; after all, I know many of his pieces by heart. (We Canadians have to stick together, eh?)

    Interestingly, Ms. Weaver reprised one of her outfits from Gorillas in the Mist, but had her couturier develop something truly magnificent. Wow!

    Thank you for organizing such a glamorous event, Ms. Willow. Now, we're off to the dance floor.

  30. Babs, shh! Go ahead and let Harry think I made it all myself. I love to impress a handsome man. Now, if you don't mind, he's going to take me for a little spin in his Lamborghini...

  31. Hello, everyone. Have you met my date, Denzel Washington? We are both so glad to be here. The Manor is beautiful, as always, as is our hostess -- and oh my, is that Cary Grant I see over there, looking so adoringly at moondustwriter? Yes, it is!

  32. Sandra, my favorite Denzel Washington flick is Branagh's film version of Much Ado About Nothing. Maybe he'll recite a bit of Shakespeare, while I borrow him for a dance?

  33. Boy, am I glad to be here...what a swell party this is!!

  34. What a delightful event!It's always fun to take time out for a spot of glamour and glitz and leave behind the mundane reality of the every day.

  35. For some wonderful reason..."I Could Have Danced All Night" drifting through my head..lovely! :D

  36. Willow, I forgot to ask. Do you have an MC to announce arrivals? If so it's Lady Crosby-Magnon accompanied by Professor Jonathan Ashmore, and Lord Crosby-Magnon accompanying Ms Lesley Hornby.

    We made it, but meeting up (having taken flights from all over) was not easy. Lady M's feet have swelled slightly so she may not be dancing (other than bare-foot). As for me; just point me towards that hardwood floor.

    Gosh you look wonderful Willow. And those flowers!!

  37. Woops, Mr Cohen has just asked for our cards!

  38. Excuse me, can I have a (clumsy) dance with Charles Simic? Promise you I won't hog the conversation with Edna,but I am just really so glad you invited her.

    That dessert looks really good. Is there a recipe?

  39. you look devine my dear--it will be some enchanted evening....

  40. I heard talk around the blogosphere about this event last year, I couldn't figure out how you'd do it. Well now I know. Well done. I'll have to keep an eye out for this event next yer and actually attend. I'll have to talk to my dress designer a few months in advance, naturally. Well, have a lovely night! See you here next year!

  41. Your ball looks fabulous Willow and I can see that you are belle of the ball, I am already sitting at the top of your staircase so I can see all the fun of the night.
    I adore Mr Cohen's singing and Dance Me to the End of Love is my favourite!

  42. A fab event, so happy to attend! Count me in on all counts (and save me 2nds on the dessert!!).

  43. All looks very good, and, might I say?, I AM so glad you have the chocolate mousse again this year, Willow. Divine. Yummm.

    More here on my virtual party blog!

  44. You look fabuous! You are so kind to include me again this year. So looking forward to meeting everyone and partaking the feast and festival you have prepared for us.

  45. Dearest dearest Willow,
    Everything looks gorgeous. I didn't realise it would be beyond my wildest imagination. All the attention to details...

    And You did get Alan Rickman to recite poetry - I was so hoping he would be here.

    And I can't wait to meet Hercule Poirot, someone brought him and he bumped into Sherry I think.

    I will be over at The Manor right after Leonard and Joseph have finished assuring me what a lovely night I will be having!

  46. I'm already in your midst, willow. And when the laughter lulls, the conversations gently close and the champagne corks have stopped popping about the place, my presence will become more obvious. Why, I am the Sandman, after all!

  47. My fabulous date Gene Kelly and I just swept in in the fabulous 1953 convertible Cadillac and are heading for the cocktails. A quick couple of noggins before hitting the dance floor together. Oh the Manor is still looking so warm and welcoming -- how do you get all those candles to flicker so charmingly? So flattering for the ladies, that candlelight. But first and foremost a huge thank you for putting on such a fabulous ball.. again! Bit naughty of your George to be so flighty with others and fancy that Gabor girl showing up! Was she invited? Or is she a gate crasher? You've got to find a new bit of recitation for Rickman, he keeps on repeating the same script! Perhaps he needs another cocktail! Cheers everyone!

  48. How kind of you to let me come, Willow! Your dress is simply made for your figure, and the Manor has never looked better.

    I hardly know who to talk with first, there are so many charming guests. Perhaps a visit to the bar will help me decide.

  49. Oh, Edna I absolutely love her....I just did a bio on Poets United....I hope she will be reciting...kisses...Edna...

    David and I are on on our way...and we are bringing someone unexpected....but Willow, you will love him...bkm

  50. Good evening, Willow! Gosh, there's such a crush in the entrance hall. Getting through the door with two ladies on my arm was quite a squeeze! Of course, you know Weaver and Whoopi! Just point us towards the cocktail bar daahling and we'll ease ourselves in. Everything looks marvellous, you've been working so hard! I'll grab you for our dance in a little while.

  51. Dear Willow - the Hostess with the Mostess,

    I keep coming back and saw this lovely lovely line that sets the tone for this evening...

    Oh my, dearest Lenny, you shouldn't have! I do believe he has brought me some kind of sparkly gift. He's so sweet, he know's what a magpie I am.

  52. What a gathering! What a venue! What a hostess! No time for small talk and chit chat right now, I have to rush out to my private 'vintage' Concorde to make the flight from Madrid to Willow Manor. I can't wait to see what my dance partner, Eva Yerbabuena, does on those hardwood floors. To see her in action follow the Mr. Linky trail to Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow or the lapis lazuli elephant.

    Can't wait to see you there, willow, and meet the stellar lineup of guests and all our blog friends.

  53. Derrick from Melrose Musings and I will be arriving any time soon - me in dreamy blue and he in his best togs with a matching waistcoat. I do hope George has saved a dance for me - he was my pin up for years - oh the joy of being held in his arms - can't wait!

  54. Let me see if I can talk and scrape caviar with my teeth at the same time. Hold my champagne while I type, will you dahling?

    Darcy and I have been here for ages, but we couldn't pry ourselves away from Truman Capote, who just kept blah blah blahing for an hour! Did you know he was here? Just wondering, 'cause you didn't mention him.

    Simic lunged at me as soon as you got away, and poor Darcy almost slugged him. But it was worth it since he recited The Bather while we danced.

    After that dance Darcy found me just as Annie happened by. She asked us would we please come up to the upstairs hall where she had pictured us earlier, and could she take just a few shots. She will be featuring us in a vintage issue of Vogue, where they'll be creating period sets, and she thought we'd be perfect for the Regency era.

    Well, I could go on and on, so I'll be back for lunch, sweetiekins. I'll be in Audrey crop pants, after dropping Fitzwilliam back at home with Eliza.

    Everything was even more divine that I could have imagined. What guests! What dances! And our bloggy friends were the best dancers, gods and goddesses all.

  55. Sorry, I'm running a bit late - I forgot about the time-zone difference. Vroom vroom!

  56. Fabulous, Willow,
    simply fabulous!

    I am so sorry to say that I will not be able to attend.
    I wished, I were.

    My very best wishes for a wonderful evening to you and your friends,

  57. We're on our way. And as you can imagine, my date for the evening has something to say.

  58. Oh my, my first time here (just looking...from Moon's blog) but am blown away...Let me introduce myself...I am Buttercup and am sorry that I missed this wonderful elegant gathering. I would love to attend your next gathering if you'd consider me. Enjoy and have a wonderful night :)

  59. I see the link does not show :)

  60. what a brilliant evening are most definitely the hostess with the mostess....xv

  61. Dahling.... we are here! Somehow all my Gentlemen managed to get dressed, collect the Bentley - then oh-so-charmingly, wait for me while I made a few last minute adjustments. There wasn't much grumbling because King Ludwig had thoughtfully brough along some "Champers" and I must admit, I feel I was definitely worth the wait! (Only 30 minutes late...)

    And now we have arrived, looking cautiously around for Inspector C and Kato.... Oh - there they are! I confess to being a bit worried that Kato's erratic driving might lead him to crash into us!

    And in we go...Willow, your gown is lovely - and the wooly socks - a briliant touch! The Manor looks divine! Those yellow roses emit the most delicate of scents.

    Oh, time for my first partner on my dance card.... it's Franz - because later he will be playing some Hungarian Dances for us all....and in particular - YOU..

    So, off I go, treading carefully in my Jimmy Choos.... more later!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  62. Got my tweed crest
    Got my best vest
    All I need now is the girl
    Got my striped tie
    Got my hopes high
    Got the time and the place
    And I got rhythm
    Now all I need is the girl to go with'M

    I am suited up and awaiting my date. Linda Ronstadt has agreed to be my date for Willow Manor Ball but is keeping me waiting while she completes the final touches. She has asked me if you would mind if she sang a few songs from the great American songbook. I said I'd ask but didn't think that would be a problem.

    See you soon!

  63. It all looks so elegant and decadent! Sorry I'm a bit underdressed to attend this year, but with you in spirit :)

  64. Sorry for gate crashing the ball and making a spectacle of myself on the dance floor.Put it down to
    over excitement. I don't get out much!

  65. The photos are fantastic, everything so elegant including alan and leonard! I had to rush because of the time difference, so its champagne for breakfast here!

  66. Willow...
    Oh daaahing.. you have everything just so gorgeous and marvelously trendy. Oh what a lovely evening we have in store. Can't wait to crash those stemmed glasses into that dashing fireplace!
    :) The Bach

  67. The Manor looks wonderful, dear Willow, and your dress is smashing!
    I am so looking forward to the enchanted evening.

  68. Willow Manor is so beautiful! The decoration, the candlelight, the exquisite food, the whole atmosphere is just magical! I love it so much!

    This is the eve of my birthday! I am celebrating with a wonderful dream thanks to you!


  69. I was just having a breather while listening to Leonard and must say how dreamily he sets the tone of the evening. I've been tucking into those Scotch eggs too, quite home from home and such an unusual dainty! If you're free from George, Anthony et al at the mo, shall we take our turn on the dance floor, Willow?

  70. Where has everyone been willow? We've HAD a ball...been and come back home with feet tingling! Oh, that's right...I forgot, we left's still going on.

    I saw you dancing and chatting but we couldn't get close enough to say hello.

    A truly magnificent ball! The greatest gathering of the greatest people at the greatest ball on the greatest planet.

    Thank you for the invite.

  71. I would ask the wonderful Martin Shaw to be my suitor; his sophisticated presence will surely add to the glamour of the Ball.

    Perhaps my daughter could play the piano, a little gentle music on the Steinway.

    CJ xx

  72. I love Gary's rendition of the song from "Gypsy". And what a girl he has in his arm.. our Lovely Linda Rpmstadt! what a
    catch! :) The Bach

  73. duh! Ronstadt... so sorry for my typing mistakes! :) The Bach

  74. I’m glad I was able to attend Willow’s wonderful ball. It reminds me of a similar event F Scott Fitzgerald wrote about:
    “A celebrated tenor sang in Italian, and a notorious contralto sang in jazz, while happy bursts of laughter rose toward the autumn sky.”

  75. ahhhh willow my sweet, thanks ever so much for the invite. let my introduce my date - the lady of shalott! we're both famished but i think we'll head for the champagne cellar first and tuck away a magnum of veuve-clicquot just to get things warmed up. willow, she's a bit of a shy date so you might find us lollygagging around your library or perhaps even in the conservatory. how are the gardens this year? oh by the way you look smashing. i might need to borrow a pair of your big wooly socks for later. (we're both barefooting this one - it's something of a date tradition for the two of us!!) save me a dance will you. mmmmmwaaaaaah! steven

  76. Who Ate All The Cheese Puffs?

  77. Willow my date was Truman Capote,
    sorry to say he had an appointment
    with some guy in a prison. On top of that the spur in my heel is starting up again. The party looks grand. Save the recipe for those eggs.

  78. brilliant and delicious, dear Willow. You have outdone yourself!!

  79. I was standing by your grandiose stairway chatting with Edith Piaf. She explained to me what it really means to see "La Vie en Rose". I felt slightly lightheaded after few glasses of Champagne and needed some fresh air. Walking to the garden we overheard Leonard asking:

    And where, where, where is my Gypsy wife tonight
    I've heard all the wild reports, they can't be right
    But whose head is this she's dancing with on the threshing floor
    whose darkness deepens in her arms a little more

  80. You've outdone yourself this year Willow! In honour of your own writerly guests I decided to bring a couple of my own favourite writerly dates, Michael Ondaatje (often referred to as 'my boyfriend') and one of my heros, John Steinbeck. Maybe you could use your charms on them while I go find my dreamboat Fred.

  81. Dear Willow
    you have outdone yourself
    how splendid
    I'm not at all ready but plan to join you very shortly

  82. I might never get past the door. Seems my companion for the evening and Leonard know each other. They're talking shop. C'mon Joan, I want you to meet our hostess. Now where did she go....there she is! Willow, thank you so much for inviting us! Let me introduce Joan Jett, but you knew who she was, of course. Joan, this is the amazing Willow, poetess and hostess extraordinaire.

    Oh, a diet Coke for me. Thanks, babe. See you in two shakes. Now then, Willow, you look great! Where did you...oh, me? I'm going for the Victorian goth look. I never wore so much mascara in my life, but it's fun. I knew Joan would wear black leather, so I couldn't show up in chiffon, now could I? I know, we look like a couple of charcoal briquets, don't we! Shhh, here she comes with our drinks. Be still my beating heart! Thanks so much for inviting us, Willow. We're off to mingle. Pssst, she has her guitar in the van...maybe you can get her to play "Crimson & Clover" later, IF I'll let loose of her long enough. *wink*

  83. Leonard Cohen just autographed my copy of Dance Me to the End, his book with a Henri Matisse painting or cutout illustrating each line of the song. I'm in heaven!

    Thank you, Willow, for inviting me to this lovely party.

  84. Oh, my-my-my! I just stepped out to powder my nose and look at all the wonderful goings on! I'm glad to see that everyone is mingling so nicely. Let's give Mr. Darcy another Last Word and he'll be just fine.

  85. Cro, Lady Magnon is in good company, because....shh...I'm not wearing heels tonight, but my woolly socks!

  86. Mr. Sandman, may I have this dance?

  87. Ruth, I'm so glad you mentioned Truman Capote was here! He's so short, I didn't see him in the crowd. I absolutely adore his writing. I simply must chat with him about Breakfast at Tiffanys....

  88. Weaver AND Whoopi to the Willow Ball? Derrick you are THE man and "W" is the letter of the evening for you! I can't wait to hear your's and Weavers delightful accents.

  89. oh my, you have quite the crowd already. I am currently working up a date and a devil of a girl I think--that's how she describles herself online...Hey, if this is a cyber event, may as well bring an online date, eh? and i'll grab some dramamine as well, what with all the twirling that's going on in the manor. save some punch for us, toodles!

  90. Ohhh - it looks dazzling! I will be fashionably late, I'm afraid. I'm still agonizing over which outfit to pick - could you pop over and advise? And a minor disaster - my date, Stephen Fry, has arrived drunk and disorderly! I'm trying to sober him up quickly. Do please ask Alan Rickman to be on standby with a steadying elbow, will you?

  91. Gary, what an entrance! You look fabulous, daaling! Do you think your date might sing us something from Pirates of Penzance?

  92. I love that you've selected George Sanders as your date for the evening, he was always one of my favorites.

    Afraid I'll be peeking out from the behind the palm fronds again this year Willow, as I've just discovered I have to put a complete wedding together in less than two months.

    But, I've left something for you at my place and hope you'll find time to pick it up after the Ball.

    Have a fabulous time!

  93. Oh, I thought I heard Edith Piaf laughing over near the potted palms! Mirjana you look stunning! What is that you're wearing?

  94. What a fabulous evening! I adore strawberries. Oh, have you met my date - this is Tom Waitts as if you didn't know. He isn't shy - just a bit surly at times. I like that in a man, don't you? But dancing isn't his thing so I hope it's alright if I borrow Robert for a whirl? Like my skirt - I bought it to play my button accordion in but thought it perfect for this night. Yes, it is tattered but it will be more so by the end of the night.
    Later my dear - I simply must have another of those charming little canapes...Jan Morrison

  95. Fireblossom, send Joan out for her guitar right now! She MUST sing for us before the night is through. Briquettes? Nonsense. You both look stunning, daalings!

  96. Tim and I are <a href=">on our way!</a>

    Can't wait!

  97. Steven, I've got you penciled in my dance card. In ink! That Lady of Shalot can't keep you in her clutches the entire evening. I do have an extra pair of woolly socks if your piggies get cold!

  98. Thursday, September 30, 2010.
    Oh Lord, in the midwest today
    has dawned birthed in blood
    and has now moved past
    the delicate oranges and yellows
    and transitioned into a sky
    of perfect electric blue,
    around the delicate swan neck
    of a brilliant Indian Summer,
    as the throngs and masses
    move and converge
    Woodstock style over to
    Kincaid's farm for the
    behemoth ball at
    Willow Manor!!!!!
    The state police are directing
    traffic, and the national guard
    are keeping order, for the Rumors
    are as thick in the air
    as a biblical plague of locusts,
    and the guests are agog,
    tingling with anticipation,
    for it is believed that our very own
    President Barack Obama, will land
    here for lunch in his Chinook
    White House chopper, and then he
    and Michelle will lead off
    the first waltz; damn what
    an event, and of course the
    media vans are thick as fleas
    on old Shep as the entire planet
    watches CNN, Fox News, and
    Entertainment Tonight coverage
    of the arrival of celebrities,
    for there are ten red carpets,
    and one perfectly white one
    where Miss Willow will make
    her grand entrance in her
    virgin white gown.
    This event, a well kept Midwestern
    secret the first two years
    has gone global this time,
    and millions will drool and clap
    and some may even pass out
    with the excitement, the glitz,
    and glamour, and audacity,
    for it is clearly remarkable
    that the Willow Manor guest list
    recognizes no parameters, no limits,
    and Time itself will ride the Past
    bareback across the lawn, yawning
    wide to open its maw allowing
    hundreds of portals to pop open
    and give a access to all the
    celebrities of the past and present
    to pour forth, resplendent,
    and eager to party.

    I arrived in time for breakfast in my pearl
    white Hummer stretch limo, and stepped out
    onto a red carpet with the lovely
    Carrie-Anne Moss on my arm, and she
    shocked the folks by wearing her
    skin-tight MATRIX outfit, with short
    bobbed hair and those sunglasses.
    As promised, I am wearing the
    George Armstrong Custer inspired
    white leather tuxedo, soft deerskin
    with long black fringes across my back,
    carrying a cavalry sword for effect,
    to be checked with my 7th Cavalry cape,
    and Cyrano white-plumed hat. I also will
    check my spurs, but my knee high black
    leather boots will be fun to dance in.

    Glenn Buttkus
    is in the house,
    in the Manor,
    and in the swing of things.

  99. Dancing, dancing, OMG the dancing
    is phenomenal. As promised the
    Tango is King to the Waltz as Queen!
    Al Pacino is demonstrating the dance
    with partner Gabrielle Anwar, now
    an annual event, nez pah?
    Wow, and look over there,
    we have Robert Duvall dancing
    with his wife, Luciana Pedraza
    and co-star of ASSASSINATION
    TANGO, and next to them we
    have George Chakiris dancing
    with Rita Moreno, that number
    from WEST SIDE STORY, and
    hey there is that hot
    Paul Mercurio dancing with his
    partner Tara Morice, wearing
    his gold bullfighter's outfit
    and even Richard Beymer is
    giving it a go with Miss
    Natalie Wood, a bit stiff, but
    she is carrying him, and yes
    there is Richard Gere dancing
    with Jennifer Lopez, doing
    the finale from LET'S DANCE,
    but whooah, the showstopper
    this year is Heath Ledger
    and Jake Gyllenhaal all duded
    up in cowboy boots doing
    the sexiest tango of them all!

  100. Sadly, I will NOT be able to make it today. (SIGH!)

    I hope it's ok; I told my bloggy friends about your big event and told them they could stop by if they wanted. I'll check back tomorrow to hear all the gossip about who did what with whom.

  101. And now it is time for me
    to pull Carrie-Anne away
    from Alan Rickman, for
    they are old friends after
    working together in Canada
    in SNOW CAKE, and do our
    turn on the Tango floor.
    Man, this woman can dance.

  102. Now Carrie-Anne is talking
    with Sigourney Weaver, also
    from SNOW CAKE, and they
    are enjoying the Vegan fare
    you have provided!
    How nice of you to plan
    ahead for all tastes.
    They are giggling about
    the TV series that Carrie
    was in MATRIX in 1993,
    more than five years before
    the trilogy films started.

  103. Hello, Willow! You look wonderful, dahrrrrrling! Quite the party you're throwing tonight, everything and everyone is absolutely splendid!

  104. I hope to be added to your
    dance card too, Miss Willow.
    Carrie is 5'8" tall, but in
    her Matrix boots she is
    5'10"; good for those
    tango clinches though.

  105. Alan Rickman has talked
    Kenneth Branagh, and
    Mel Gibson, and Laurence
    Oliver, and Campbell Scott,
    and John Gielgud, and
    Richard Burton, and Nicol
    Williamson, and yes even
    Richard Chamberlain into
    doing monologues from
    HAMLET. People are going
    wild over there!

  106. But, Kathy G, you are already here! All you need to do is show up and leave a comment, daaling! Wonderful to see you! Let me have a fresh Last Word mixed for you! With two cherries.

  107. Carrie wanted to remind you
    that as a Trivia tidbit, she
    did appear in one episode
    of BAYWATCH in 1994.
    She still has a stunning figure,
    considering she has had
    three children, two sons,
    and a daughter. Her husband,
    Stephen Roy, was such a
    prince about letting her
    attend the ball this year.

  108. Ah, the Glenn show has arrived! No one notices Carrie-Anne, when you're in the room, daaling! May I have the next dance, after Ken Branagh? I was one smart girl to forget the stilettos and go with the woolly socks. Now I can gaze into the eyes of all my favorite guys!

  109. Dang!
    I've been called away to help with the education summit and am being whisked off any second via helicopter to Camp David. They want to pick my brain, otherwise I would be there, wearing my vintage strapless Cassini. I think Jackie wore it. I always wear strapless, you know, the shoulders are the last things to go.
    Oh, there's the helli now. Lenny crooning will stay with me a long, long while.

  110. Could one get lost in the library? I'm all decked out in a perfectly sinful gold frock but I can't seem to move away from the books. This seems to be the fate of a wall-flower like myself!

  111. Tony, I've just asked Jeeves to fetch another bag of cheese puffs from the pantry, as well as some of those "little chocolate donuts" you like so well!

  112. Oh darling, I apologize for the
    spurs. I meant to check them
    with the sword and cape,
    but I kind of like the way they
    jingled. Thank you so very
    much for this dance, for you
    really super glide on these
    hardwood floors in your
    wonderful woolies.

  113. Evening Light, there's no such thing as a wall-flower at a cyber ball. Our alter egos magically take over. Come on in and enjoy! Have you met my dear friend Edna St. Vee?

  114. Wow, I just knocked down a
    Last Word cocktail, and now
    the room is spinning. I am not
    much of a drinker, but had
    to try this one in your honor.
    Carrie is drinking champagne
    and seems to be holding it
    well. Now she is talking with
    Jada Pinkett-Smith, one of
    her buddies, who is dancing
    with Will Smith. God, doesn't
    he look fabulous in that
    White Tux?

  115. Wow, looks like Rob Marshall
    has arrived, and he brought
    a troupe of dancers with
    him; will the reverie ever
    stop? God, I hope not.
    He has stopped to talk
    a bit with Bob Fossie
    who is still upset with the
    Fosse moves Rob used
    in NINE.

  116. Life, Camp David?? It's so loud in here I didn't hear the copter. Ta-ta! So glad you dropped in!

  117. I brought several of Leonard
    Cohen's poetry books with
    me, and he has been gracious
    enough to autograph them
    for me. What a gentleman!

  118. Whoa, Glenn that Last Word is making you talk as fast as Mary Scorsese!

  119. I knew it! Barack and Michelle
    just gliding around the floor,
    with that ominous ring of
    secret service agents circling
    the room. God, do you have
    security here for the ball?
    This might be one of those
    soft targets the Taliban
    is bragging about hitting
    this week!!!!

  120. Jan, I am nutty about accordion music, and am SO envious! I've always wanted to play the button accordion. How did you know? Please, please, play us a polka!!

  121. Is Mary Scorsese just Marty
    in drag?

  122. My dear Willow I am so jittery at the thoughts of tonight! Darling Liam Neesom will be escorting me tonight. Lovely, lovely. You have outdone yourself once again!

  123. Yes, I may have to emulate
    Fireblossom and stick to
    diet Cokes. My wife is hooked
    on them. She doesn't drink
    coffee, just mainlines caffeine
    from the cola.
    Carrie, on the other hand
    adores strong coffee, and
    then she drowns it in milk
    with no sugar.
    Go figure.

  124. Gosh, the buzz, the glamour,
    the energy in here is off
    the hook, darling!
    It does make me speak
    and think rapidly, kind of
    like Jimmy Cagney in those
    old 30's Warner hits.

  125. Yeah, Mary is Marty in drag. heh-heh...those Last Words are really going to my head! I'm switching to diet coke.

  126. Oh goodness...The voice of France is here! Edith Piaf! I am brushing up my rusty limited French.

    Who is that talking to Leonard? Oh here he is, back at my side...

    Willow, how wonderful of you to have us. Joseph, Leonard and I are simply delighted.

    Mr Fiennes: Oui, ma cherie...

    Leonard Whiting (Romeo) : Sì, la mia bella Giulietta

    ninotaziz just swooned into Leonard's arms.

  127. Willow dahling, I've been trying to attract your attention but Glenn seems to be monopolising you. Maybe he's desperate to win a door prize?! I haven't noticed Ms FireLight arrive with Coop yet. Are they around anywhere? I've been promised a dance!

  128. The ball is wonderful. I love Leonard Cohen and the "End of Love"

  129. Took a few moments to get
    a bite to eat. Damn, your
    entree table is beyond belief!
    Garlic honey pork ribs, and
    beautiful prime rib, sliced
    thick adjacent to perfect
    spiraled ham, opposite
    platters of Italian sausage,
    smothered in five kinds
    of rice, and taters, with
    quail eggs on a silver
    dish next to three kinds
    of deviled eggs (what's up
    with the green ones?),
    and orange glazed duck,
    and huge platters of turkey,
    some all white, others dark
    meat, and chicken fixed
    twelve ways I have counted
    so far, and steak tartar
    and steak tornadoes, and
    lobster and crab and shrimp
    cocktails, with a whole table
    of Mexican, Indian, Thai,
    and Columbian fare--
    and the salads are just
    adorable, and very tasty.
    Carrie is a Vegan, so she
    has filled her plate with
    exotic artichokes and
    many-colored mushrooms,
    and broccoli bits, and
    four kinds of squash,
    and then there are green
    salads, and caesar salads
    and fruit salads, and one
    of my favorite, two kinds
    of potato salad, one like
    my mother used to make,
    all garlic dill pickles, sweet
    onions, hard-boiled eggs,
    and mayo, next to the
    one with miracle whip, and
    sweet pickles, and wait
    a second there is a German
    one too; I can smell the
    vinegar from here.
    and after I dance some of this
    grub off, I will attack the
    dessert tables.

  130. Nino, I'm so glad I ordered EXTRA fainting couches. Swooning abounds at the manor tonight!

  131. Hello Derrick, nice to see
    you, sir! I am so sorry
    that I am overwhelmed
    with enthusiasm both for
    Miss Willow and this party.
    I might run down in a few
    hours, and then the throngs
    of late comers will take
    center stage, and cling to
    Willow's skirts.
    Hasn't Friko arrived yet?
    I am looking for Lane Savant
    and Stafford Ray too.

  132. Did I get the name right? Not sure. Leonard Cohen. Anyway the music is enchanting and my date, Patrick Jane, (Simon Baker's alter ego) and I are having a marvelous time.

  133. Derrick! There you are! May I have this waltz? You look absolutely dashing in your white tie and navy. W & W won't mind, will they?

    Btw,was Miss Piggy disappointed that you didn't ask her this year?

  134. I don't know about the rest of you,
    but Heath Ledger's tango with
    pal Jake Gyllenhaal might be
    a real high point for the first
    couple hours of this shindig!
    Heath keeps looking around'
    for John Travolta, wanting
    to challenge him to an
    URBAN COWBOY two step.

  135. Ooo, Shari, that Simon Baker certainly cleans up nicely. Gosh, I might have to hand feed him some caviar...

  136. We've arrived finally (as if you hadn't noticed!) after much ado! ...You can learn more about getting here in my little black journal I'm penciling in along the way:

    Oh, what a fabulous time we're all having. Thank you, Willow.

  137. What amazes me about this ball
    is the evening seems infinite,
    and there is no bottom line,
    it goes on ad infinitum, and
    the music and the food
    and cocktails and celebrities
    just are better than the
    last party Grace Kelly threw
    in Monaco when Rainier
    turned 66.

  138. I think I saw John Travolta chatting with G B Shaw over by the fire. What are those big feathery things on his back? Wings?

  139. Pardon me, dear one, as I
    leave Miss Carrie to her
    smoozing with friends, and
    you with some of your other
    guests and scores of dance
    partners. I am off to your south
    lawn to attend a fencing match.
    I have been practicing for weeks,
    and my style is strong. Nice of
    you to have some fencing
    masks and equipment set up.
    George Custer has shown up,
    and will do matches with
    Tyrone Power, and Cornel Wilde,
    and Richard Chamberlain,
    and Richard Burton, and Mel
    Gibson, and two with Errol
    Flynn, one with Basil Rathbone,
    another with Stewart Granger,
    three with Douglas Fairbanks
    Sr. and Jr, and even Robert
    Shaw will cross blades with
    him. The winner of each match
    meets the next challenger.
    I have signed up for the duel
    card. Wish me luck!

  140. At last, Willow! Now we can have a few quiet moments on the dance floor. I marvel that you have so much energy and make it seem all so effortless! The evening couldn't be better. And I'm sure George only donned that blonde wig to give Bette something to glare at! Thanks so much for the whirl. I'll catch you again later. Oh, and don't give a thought to Miss Piggy, she's filming on location and is blissfully unaware!

  141. Ah, yes, Glenn, you're catching the magic! The evening amazingly lasts a full 24 hours. Bibbity-bobbity-boo!

  142. Oh, good, Derrick. I was a bit worried about her majesty Miss Pig!

  143. Alan Rickman and Leonard Cohen and I are enjoying a glass of bubbly and a chuckle at a whispered private joke, while we watch Derrick, Weaver and Whoopi cut it up on the dance floor. Does it get better than this? Charming and glamorous hostess Willow, thank you so much.

  144. Swashbuckling!! Where's the nearest fainting couch? Just promise me you won't be pulling out any real swords, a la The Duelists. (one of my top favorite films, btw) I don't want any nasty skin flaps hanging off your arm.

  145. Totally wonderful party! The social event of the season. HOWEVER, my dear, you seem to have all of my favorite men at your beck and call! I MUST talk to Leonard about this....!

    What's that? Oh, yes...another glass of port please!

  146. Leslie, daaling, you look fabulous!! So wonderful to see you, my dear. I knew you would hit it off with Alan and Lenny!

  147. Oh, my heavens, what a night! Once again Douglas Adams was my escort -- such a charming fellow -- I just adore listening to him. Dorothy Parker joined us for a bit -- her acerbic wit is fun for a while but after the sixth glass of champers, she's a tad morose.

    Plum Wodehouse stopped by the corner where Douglas and I were sitting and regaled us with stories of grand balls he'd attended in the past but had to admit that the affair at Willow Manor outshone them all.

    Thank you, dear Willow, for the wonderful evening!

  148. Dear Willow thank you for inviting me again this year. It was a fantastic! My antlers are still tingling. I am sorry about Mr.Ramsey stepping into the kitchen again. He cannot help himself.

  149. My my...what a conversation between Seamus and Leonard...I thought they were going to come to blows! Such is the passion of poets though. I managed to calm them both down with a little champagne...and now...goodness...I think they are dancing together to Closing Time!

  150. Ahh! We're here, sipping Dom Perignon, meeting and greeting. As always, Willow, this is THE place to be. Everything is absolutely perfect, and Tim - well, wasn't he sweet to bring me a corsage! So old fashioned, what a sweetheart.

    'Scuse me - Tim wants to dance.

    oh yeah!

  151. Bonjour Monsieur Poirot.

    HP: Ah, ma cherie. Vous etre Francaise?

    An non. Je suis malasienne.

    HP: Oh yes! Malaya is a lovely place.I did solve a mystery once connected to Malaya. Agatha wrote about it. Elephants Do Remember, she called it.

    Yes, Monsieur. I have my copy bought 20 years ago here. Would you mind terribly signing it?

    HP: No at all, my dear.

    Joseph Fiennes: Nino darling. Your Coke, dear. Now, would you like to get some air on the balcony? The view is magnificent from the manor. And the moon is waning.

    HP: Go ahead, children. I can't stand the chilly air. Have fun!

  152. Vicki, oh, do you think Mr. Wodehouse would mind if I call him "Plum"? He is so charming! Dorothy Parker arrived a bit ago on the arm of the distinguished Alan Burnett. I agree, I think she's ad one too many of The Last Words. She's looking a tad catatonic.

  153. Nino, I've seen Joseph Fiennes popping up here and there around the manor, but where, oh where is his delicious older brother? I'm hoping he'll show up in his English Patient tuxedo, sand in hair.

  154. Glenn is hogging the hostess, i think i might have to start throwing some elbows. Ha ha, no hard feelings old chap. Oh shit, just spilled the chianti on my date.

  155. Wow. There are so many people! I can hardly see through the swirl of dresses and beautiful men! Thank you for Willow, for hosting us in your beautiful home --

  156. There you are, Tom! I've been saving this waltz for you and Dinosaur Hand. Shall we dance, my friends?

  157. I'm texting this from my bathroom as I relax in exquisitely fragrant unguents from Jo Malone. (Softly scented skin – all over - is so important, darhling.) Candle light flickers as I sip my champagne…... Aaah, sooooo in the mood for the utterly superb Willow Manor Ball. Heavens above, the helicopter will be here very soon, must fly, see you all later. Too, too divine.

  158. Was that planned, or did the Canadian duet surprise you, Willow?

    I'll certainly remember this as one of the highlights of the evening — Diana Krall at the piano, singing in harmony with Leonard Cohen, “Willow weep for me, bend your branches down along the ground. . .”

    Pure magic.

  159. too right, out for Dino though, he tends to wander (if you know what i mean)

  160. I can't believe all the work you put in to this ball. It's lovely. And the guest list is definitely impressive.

    What fun!

  161. Maria, I adore Willow Weep for Me! Did I see Nina Simone back in the kitchen with Mr. Ramsey? We've got to get her out here to sing my trademark song!

    Myrna, I'm so happy to see you. Please make yourself at home and enjoy the festivities!

  162. Please excuse me everyone....time to powder my nose...

  163. Tom - you and Dino hand ... how fun. Too bad about the chianti.

    Tom just whispered to me mamma mia! say, if i smack Timmy on the back of his head, can i get in for one good dip? promise i won't drop you.

    Yes please! But how about if you switch to white wine for awhile? x

  164. Arriving fashionably late

  165. oh too much fun Willow- thanks for everything! It was a gas! And now we're outta fuel and must go home!
    Besos y embrazas!

  166. Reya, between Tom and I, every one is now wearing chianti tie-dye!

  167. Dear OddInkwell,
    I am so pleased to meet you. I really do admire your unique cut out poetry.

  168. Oh, oh..he has arrived. So dashing in white tie and tails. The man can scrub up with alarming (swoon) alacrity. Whizz, whir and up up and away to Willow Manor and the fabulous Tess!

  169. Tessa, between you and I, the Manor Ball will be simply TESSELLATING!!!

  170. Inkwell, welcome! I am also a huge fan of your marvelously quirky vintage cut-out poetry. xx

  171. I'm quite sure I'm late...and I hadn't quite decided on a partner, since I watched recently Fellini's marvellous 8 1/2 I think I will try to find Claudia Cardinale at your ball...

  172. Was that a bit of rain I just noticed? Willow, did your fabulous staff get that lamp post set up for Mr. Kelly to do his Singin' in the Rain dance? He's been chomping at the bit to do that for everyone. I'm kidding about the rain! We have the necessary special effects truck with gallons of rain ready to dump on Gene outside if you'll gather a few people in the garden. And of course the MGM Orchestra has been waiting in the wings to accompany Gene as he performs. There's just only so much of the literary chatter and Shakespeare recitation that I can go for and maybe it's time for a bit of a song and dance interlude with Gene! Whaddya think? Just wanted to clear permission with you, Willow, to call in the special effects and orchestra peeps.

  173. Oops I forgot to mention that Gene has autographed a ton of black umbrellas to give to everyone who comes to watch his performance!

  174. Jane, absolutely! In fact, there's been quite a bit of scuttlebutt about the odd pole installed at the manor. I assured them it was not the kind of pole dancing they were imagining.

  175. mmph. i just wound up with a black eye because Dinosaur Hand was playing grab-ass with the ladies. got ice?


  177. Willow, Ralph was with Lyn. But he went to get her some Champagne. Elusive, he is.

    Oh Romeo...i mean Leonard darling. There you are.

    LW: Tonight Nino...I am your Romeo...

    (now you see why I can never write Romance)

    I need Cyrano to help me with the romantic lines...

    Is Cyrano de Bergerac here?

  178. Dear Willow: An absolutely excellent soiree Willow! You've outdown yourself again. The ball, the whole evening, Zorro had such magnificent ambiance. Reminded me of those nights in Paris, on the West Bank or should I say, Evening in Paris? The entire evening was delicious. Your Mr. Simic is quite a ham,you'll have to find a leash for him! Dancing with Zorro under by the gazebo was this side of heaven. Thank-you dear. I'll post my evening attire. I'm exhausted. Thanks for brunch! BTW where were you? I suppose hosting duties do take one away from extensive mingling. Guy was a little tipsy after The Last Word. Leonard had to help him into the back of the Rolls. And don't worry about Mr. Simic! That sly rogue! Willow, you looked MARVELOUS, very HAUTE! Tootles!

  179. Well, Cyrano might be here--
    it is hard to tell; the crowds
    swell and move about a lot.
    I brought his hat though,
    if that is any help. So
    go to the coat/hat check
    chick, you know the one with
    the huge "kiss me" button
    on her chest, and ask
    for the Cyrano hat brought
    by Glenn to cap his Custer
    Tux while on the arm of
    Miss Moss.

  180. Gosh, Derrick, I was off on the
    dueling field for almost two
    hours, and some others still'
    felt I was hogging the attention
    of our lovely hostess, the
    fetching effervescent Miss
    Neverweeping Willow.
    I resemble that remark,
    and that insinuation. I am
    a lover and dancer and
    not a pugilist, but my
    large Custer 7th Cavalry
    gloves can be thrown down
    for a duel if you persist!
    I would never cause such
    a ruckus at the Ball of the
    Year, but gosh, a boy
    just wants to have fun.

  181. For those who are curious,
    the events at the dueling
    contest were as follows:
    Custer lasted six bouts
    before he was bested by
    Cornel Wilde, who after
    all had been an Olympic
    fencing champion. Errol
    Flynn, it turns out, was
    not the fencer he always
    portrayed. Tyrone Power
    did very well, lasting several
    bouts. Basil Rathbone sprained
    an ankle, and had to accept
    a draw. Mel Gibson consumed
    three Last Words, and when
    his turn came up whipped out
    the BRAVEHEART broad sword
    and was disqualified. I had a
    match with Richard Chamberlain,
    and old pal of mine since 1973
    when we were in RICHARD II
    together at the Seattle Rep,
    and we fought to a draw.
    Carrie-Anne arrived, and instead
    of cheering me on, wanted to
    take on the men. We had to
    call on George Sanders to
    be the referee official, and
    he asked Carrie to organize
    a woman's dueling club
    before she picked up a sword,
    and she slapped Sanders on
    the cheek; just tapped him.
    Raised quite a fuss though.

  182. Nino, I haven't seen Cyrano, but Gérard Depardieu is here. Earlier, he played a crazy composition of his own titled "Afrika", with much pounding and hair flinging.

  183. Glenn, my favorite duelist is the stellar Harvey Keitel. Where is he? He can beat all of you, even Custer, hands down!

  184. Chicco, where was I?? Why here, of course! I've been mingling till I'm tingling! Please do sign on with the dashing Mr. Linky, if you'd like me to visit your place today. Not much time for random net surfing today, daaling!

  185. Tom, is that Lady Gaga with you? Wow.

  186. Oh, Willow! It's all so overwhelming and surreal! I stepped inside and Leonard Cohen looks in my eyes and sings Take This Longing and I can't move! I'm so caught up in him! Did you see how smooth he was? He just put his hand on the small of my back and I was his. I completely forgot about Jose Ferrer and Henry Miller standing with me. Of course, as soon as Leonard finished singing, he kissed my cheek and moved onto the next girl, but... Swoon! I think I need to go sit down and recover with some of that fine champagne. I will dream about this night for years! Do you think Leonard will remember me? Did I look ok out there! Thank you, Willow.

  187. Oh, Willow...everything looks so marvelous and we're having such a grand time mingling since we've arrived. Bach swept me off my feet in our first dance...he is such a marvelous dancer!. Now Fred Astaire is here for his promised second dance...catch up with you soon.

  188. Here at last! Why on earth does Fry have to have a London cab for his car - I put my foot flat on the pedal, but these things are not built for speed. Well, the party's in full swing, I must say! I'm gagging for a drink, heading straight for the bar, and Stephen has already got himself in a huddle with Alan R and Kenny Branagh - it's the Cambridge Footlights all over again - and they are dizzy with excitement at seeing Olivier and Gielgud - quite a party you throw, Willow!

  189. Uh-oh. Tom, that eye looks simply awful. Put this slab of raw steak on it. That pesky Dino.

  190. Stranger, I DID notice how Lenny was completely besotted by you! On the cheek? From where I was standing, it looked very much like a luscious lip kiss!

  191. Ahhh!! LadyCat and Bachelor!! My favorite couple!! Come in, daalings!! The ball was just not the same without you, my dears. xx

  192. Oh my Gaaaawd, daaaahling Willow! Everything just looks so perfectly glamorous and shimmering with your hospitality and inimitable STYLE!!
    Thank you for sending Annie to photograph my new gown! Dash over to see the final touches! My seamstresses and designers have really delivered on this one! I just posted it!

  193. Karen, I've always adored those charming London cabs, and made it a point to ride in them several times on my trip there years ago.

  194. I'm a bit breathless's been a long time ambition to come to the ball! so excited...hope you like my guest...I've know him for ever it feels!

  195. Well, Keitel is a scrapper, but he
    was bested several times by
    Keith Carradine in that film
    and in real time. Keith did not
    want to compete this event,
    but he would have been the
    dark horse for sure, and
    gosh, Cornel Wilde is a tough
    fencer; great strength and style.

  196. With Jose Ferrer here as well
    as Gerard Depardieu, we
    have a full Cyrano representation.
    Depardieu has been my favorite
    actor to play the role, his
    French and his bulk are so
    perfect for the poet, and he
    was able to support that great
    nose without shame
    or poor balance.

  197. I am so thrilled to be here! A little fashionably late and a breathless with excitement. So many nuances to dance my heart and soul around! Thank you, darling Willow, for the invitation.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)