Acte 6: Perth Ball – Fingask Castle
The Venue for the Perth Ball – Fingask Castle
Not quite like Cinderella then, we were motoring off to the Ball
We had another 40 minutes’ drive ahead of us to reach Fingask Castle.
My brother and I have both been here previously for a wedding reception held on the grounds. So we knew the treat in store for us.
It’s a beautiful place and we were looking forward to visiting it again.
Upwards of 200 guests were in the invite.
And It appeared that the majority of those guests had arrived at the same time.
It was a delicious show as we joined in the line.
The dance proper was held in the outside pavilion, permanently set up on the castle green.
It had high white steeples on the top, and the inside yawning roof was crisscrossed with hanging old fashioned lightbulbs. The strands were woven with imitation ivy and white roses.
The lights caught the jewels worn by the ladies in attendance, sending out showers of colourfully prickling flickers of blazing fire.
It was a truly masterful performance.
A band played at one end with the large dance floor in the middle. Surrounded by tables on three sides.
There were more rooms in the lower castle floors being used for the ballroom overflow.
The access is off of a wide stone patio which served as a smoking area for the gents.
One of those inside rooms was called the Amber room with its magnificent chandelier that dominates the area. Inside was set up as the bar area, armed with staff taking drinks from there to the pavilion.
There were also tables set up inside for those guests more prone to drinking instead of dancing.
This annual ball used to be a private affair (members only) but was opened up to the general public several years ago. Kathleen’s Great Auntie Mildred of course did not approve, rather not have commoners like my brother and me, included in.
But speaking as a commoner, I really appreciated the opportunity to attend and see what these things were all about.
And as we entered inside the dazzlingly bedecked pavilion, my senses were overloaded at the display going on,
The band was in full tune and the dance floor over half full of vigorously twirling couples
A sea of swirling, waving shimmery gowns and fancy dresses.
I figured it was about a 60 to 40 split between privately tailored and store-bought
And from that swirling sea a storm of flickering jewels that lit up the night with an expensive show of wealth and privilege. Running from between 75% eye-boggling expensively real down to 25% very pretty imitations.
And not just on the dance floor, for those percentages ran true for all the female guests I saw that evening.
We were supposed to sit at a reserved table on the edge of the dance floor with a group of Mildred’s old cronies.
Now, there are supposed to be no reserved seats at the Ball. First, come seating was the norm. But Aunt Mildred would be having none of that! She let out such a squawking fuss over the issue that the organizers regretfully bent and made an exception for just her!
We found the table and politely sat down after introductions were made.
But as the condemning eyes of Mildred’s like-minded cronies had been disapprovingly drilled into us ladies for being so “scantily” attired, we finally rose and fled the table like bats outta hell.
Needless to say that for the rest of the evening we found other areas to perch, avoiding Mildred’s table like one would the plague.
We were able to grab a table in a secluded corner, well out of sight of the dance floor.
We sent my brother to the Amber room for drinks while we made ourselves at home.
Of course, Kathleen, having been here numerous times, was having a grand time answering my questions and filling me in on how things usually worked at these types of functions. As single ladies, we actually had a dance card we could use to write in names of gents who asked us for a dance.
Kathleen was approached almost immediately by a hook-nosed lad that I thought looked like either a young Sherlock Holmes(Basil Rathbone) or that gambler gent from culture clubs Karma Chameleon video. While talking to Kathleen he gave me the once over and no sooner had he disappeared after Kathleen took his name down, then a young man wearing a tux within full highland yellow Tartan complete with kilt, sash, brooch, and clan medallions, showed up to ask me to sign up to dance.
‘Sherlock’ we supposed had set him on my scent.
Meanwhile, my brother returned with the drinks, along with a charming female who had offered to tag along and help him carry back our drinks.
We offered her(Gabrielle) to join in with us, which she did happily gushing over the evening and how pretty everybody looked. Right away, I saw in her a kindred spirit