Thursday, May 12, 2011

marie antoinette's birthday...

(all photographs by annabelle thom. www.annabellethom.com )

as one will logically conclude, she hopes with narrowed eyes, school has started, hence my sporadic writing. so there.
still. a LOT happened in between. since zanzibar, i mean.
and school starting.

arriving back on the ngorobob hill, in a suitably soporific dazed zanzibari state, i had to sort out, in due haste, a marie antoinette outfit for my friend's 40th birthday party. she was hosting it at the opulent Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. if you haven't heard of it, google it...it's a sort of maasai meets versaille lodge perched on the edge of the world's largest caldera. read as Definitely Not Cheap. it was so incredibly gracious and entirely generous of my dear friend. and an apt surrounding for one as beautiful and as gorgeous as her kind self.

the view...
the bath tub ... and rose petals...(remember you are at an altitude of 7500 feet so its really cold...hot baths with a view are a luxury)...

she expected us to all "make an effort". considering the effort she was making, it goes without saying that we should too...tales filtered down from nairobi that people were ordering theirs from Penny Winter. again. read as Not Cheap. sue smsd me from london "shall i get you an outfit and a wig? 195 quid?" i balked.

to find the appropriate outfit is harder than one thinks, in a town like arusha...you don't have fancy dress shops. you could go, if you had the time and inclination, to mitumba, about which miranda and i have written ad nauseum (the 2nd hand clothes market) but this needs Time, a Diligent Creativeness,a Keen Eye and Patience, of which, at the time, i had none. not a jot.

i mused about going as a 1970's afro haired gangsta, toting an AK 47 and booga mina booga wena shades, a large joint and platform boots, the look rounded off with a jaunty swagger and a more than petulant demeanour, with the excuse that i had misread the invite. i could've stolen one of the golf carts and roared around Ngorongoro Crater Lodge firing shots into the air. i can relate to that sort of stuff...but marie antoinette...? all frou frou and feathers and bodices and hair and fuss...? good lord, jamais!

as luck would have it, i met T, our salubrious hair dresser, in town on her only day off. she has a Keen Eye for these sort of things and an effervescent enthusiasm. she whisked me into Jam Boutique, a sort of African Bridal Shop, packed to the hilt with sparkly ball dresses and brides maids outfits, the kind you might have seen on Dynasty or Dallas. as i was carefully peeling off a strawberry hued creation, all set about with silver streaks, T shouted "Oh My God! I have found IT!" indeed she had. i squeezed into a dusty pink and ivory affair, appliqued with shiny little beaded floral arrangements. "squeezed" being the operative word here. over a salad lunch we vowed not to put on an ounce more weight....no more pasta, booze, chocolate blah blah bleh...diet pills and well, water should do it? box remains unticked to date...more on this later if at all.

i envisaged tackling the Crater drive looking like one of the Simpsons, wind blown and dusty she hastens to add, paying my park fees with a blue lopsided very high wig....the park rangers knowingly ignoring me sort of sighing "mad mzungu..." needless to say, i never quite got round to procuring a wig at all and relied on my frizzy hair to do the job all on its own. what a to do it was. what FUN! and oh my. everyone made "an effort". my outfit managed, by some bizarre twist of fate, not to split and i ignored the little rolls of back fat. i couldn't see them so that was fine. out of sight out of mind. everyone was quite splendid.

madame de la roi...

the birthday gal...marie antoinette herself...waiting for her cake...

messieurs...rather dapper, i'd say...

musketeer and his masked madame...

la noblesse entiere...

and finally, the beautiful photographer herself, annabelle...you must see her website. http://www.annabellethom.com/she makes beautiful bags and shoes in kenya and can sing opera in russian, chinese, cantonese and italian. with great gusto and aplomb naturally.

needless to say, a good time was had by all. so. happy birthday nibs! she is presently walking from the Victoria Falls to Namibia, via the Caprivi Strip, a wild wild strip of land, guiding some paraplegics....not for the faint hearted.

oops. no time for kitchen board today....dinner to prepare....guests arriving in less than two hours...toodely toot y'all and bisous X.X.X. french ones, obviously x. j.



14 comments:

Dumdad said...

What larks you must have had!

Bill said...

By Jove! That might just catch on! Of course you do have maids and assorted servants, right?

Elizabeth said...

Wowsers!
now that's a girl who knows how to give a party!
I'm stunned

hugs from NY

Stephanie said...

Just arrived back to my desert bunker a few hours ago, after 10 days in Europe- I decided to look at the blogs I love to keep my spirits up about being back in the backblocks...Thank you! Those pics definitely worked!

3limes said...

What fabulous times! So good to read your adventures, especially ones about dressing up and living it with aplomb!

Red Dirt Lattes said...

Life on the hill indeed! I want to be in that tub.

Mud in the City said...

Good Lord - that's quite a theme! And you all did her proud!

Amanda said...

sounds like a lusciously decadent romp -- but what i want to know is where is a foto of janelle striking her best marie antoinette? back fat (haha - yeah i'd love to know the exercises for how to get rid of that) notwithstanding i'm sure you were a knock out in your blue wig ;-)

Angela said...

What a surreal idea! When I look at your Arusha photos on your other blog, that being your "normal" life - it seems incredible to produce such a party on Ngorobob Hill! But what a day to remember! And yes, photos of you, please!

family affairs said...

How utterly brilliant. BUT YES - WHERE R U, WHERE R U.

YOUR READERS DEMAND YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF AND YOUR BACK FAT IMMEDIATELY.

Please.

Lx

family affairs said...

PS HOT MEN!! OMG definitely coming over soon Lx

Janelle said...

no ways people...i break cameras....and that's a fact...so be happy with all the beautiful ones....x and thank you for popping by...dumdad your comment got lost along with mark's because of the fart bloggy land had...? love x j

Lori ann said...

this is so cool. i'm glad you found a dress, although i too would have like to have seen it... happy birthday to your friend!
xoxo

Anonymous said...

The photos were really great. I saw them again and again. It's a most amazing party I've seen. And wishes to your friends.