[Ansteorra] Ladies Solarium at Bryn Gwlad Baronial Event

Elizabeth Crouchet ecrouchet at austin.rr.com
Mon Oct 7 02:58:15 PDT 2002

Ther will be A ladies' solarium hosted by Juana Inez and her cousin
Lady Zacaria at Bryn Gwlad's Baronial Event!
Gentle ladies, pray join my cousin and I in the hareem of our villa
œMedinat al-Zahra in sunny tranquil Al-Andalus. Should you be from
the northern countries and unused to our gracious ways, the hareem is a
room for noble and well born ladies to rest and play undisturbed by
vulgar men's eyes. The hareem will be guarded by a eunuch, who will
be changed for a fresh one every hour (because no one can stand the
sight of so much beauty without going mad).
My dear mamelukes will have for us prepared a light feast of such
dishes as:
*   lemons stuffed with chickpea pate
*   cardamon shortbread cookies
*   assorted flatbreads
*   sweet and savory chutney
*   saffron couscous
*   cold eggplant
*   olive and orange salad
*   and of course tea and sandalwood punch and other cooling
    drinks (for such is our way)
Of course, ladies must always have a friend who worships them. My
mameluke will be ready to deliver notes to and from the hareem. And
for our entertainment we will have a contest for the writing of
"jarchas", the lovely ara-spanish custom of naughty two line
poems¦.you must listen to one my compatriot wrote. It goes like
this¦ "I will not love you until you make my anklets touch my
earrings." So charming. But I am sure my guests will be as talented as
she. We will have prizes for the Naughtiest, the Holiest, the Merriest,
and the most Virginal poems. For your further delight we will have on
hand a specially trained odalisque who will apply henna to those ladies
who wish it. And perhaps dancing and singing should the ladies wish it,
and any other entertainments we might dream of. Of course, if you
wish to leave your lover outside the door, and have him sing for us that
would be well. But remember this - no men must be allowed in the
hareem. Any men who dare sneak in will be dealt with by the eunuch
on guard. So my dear ladies, please come and call on my cousin and I
at Medinat al-Zahra, about the hour of 2 of the clock. You will know us
by the sign at the gate.
I have the honor to be
Juana Ynes de Balzan

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