What is a Debutante Ball?

A Debutantethe French word for “female beginner” –  is typically a young woman from a wealthy or well-to-do family.

The debutante ball, or cotillion (a term used in some states in America), is the young lady’s formal presentation, or “debut”, to society.

The ritual of debutante balls was necessitated by the traditional upper-class practice of sending girls away to baording school.  Here they were prohibited from dating, attending parties of mixed company, or socializing with adults.

The young womans presentation at the ball meant that she was now eligible for marriage, and the purpose of the ball was to display her to suitable bachelors and their families, with a view to courtship and marriage.

The modern view of debutante balls has changed considerably from its traditional purpose.

In Australia, the concept of a ‘deb’ ball is alive and well.  It is considered something of a rite of passage for young women, and represents their coming of age.

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My Back Drama Continued

Had the appointment with the neurosurgeon on Monday & Tuesday of last week. 

After an MRI (boy those things are noisy & claustrophobic), the diagnosis was 2 prolapsed discs.  One has a tear and has been leaking fluid.  The other is pressing onto both the left & right nerve bundles, causing loss of reflexes & numbness.

Plan of attack is to try cortisone injections into the affected sites.  That needs to be arranged through my GP, and will be administered by a pain anaethetist.  One, possibly two injections, depending upon how I respond.

In addition to that, I am supposed to swim – in Walcha where it is winter 8 months of the year??!!!  – do abdominal strengthening exercises & try physio again.  I’m opting for weekly massages, treat the whole body -not just the affected area.

So for now it is back to playing the waiting game….

We got to see the Pasha Bulker though, on our way through to Sydney – WOW!!  The captain really needs his butt kicked. 

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My Back Drama

The history…..

When we moved to Walcha, I was unlucky enough to hurt my back.  I now am the proud owner of 2 bulging discs in the L4-L5 and L5-S1 vertabral spaces.  Combined with mild disc degeneration, I’ve had a pretty awful time since December. 

I’ve tried physio, chiro and resorted to massage.  I’m a massage devotee – I’m a believer in healing the whole person, not just the affected area.

Well, today was another check-up with my GP.  He’s gotten me in to see a neuro-surgeon….. on Monday.  I’m scared.  Really scared (read:tears today at lunch when I told my husband about the appointment).  Whichever way the neuro-surgeon decides to treat me, I’m scared.

As a consequence of my back injury though, I’ve re-assessed a lot of things in life.  I delegate – my kids are incredibly capable.  I don’t clean my floors every other day – you see, clean floors are my “thing”.  I’ve learned to ask for help. 

It’s affected how I run my business as well.  This year was meant to be MY YEAR.  I’ve had to change the way I operate.  For the better – stand back and look at everything from a bad back point of view. 

It’s been a good thing, apart from the constant pain.  It’s one of those “appreciate what you have” moments – that’s been going on for 6 months now.

Wish me luck….

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What is a fascinator?

So, what is a fascinator?  Funnily enough, up until 12 months ago, I’d never heard of them either! 

A fascinator is a hair accessory, commonly worn by women, on the head or in the hair.  It can be anything from a small piece, to an elaborate creation, but is generally smaller than a hat.

Materials used include:

 – feathers – a common & favourite feature;

– sinamay – a woven texture that can be purchased flat or in rolls, originally made from the abaca tree (kind of looks like a banana tree), but also man-made;

-various fabrics – another favourite is netting;

-& flowers – silk or synthetic.

How did I come to be interested in them?

On a dare!!!!

I belong to the tribe of short-haired women, and tend to be one who is not so interested in the frou-frou that the ladies of the long-hair tribe enjoy.

I was having my weekly visit with a friend who owns the boutique – “No Rules” – in Lismore, and somehow the discussion came around to horse racing & the Lismore Cup.

I’d never even been to the races before, and didn’t have a clue about these fascinator-thingee’s.  So I set about educating myself.

They are good fun to make.  The sinamay can be sculpted into so many different shapes, and the assortment of feathers & flowers available is just amazing.  Talk about kid in a candy store.

This is one of my favourites….

I call it Extravagant.  Hand-stitched and sculpted sinamay with red rooster copque feathers.


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