It is that time of the year once again great pals, when the inhabitants of Spindle Towers can dress as they like without censor or disapproval from the local council…I do of course, mean it was time for The Velvet Marmosets annual fancy dress ball.
We cherish the time that we can frolic about in deepest Hampshire without a barrage of letters of complaints and restraining orders dropping on our doorstep. Just one wave of the gilt edged invitation would explain (and preempt the apologies we would undoubtedly have to make).
This time, however there was an added poignancy to the event. We were holding it in the memory of our dear friend Nelson, the big white bear of a hound, who sadly met his maker after an incident in his little home made laboratory in Mavis our camper van.
He had been working on a new lacquer as a styling aid for his buttock toupees (firm hold), but unfortunately the naked flame, a naked Nelson and the lacquer had not been compatible.
Mavis had to undergo several months of restoration to return to a habitable state. Sadly the same could not be done for Nelson. It was a dreadfully shocking event that had rocked Spindle Towers.
We had slowly begun to reassemble ourselves and Sister Josephine had decided that the annual ball would be the perfect occasion to host a memorial event for him.
And so it was, that we gathered in the kitchen this morning to discuss our respective outfits.
We were poised with notebooks, tape measures and enormous mugs of coffee.
The usual quiet order of the polished tiles, rolling pin display and whistling kettle gradually evolved into an unholy cavern of chaos, as feathers gently puffed around the floor, sequins adhered to anything sticky and the light fittings were festooned with discarded items of clothing.
Tensions were running high so I trotted over to stop the kettle screeching (oh…as you were, it was Muvver) and asserted my houndly authority and called a cessation to the squabbling, ready to dampen all high emotions with restorative, soothing tea and a slice of Battenberg. Clearly the morning coffee had escalated their tendency for unruliness.
Eventually the sobbing and huffing stopped (Hector) and Muvver relinquished control of the meat tenderiser.
We had decided that we would all in some way pay homage to Nelson through the medium of our outfits. This began with us comparing notes on our respective memories of him. A good proportion of these were not fit for public consumption, but we eventually narrowed down our list.
He was of course a most dapper chap and so Hector decided to go as Quentin Crisp, as we felt this would channel him quite well. Hector, being a slave to detail, decided to mix it up a bit and add some cowboy chaps, just as Nelson had done on one memorable night out. So there he was, Quentin Crisp on top of Clint Eastwood, which I think we can all agree is highly imaginative and most certainly a conversation starter.
Muvver sacrificed her usual outfit (Bat Marple) and decided to go as one of Nelson’s great favourites, Edith Piaf. He had been known to reduce a room to tears with his heartfelt, warbling rendition of her greatest hits.
I myself had decided on my outfit as soon as the invitation from the ‘Marmoset’ had landed on the doorstep. It was through sheer luck that we managed to save Nelson’s buttock toupee from the lacquer incident. It came sailing over the patio and landed on the grass after the windows exploded in Mavis. Some may say it was a sign, well I certainly do. It even has its own special chair in my boudoir, a seated, furry shrine if you like. It’s what he would have wanted.
Some hours later, there we were, all ready to go.
We switched the lights off and closed the door.
We linked arms and set out for the Velvet Marmoset, to bid farewell to a dear old pal.