The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
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VISITING THE EMBASSY:
girls in Pit-london who love Aristasia and would like to visit Aristasian soil may discuss a Visit to the Aristasian Embassy, which is five minutes from an Underground station. Pop us a note if you are interested.
Wonderful News Pettes. There is now an Aristasian monthly magazine in Elektraspace You can see it for yourself just by clicking here!

Music Playing: Sulannie's Hot Six with St Louisa Blues

Dateline: Saturday, March 29, 1952

Welcome

Welcome Gwen! And goodness, when I ordered the little Blonde Bombshell, I wasn't aware that yes, it was a bit strong, but also very good. Would you care for a little something yummy to snack on, or even a cup of tea to ward off the effects of the Bombshell? It's on me as a welcome from one newcomer to another. Ah the adventures of Aristasia, including the libations! A surprise around every corner, but such a refreshing change from the Bongoism of the pit that I too found that I had been engratiated in from day one, in many ways without even knowing it, but also in many ways which I chose not to embrace. Goodness there are so many things here, and I noted from the little note at the bottom of Femmeworld that Aristasia is also growing more, and more. By the way have you seen the Pette Monthly magazine yet? It's got some very interesting articles, and makes good leisure reading!

 By the way all,. note that this finally isn't coming from my roommate's ordinator.... the new little ordinator, properly named Sirach, (a woman's name meaning Wisdom) came into my home on St. Pat's day! The leprechaun's must have smiled down upon me, laughing with glee at the surprise to come, on St. Patrick's day eve, even though I'm of Scottish heritage!

 Sirach was also selected with much background tutelage from several ordinator owners I know, and when the time came, with the help of several patient ordinator salespeople, and an ordinator owner I had along at the time. Despite background preparation as best I could, I can't tell you Pettes how helpful it was having someone along in the know about ordinators who not only has owned one for many years, but who had been a technical support representative for a company who sells them! Still, the (little?) shopping venture took over four hours, and between a very pit oriented salesperson I came across, and promptly left, as his Bongo manner cut through my nerves mentally, plus all the stressors from all the new technical terminology I was suddenly bombarded with I was exhausted by the time Sirach was being taken to my car for the trip to her new home. All's well that ends well though, and she has proved to be a great new Elektraspace sister, and partner! From the moment I met her, she has been so polite, quiet, quick to respond to my requests, and queries I have, and with no grunts or groans as my roommate's does... I so disliked going in in the evening, saying hello to the ordinator and the moment I went to do anything, it groaned at me! It's so nice having a total opposite to that.. the pit's dark enough without a grumpy ordinator all the time!

 Well, enough babbling, I think the little touch of Cream De minth I asked for in my hot cocoa must have been a little more than I had thought they were going to put in! Soon time to go to bed, as I have a full day at work tomorrow!

 Until next time Pettes, have a lovely week!

 Miss Terrie


Apologies and Thanks

Oh Dear! ooh, my poor head. I believe I indulged in far too many glasses of 'Shampoo' last evening. Barpette, a Bromo please? Ahh. And would it be too much to ask the band to not play so Loudly? No, no that would be selfish, I shall Manage. Patience says I can be terribly selfish at times.

 Hello dear Gwen, a Pleasure to meet you. I do agree that there is Freedom in boundaries. By example, I have always felt it more Rewarding to write a sonnet than prose or that atrocious, bongofied "Free Verse". Aren't Zepplins the Bee's Knees?

 Thank you so much, Petal, for your good wishes. And, Oh, Miss Anita, I am flattered beyond comprehension! The gowns are perfection! In one day you have Solved the most significant Dilemma in planning a wedding. But don't worry you won't spoil my Fun. I still intend to try on Two Hundred dresses before settling on yours!

 You know, I have a Vague memory of passing about a dry cleaning receipt last evening and claiming it was a Photo of Patience. Dear me what a Fool I must have appeared. I hope that Miss Blake was right when she said, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." Here is the photo I Meant to show you. The light is rather low, can you make it out?

 You see, Miss Anita, I believe your choice is perfect for her. I will certainly share my plans with all of you as the date gets closer. Oh dear, there is So Much to do! The Invitations, the Church, choosing the silver and china. I must get started Right this minute!

 Vaya con dios,
(I learned that in Spain, it means "Good Bye" -Anyway, I hope it does)

 DAFFODIL


Music Playing: Sulannie's Hot Six with Chinatown

Dateline: Thursday, March 27, 1952

Innocence Abroad

Hello Pettes!

 After reading so much lately about Aristasia and taking courage from Miss Terrie's chronicle of her own trip to the Cocktail Bar, I decided that is was time to pack my bags for an extended tour. Upon completing the flight here from my home in the U.S. (my first time in a zeppelin), I bumped into a young pette who gave me directions. So here I am.

 Please forgive me if I do ramble some so unabashedly. But the travel here combined with the heady atmosphere of a place so different from the pit are almost more than a simple blonde can take. Yet I must be quick to point out just how wonderfully friendly everyone here has been.

 I must say that what strikes me most about Aristasia is the reawakening of my own innocence. Odd, isnít it? That what Iím noticing most here is something I brought with me. What I'm realizing is that what I thought had been destroyed from being surrounded by everything bongo (though not embracing it!) was only lying dormant. They didn't kill my innocence, it merely hid and waited for me to come back to it, or rather to return to what is "real".

 Itís almost a paradox, akin to wearing a firm foundation (and Iíve always been a "firm" believer). There is freedom in restraint. Itís the protection that comes from boundaries, whether those boundaries be stays or simple rules of decency and femininity. But such order is liberating. Likewise, my innocence can flourish because it is protected here in Aristasia.

 Iím sorry, I feel as though Iím babbling on. And there are a couple of brunettes in the corner giving me some rather odd looks so I fear that Iíve certainly committed some faux pas on my first visit. Oh dear. Miss Terrie should have warned us about the intoxicating effects of these "Blonde Bombshell" drinks.

 Well, I must be off. So much to see in such a short time. The pette who met me when I arrived mentioned that I should look for someone named Charlene in a place called the Inner Sanctum. Sounds mysterious - and certainly another adventure awaits me.

 Bye for now, sweeties.

 GWEN


Added Easter greetings, and comments about fasting...

Thank-you Miss Candida, for the lovely cocktail, and I am delighted to meet you all.

 I agree on fasting, it does heighten the sense of newness of the Easter season. Also, when done with meditation, or preceded by a nice quiet time of reflection, and meditation, it can help one thrust aside the void of meaningless dark definitions the pit often places upon it. The commercialism, the self-centeredness, and the things that darken Easter's special central meaning- darkness to light, renewal, inward rebirth within ourselves.

 Fasting can bring back focus upon that central meaning as well as create reflection, and growth within our inner selves, clear down to tiny awakenings we may have of suddenly finding things to be thankful for we've never noticed before, i.e. the myriad of things in life that may happen, and despite the rough detours they provide, the hidden strengths, and positives that can come from them, as well as situations we suddenly find ourselves in, and land up having to venture through, and grow from, then despite the pit and all its mental maladies it can produce, coming out of them stronger, more beautiful inwardly, and with our sanity still in tact! Or just perhaps picking up a tiny pebble while out for a walk, and seeing it's natural beauty for the first time, or savoring the little everyday serindipities we come across in our day-to- day lives.

 As I listened to your very enlightening comments on Fasting Miss Candida, I was also reminded of a small banner I happened to see at the very traditional, lovely Episcopal Church I attend here in Pocatello, Idaho. The little banner, hanging outside the doorway of the entrance to the church's Parish Hall where coffee hours, wedding receptions, etc. are held simply said "And what are you giving up for Lent??" This was surrounded by a kaleidoscope of suggestions done in rainbow colors followed by the words "whatever you choose, the gift back will be greater," and like Candida, having tried it I can attest that it is!

 And aside from all the seriousness, it also makes a tiny pleasure like a yummy little chocolate egg something to stop, enjoy, and savor!

 Happy Easter all,

 MISS TERRIE


Music Playing: Sulannie's Hot Six with Chinatown

Dateline: Tuesday, March 25, 1952

To The Luckiest Blonde In The World

Dearest, sweet little peripatetic Daffodil, please do accept my heartfelt congratulations on your engagement to Patience! You were quite right, quite right indeed, darling, to delay the wedding 'till way past June. I must confess that many of my brunette sisters - your Patience perhaps included - haven't the slightest idea of what goes into planning a wedding: all they have to do is show up at the church at the right time - more or less - on the appointed day, while all the work is left to the poor blonde and her family.

 I say "poor" with tongue in cheek, of course, as I can hardly think of a blonde alive who does not relish planning her own wedding - a slightly contradictory blonde attribute, if I might say so: even the very dizziest blonde suddenly finds herself in command of the most apparently inconsequential details, such as what pen and ink to leave at the guest register, or precisely how the linen napkins are to be folded at the reception, or what flowers the members of the string quartet shall wear in their hair.

 Today I was planning to give my daily fashion lesson on the refined delights of Trentish lingerie - something for which a number of you have become confirmed vegetarians over the last several weeks in anticipation of a reward - but your request, of course, pre-empts my plans, so I am more than delighted to give you a hint for your wedding gown, little Daffodil. (You others can wait a day longer for your lingerie rations, can't you?) And as a special treat, I will be forward enough first to make a suggestion for Patience's wedding gown, knowing full well how very perilous it can sometimes be to suggest fashions to brunettes.

Of course, I have not met your Patience, but from what you have told us in the Cocktail Bar, I get the impression that she is quite dashing and rarely at a loss, whether planning a Zeppelin journey to Berlin or a spiriting you off for a delightful, spicy Spanish supper in Madrid. So I submit for her scrutiny this splendid wedding gown of ivory satin and white tulle, worn by Miss Frances Dee in her recent Trentish film The Strange Case of Clara Deane. I regret that even the miracles of Elektraspace are not sufficient to reveal the exquisite details of this gown, such as the ancient Cretan motif embroidered on the "V" of the bodice and along the hem of its full sixteen yards of veil. Such gowns did ancient brunette princesses wear at their own marriages to blondes consecrated to them at their congruent births - both princess and her blonde bride having been born at the same hour of the same day of the same year.

But for you, sweetest Daffodil, let me suggest this ultra-feminine satin creation worn by Miss Constance Bennett in her recent hit, Our Betters, now showing all over Trent. The bias-cut gown itself clings as bias-cut gowns always do, whether worn by the most innocent virgin or the most tenebrous demimondaine: satin itself is indifferent to the girl. The all-revealing fabric defines the feminine perfection of Miss Bennett's figure in almost Boticellian strokes (slightly protuberant tummy, navel and all, with overtones of maternal potency), yet her snow-driven innocence is announced by the virginal lace of the full-length veil, set off by wimple-like layers of sheer tulle about her head, suggesting a holy nun's garb. The tension between the almost suggestive lines of the gown and the innocence of its veil creates a frisson that will make Miss Bennett's wedding ceremony a memorable one, and will induce many a blonde who sees this film to cry into her pillow that night if she has been the least bit unkind to the brunette of her dreams over the last several weeks - as blondes are, unaccountably, wont to do from time to time.

 ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


Wedding Wishes

Dearest Daffodil, how utterly SPLENDID! But please - don't let those brunettes know a THING about your wedding gown - we wouldn't want them to drop any hints to your intended, would we?

 Do keep us up to date on the preparations - they are almost as exciting as the actual event itself! But hush - here comes my beloved Miss Fox to take me home. I am SO pleased for you!

 PETAL


Music Playing: Sulannie's Hot Six with Tiger Rag

Dateline: Monday, March 24, 1952

Futurist Wedding Plans

Ah, Pettes. It is to wonderful to travel. It is even Better to return. The warmth and friendship, hip!, here are dear to me. You darlings are the most Wonderful companions a girl could Hope for. I just love you so much. Oh, am I being too overly maudlin? Well, I have Just come from a Champagne Reception for this terrific artist, Marinetti and they served lots of it. Champagne. I do so like Bubbly, hup!

 She's part of the Vintesse 'Mama/Futurist movement'. She designs recipes for dinner performances. How can I possibly describe it? Oh, wait! I have a program...Here is her Autumn Musical Dinner:

 "In a hunter's cabin secluded in a green-blue-gilded forest, two couples sit down at a rough wood table made from trunks of oak.

 "The brief blood-red twilight lies in agony beneath the enormous bellies of darkness as if under rain-soaked and seemingly liquid whales.

 "As they wait for the peasant cook, the only food that passes along the still empty table is the whistle that the wind makes through the door lock, to the left of the diners.

 "Dueling with that whistle is the long, sharp wail of a violin note escaping from the room on the right belonging to the cook's convalescent brunette daughter.

 "Then, silence for a moment. Then, two minutes of chick peas in oil and vinegar. Then seven capers. Then twenty-five liqueur cherries. Then twelve fried potato chips. Then a silence of a quarter of an hour during which the mouths continue to chew the vacuum. Then, a sip of Barolo wine held in the mouth for one minute. Then a roast quail for each of the guests to look at and inhale the smell without eating. Then four long handshakes to the peasant cook and off they all go in the darkness-wind-rain of the forest."

 She calls herself a Futurist, hep!, Aeropoet. Need I add that she's simply the most Intense Brunette I've ever met? Barpette, may I have a brimming glass of French Fizzy stuff?

 Patience and I are just back from a Romantic jaunt to the continent via Zeppelin. Patience knows I love to travel by airship and arranged the Excursion as a surprise. Isn't she tops? Have I shown you her picture? Wait... I have one in my bag somewhere... Oh, here she is in her new yellow hat.

 She took me first to Berlin for a week. We attended some Night Spots where the entertainment was certainly Eye Popping. The costumes on the, hip!, girls, well, I don't consider myself Prudish in the least but I blushed crimson never-the-less.

 Our next stop was Madrid. The second night, while staying at a lovely villa, we had a dinner of spiced chicken and rice accompanied by a smooth Port. It was there and then that Patience agreed to set a date. Do you know, I nearly Fell off my seat!

 We have been betrothed now for nearly three years and every time I brought up the subject of setting a date, Patience found some excuse to put it off. First it was her, hoop!, family. Then her work. I love her so deeply that I was willing to wait until eternity. Yet I despaired we would ever Actually marry. And here she was asking if May or June would be alright. Well, I set her straight at once. Anyone knows no wedding can be Properly planned in a month or two. The engraver alone needs three for the invitations. And for my dress, Goodness, I'd need twice that time. Perhaps later I could impose on Miss Anita, our Paramount Studios Archivist, for some suggestions?

 Anyway, the Date is September 27, Tra La! Everyone here is invited because you are all so sweet and wonderful, the best friends I could ever have and I'm the luckiest Blonde in the world, hip!

 Thump!

 DAFFODIL


Afternoon Suits And Social Position

Darling Cocktail Bar pettes, Anita here to finish with the vegetables before we may touch the desserts. That means Afternoon Suits, dearies. Well, just grit your teeth and pay attention: life is more than just feathers, frills, frothy lace, sensuous satins, dazzling sequins and slinky lamés.

 So, to the matter at hand. We have seen that important afternoon engagements require suitable afternoon dresses. But sometimes an afternoon event is so very important that even the most dignified afternoon frock simply will not do, and an afternoon suit is required. An audience with royalty, appearance as a witness in a socially prominent trial, christening a ship, cutting the ribbon for a new bridge .... well, for such events nothing can take the place of a dignified, yet utterly stylish afternoon suit.

Let us first consider that paragon of dignified femininity, Miss Fay Wray. Here she is wearing a no-nonsense afternoon suit in brown and beige sheer wool. The pencil-slim beige dress is covered by a brown redingote, unlined and open in front (as a redingote properly is), with slightly puffed shoulders. The slashed pockets are piped in beige wool, matching the dress. A diminutive Buster Brown collar is finished with a clip of diamonds and emeralds set in gold. The brown suede hat, rakishly tilted to offset the formality of the suit just a trifle, is topped with two pom-poms (hard to see in this black and white photograph): one brown, the other bottle-green. Miss Wray carries a small but businesslike handbag in brown suede, with the same piping as the slash pockets.

 Certain afternoon engagements demand that a girl instantly establish her financial position in society so that not the least hint of doubt can interfere with, say, her bidding at auction for a rare Fabergé egg or a Tiffany pendant. There is nothing like fur for preventing such doubts from arising in the politest society, but fur used judiciously, to suggest established wealth, as opposed to the overwhelming and somewhat declasée or nouvelle riche effect of Full Fur at an afternoon auction. (Full Fur has its special place in every smart girl's wardrobe, of course - we will take that up in a later lesson.) Similarly, a touch of fur can assist a girl in negotiating a higher percentage in her studio contract or in obtaining a lower rent on a Park Avenue penthouse apartment.

Here is Shirley Ross, playing the part of a countess in Paris Honeymoon. Miss Ross wears an elegant afternoon suit in blue novelty crepe. Thick tufts of pale red fox trim the yoked, shawl-like jacket; a wide, self-fabric belt and a long row of oversize self-fabric buttons accentuate Miss Ross' exquisitely slim figure. Her hat is of light blue felt, with dark blue grosgrain ribbon as a band and matching blue fabric knots edging the brim. White doeskin gloves with flared, arrow-like wrists mimic the jaunty thrust of the hat. Even the most determined businesspette will find it difficult not to accede to the financial requirements of a woman dressed like this. And Miss Ross knows it, too: this is the very outfit she wore when she negotiated her present contract with Paramount Studios earlier this year!

But, dears, we must not neglect our delicate blondies, who may find themselves compelled to venture forth of an afternoon, perhaps unaccompanied and unprotected, to deal with important matters of which they may have but vague technical comprehension, though they may have a firm intuition of the underlying gist of the matter, as blondes so very often do. For such afternoon engagements, a blonde must project an aura of knowledgeable confidence, so that no one could even entertain the thought of taking the slightest advantage of her. For such occasions, a blonde does not want to appear more than normally vulnerable, but neither does she wish to be accused of dressing like a brunette.

How to merge feminine softness with feminine confidence? Behold Toby Wing, wearing a basically simple white suit, open and loose, permitting great freedom of movement. The three-quarter balloon sleeves leave her perfect forearms and wrists bare, drawing the eye to her opulent diamond and sapphire bracelet. The dark brown silk blouse has unusual diagonal lines (which show rather poorly, I am afraid) and self-covered silk Minnie Mouse buttons; a dramatically splayed scarf collar is fastened in place by a heavy diamond clip on the left shoulder. Look, pettes, at the penetrating, almost Sphinx-like gaze of this blonde, at her subtly cocked, pencil-thin left eyebrow, at her unparalleled poise. A brunette had better be pretty sure of her P's and Q's before offering protection to this blonde! ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


Gosh! You've converted us to vegetables for life!

Easter Greetings from Candida

Welcome to the Cocktail Bar, Terri. It is very charming to meet you. May I buy you a drink on behalf of all the pettes? Bargirl, a drink for Miss Terri, please.

 Oh pettes, I fell to temptation again this week. As a girl once said, I can resist anything but temptation! Yes, a new hat--another one--and a new frock. Quite terrible, isn't it? But all sorts of adorable things are simply lying around in shops all over Quirinelle, and after all the shortages in Kadoria, it would have to be a stronger maid than me who didn't buy them. I'm just a pette who can't say no!

 I hope that all of you girls have had a pleasant Easter weekend (Aristasian Easter, if you're new and a touch confused). I must say that if I eat another bite of chocolate I might soon look like an egg myself. The rhythm of the year is such a wonderful thing, isn't it? Without a period of fasting of some kind, one might find that the good things of the earth palled a little. As it is, those chocolate eggs after the fast really taste of chocolate! A little self-discipline enhances everything in life. Those hard edges and boundaries, you know.

 Really, when I come to think of it, I think that the destruction of self-discipline and fasting lead to, or help to create, anyway, what the bongos call 'consumers'. If nothing is new again, because one has done without it for a while, either voluntarily or involuntarily (like Nativity), then in order to have the pleasure of the new, one needs more and more novelties. Some pettes may disagree, but I think that the desire for 'new' things is fairly deeply ingrained within our psyche, and that therefore it is quite legitimate when kept within its place. And that place is to ensure that we enjoy the change that affects all that is under the sun. If it were not a legitimate desire to enjoy the new, think how distressing it would be simply to live upon the earth. No two days are alike, whether one is an Amazonian farmer or a Trentish miss. So I do think that we have been given an appetite to enjoy change--within limits, of course.

 So we must have change or new things of some kind to prevent ourselves becoming bored. How is it to be done? Well, we can either 'do without' things for a while so that when we have them again they seem 'new' to us--or we can do as the bongos do and have everything we want, all of the time, and then we need ever more novelties. That was last year's model, throw it out and get this month's. Then it is: this month's model is too like last months. Next comes: make it more shocking, so it will seem newer. After this is: we must go further than X, this will be really new. And so on and so on.

 Well, pettes, it may seem that I have rambled down to this last paragraph, and I'm quite sure that all this has been said rather better than I can say it. However, the point that I want to get to (oh, yes! There is one, hold your breaths, old chums!) is this: self-discipline is part of Aristasian life. The traditional seasons for such overt self-discipline as fasting are Advent (which starts four weeks before Nativity) and the four weeks before Easter. If you have never fasted--which may mean all sorts of things to all sorts of girls, but is frequently the abstention from strong drink and sweeties, plus something else you rather like--why not try it the next time? I think that you will be pleasantly surprised if you do. There is one thing that I know that I could never abstain from, pettes--and that is the purchase of a new hat or gloves!

 CANDIDA


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with Forty-Second Street


Afternoon Dresses In Black

Golliwogs, pettes! After lessons in satin, sequins, beads and see-through blouses, perhaps it is time now to return to Earth, and consider some practical outfits. Nothing can be more practical in a girl's wardrobe than a good, reliable afternoon dress for really important luncheon engagements and teas. These are not dresses suitable for, say, one's Wednesday bridge parties with the girls or a meeting of the Horticultural Society, (unless one is likely to be nominated for office at an annual meeting, or if one might be called upon to deliver a report on, say, this year's proposals for municipal plantings).

So let us present the ever-popular little black dress, the mainstay of the "ordinary" women of Trent (as opposed to Hollywood stars). A basic black dress can be extremely versatile, pettes. By using detachable collars and cuffs, for example, the same plain old black dress can be worn again and again without arousing even the slightest adverse comment, such as, "Really, Dahling, you look simply mahvelous today. There's so much to be said for timeless fashions that never change, don't you agree? Why, this black dress of yours looks just as lovely now as it has the last five times you wore it."

 To avoid such withering ridicule, one need only use one's imagination. Take this publicity still of the enchanting Olivia de Havilland, who usually plays in period costume epics - it is rather unusual to see her in mufti, so to speak. But here she is nonetheless in a very plain black dress, indeed, rendered softly feminine by the application of detachable lace collar and cuffs. A white silk bow tied at the throat softens the otherwise fussy effect of the lace and is set off by a clip of diamonds and reddish-white carnelians, difficult to see in this reproduction. Miss de Havilland's short white gloves signify she has serious business at hand: a pastel shade would be proper only for some less important occasion. All the same, her plain black beret in sheared velvet is worn cocked over one eye, a subtle touch which says, "Yes, I know we have important matters to settle, but let's not take ourselves quite so seriously!"

 The second example, worn by June Collyer, is not really a basic black dress at all, but an absolutely daring design. A girl can wear such an avante-garde, art-neo dress to an important afternoon engagement only if she is the most self-assured of brunettes, willing to set the fashion, not follow it. Anyone else trying to pull off such a dress at a serious afternoon function would likely be subject to disapprobation and subsequent murmurs. Miss Collyer's dress is of ridged black crepe, while the bold bow off to the side, as well as the two circular pieces trimming each sleeve, are of ivory moiré. These Novarian accents are meant to suggest calla lilies. The wide, self-fabric belt fastens with two large rhinestone buttons. The futuristic effect is only slightly mitigated by a traditional brimmed hat of matching, ridged black crepe, also lined with the same moiré. I apologize that the miracles of Elektraspace are not sufficiently great to allow you pettes to see such delightful details as the ridges and the moire effect, but it is easily imagined.

 Coming up very soon, darlings: lamés, lingerie, lounge wear and bedroom attire. But for tomorrow, more vegetables before you may have any dessert: afternoon suits for blondes- and brunettes-about-town. So, 'till then, this is your faithful Trinitian fashion reporter, (leaving you to dream about what kind of girl you might be were you to don these fabulous fashions from Trent),

 ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


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