Last Monday David and I went to Clare's May Ball, Scheherazade. It was the most fantastic event that I have ever been to. The thing closest to it is Dry Grad, but that description doesn't even do it justice. It's like comparing a peasant to a queen :)
It was such fun to walk to the college in proper evening dress, as there are just enough tourists around now that you can tell people are wondering where you're going. When we arrived at the college the line to get in stretched for about a block, but we were fortunate enough to spot some friends mid-way up who snuck us in with them.
The first thing we noticed were camels, two of them, wandering on the medieval street that ends in Kings. I braved a picture with them, although was terrified that they would spit on me! Then we finally entered the college grounds (past security that included wristband swiping and photo id). The evening required a program booklet and map. And from then on it was one giant party!
- unlimited champagne, bellinis, beer, wine, cider, and Arabian-nights themed cocktails (with fig or mango liqueur)
- unlimited food including curry on couscous, falafel, hog roast, freshly fried donuts, candy bar, crepes, ice cream, baklawa, a chocolate fountain, pastries, bacon butty, and a deli (with pate, smoked salmon, veggies, cheese, houmous)
- shisha (hookah) with a delightful fruit flavoured thing to smoke
- late night punt rides on the river
- musical performances all night, including big names like Faithless (rock) & Neil Crowley (jazz) and also local groups playing folk, swing, and classical.
- Indian massage, manicures, a casino, and a silent disco
We wandered, we ate, we spoke with friends, we danced...David rode a mechanical camel (like a mechanical bull). We reclined on cushions in a garden, smoking on the shisha and watching fireworks over the river. We took cocktails down to the improvised dock and went for a punt ride on the Cam at 3am. We listened to some amazing local folk, in the style of the Kingston Trio. We met up with most of our friends at one point or other, made some new friends, and managed to stay until 5:30am for the survivors' portrait. We also managed to get the last bottle of champagne.
It is the first time that I have ever stayed out all night without feeling even the slightest bit bored or exhausted. I was so busy I didn't even notice that the sun had set! It was beautiful to see dawn creep up over the gardens after such a romantic and magical night. I felt beautiful, people said I looked beautiful, and I was surrounded by beautiful people.
We left at around 6am, wandering through streets that sported others wending homewards, passing lorry drivers on their way to work. Jesus Green was the emptiest that I've ever seen it, and the streets were still in the bright dawn. Then to bed, waking in a grey afternoon, and feeling as if the previous night was nothing more than a glittering dream.