What a hoot I have been having, a whirl of social activities that have left me quite frazzled. There have been drinks with some fabulous hearty boozers, dinners with some gourmet experts, lunches with elegant ladies, soiree launches with herds of smiling faces and finally the icing on the cake, the cherry on the top, The Hunt Ball.
It has been years, literally, since I last attend any of event of this nature, though the Tory fundraiser a couple of years back, with the Stones tribute band was, I suppose, quite close though nowhere nearly as formal, and I suspect the dancing was slightly better at the Hunt Ball.
This was to be a major attire logistical nightmare, as two outfit changes were required. Why, I hear you question. Two events in one evening, firstly a function at the school where the invitation stated lounge suit, and then on to the Hunt Ball. Now it may come as a surprise, but I, and as far as I am aware, none of the women I know own such a thing as a 'lounge suit', and even if I did it would certainly not be suitable for the Ball, where the invitation states 'black tie' (far more helpful), that's a longish frock for us ladies.
For the sake of simplicity and ease I felt it sensible to ensure that whatever I chose to wear to each event required the same (close your eyes chaps) lingerie, so all I had to do would be to slip out of one costume and into the other with little fuss. So all there was left to do was to decide which two dresses it would be.
I scrutinized my dresses with care, knowing my decision would be judged by others who were seasoned Ball frequenters, women who had mastered the fine art of Hunt Ball attire. I felt under enormous pressure, but being made of sturdy stuff and feeling secure in the knowledge that I possess an elegant assortment of garments, I began my selection, slowly and calmly discarding (in my mind, not on the floor) anything inappropriate, until I had reached the moment of clarity, two dresses made for each other a perfect fusion. For the school do, a chic clever little dress from Tibi, of green and cream silk, short but not mini, scoop neck and long arms, so not too much flesh on display, and the for ball a dreamy emerald Roberto Cavalli long rich velvet dress, which floats and glides as you move.
So we departed for our evening of fun and frolic in our crystal carriage (the old merc), waving goodbye to our flock. Handsome husband looked gorgeous in his lounge suit and we sauntered into the main hall of the school clutching hands. I glanced about me and felt completely secure knowing that my dress was perfect, perhaps a little fashionable but actually I didn't mind as standards must be maintained. We were entertained with some light music, some extremely palatable canapes, some sensational fireworks, and chatted with various convivial parents. Then it was time for the big change. We had planned to do this in our eldest's dorm, but unfortunately we had lost track of time and the doors to his house had been firmly bolted. I will be honest when I tell you (just between us), this is not the first time I have found myself in this sort of fix, and I knew exactly what action to take. Very simply we would change in the car. This is not as straightforward as one might think and changing in and out of dresses is far easier standing up than sitting down, so I wobbled about outside the car with the door open and handsome husband holding up a jacket to shield me from prying eyes, as I slipped out of one dress and into the other. Gosh, I felt like a teenage part girl all over again as I shimmied myself into my emerald piece of luxury.
It was well worth it, handsome husband said I looked ravishing, and I did dazzle all evening and my dress was much admired and commented on. We met some thoroughly engaging people including a most interesting woman who trades in fine wines, though I did find it difficult to concentrate on everything she was saying as I was so distracted by a thick slick of incredibly shimmering blue eye shadow she was wearing which gave the impression she had been made up by a soho drag queen. I did see some some extraordinary sights, voluptuous ladies squeezed into dresses that left little guessing as to what was underneath, and I am quite sure those groom lads and stable boys explored all the possibilities on offer. Gentlemen with spurs (careful where you tread), and one gentleman that must have been 105 speaking directly to a woman's large breasts. The dancing was spectacular, with legs flying and arms flaying in all directions as people grooved to great 80's classics.
We arrived home in the early hours and I definitely felt as if I had been driven home in a pumpkin, but at least I hadn't lost a glass slipper from Lanvin, and my dress most certainly had not turned into rags, and I had brought my Prince Charming home.