Having a ball

Thanks to those graceful literati at Loaded magazine, the Inns of Court Ball has long been associated with ribaldry and excessive drunkenness. However, that image was truly dispelled by the attendees at this year’s ball. Not only did they raise a truly impressive £20,000 for homeless charity Centrepoint, but, despite the yards of fine wines, gins and champagnes available, they retained a decorum that the military-minded ancestors of the Duke of Wellington would have admired. One organiser, as if unsure whether he was pointing to a sin of giant proportion, stammered: “Actually, I do think I saw a chap asleep in the bushes. Did you see the chap?”
No, but then again he may have succumbed to laughter at those strange females who stalked the halls of Middle Temple with exotic and large plumage attached to their headgear. Only a few took seriously the suggestion that partygoers should wear 1920s-style evening dress, but among the bopping crowd that filled the great hall to listen to the likes of Midge Ure, Fine Young Cannibals and Gina G were the plumage wearers, a sight that caused not a little amusement from onlookers.
Another eccentricity of the evening was the different dessert for men (pineapple) and women (summer berries). Of even greater shock, slipped in between main course and dessert, was the haunting and distinguished sound of the 1980s, Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers. But the highlight for many was the bumper cars. One man, accosted for having had two turns in succession, replied: “The first time I just jumped in next to the woman driver. The second time I was driving. I didn’t even lick her – sorry, I mean, look at her.” The poor chap was in danger of a Freudian slap.