Thursday night saw me attending one of Melbourne’s biggest balls, a women-only event called the Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend ball. It is run every year for the Challenge charity (www.challenge.org.au), an organisation providing services and programs that support children and families living with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders.
I don’t get to wear my saris very often, and this lilac one was a gift from family friend Shara. I hadn’t worn it before and I was looking forward to an evening out of the Melbourne uniform of all-black.
Arriving at the Crown Hotel alone, I walked into the 5-storey atrium foyer, a famous Melbourne attraction hosting an award-winning light and sound show. Enormous crystal chandeliers and animated lights move and sway in the cavernous space, accompanied by magical music which keeps children enthralled, especially at Christmas.
Ahead of me lay the Fred-Astaire-and-Ginger-Rogers staircase of black marble with fountains streaming down each side. I lifted my head high and walked as majestically as I could through the tourists, Sugarplum Fairy music in my ears. I picked up my skirts elegantly and glided up the sweeping staircase, concentraing on every step.
One or two Indian members of staff shot me appreciating glances as I arrived. Well, I do take pride in my sari pleats.
Every little girl has imagined herself as Cinderella arriving at the ball, and last night I lived the dream.
Eileen and I have been friends for about 30 years, but living in different countries for so long, the last formal “do” we attended together (apart from her wedding) was our debs dance back in 1983 god help us.
I haven’t a photo of that eventful night to hand (but by god I will find one) so here’s what we looked like at Eileen’s wedding, 15 years ago this month. Happy anniversary, Eileen and Kelvin!