I arrived in my blue cocktail frock to find it was a proper ball 'n' all, with many ladies in long gowns, and some even sporting elbow-length gloves. I think it must have been one of the fanciest shindigs I've ever attended, which tells you something about my sadly empty social calendar. The Speaker's Green at Parliament House was done up with balloons, lights, a stage, and dozens and dozens of tables with pretty stick centrepieces.
The evening began with socialising as people gradually made their way to their tables, and key representatives from the Media Gallery gave speeches to thank sponsors and outline fundraising targets. I felt a bit sorry for them as they were mostly drowned out by gas-bagging. I spotted the Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, Treasurer Andrew Fraser, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and a bunch of my esteemed media colleagues on my way to Table 32.
I present to you now, a photographic essay entitled "Some of the Things I Saw at the Ball".
Queues for food:
The line of people standing in mid-shot in the above photo was the queue for Buffet One. The fools. I was lucky, and was herded by party-goers more knowledgeable than I into the Buffet Two queue, which was much faster. We even noticed Anna Bligh herself - resplendent in her trademark red - standing in line, while we were back at our table, chomping away. Hah! Girl Clumsy = food; Premier of Queensland = food, more slowly.
Lots of oysters:
Never really liked 'em, myself. But I was impressed by the copious quantity.
Really awesome fashion:
No need for a personality of your own when you've got duds like this.
A fund-raising mud-crab race:
Guests had bid between $100 and $300 on the crabs in an auction - the crabs had been given politician-mocking names such as "Hard Hat Anna", "Bugger Off Beattie" and "Lovely Lawrence". Apparently an animal liberation-leaning guest bought the mudcrabs back so she could release them later into the Brisbane River.
Cheap parliamentary-branded vino:
There was the "Premier's Range" Verdelho, and the Speaker's Range something-or-other. The most common phrase I heard associated with them was - how can I put this delicately? - a liquid feline excretion.
A chick - either really game or really smashed - doing some impromptu lip-synching:
Seriously, this chick got up onstage while the band was taking a break, and mimed along to a couple of recorded tracks - including Kylie Minogue's "On a Night Like This". There were some fairly exciting dance moves as well. She got a big round of applause from the crowd, but nobody was quite sure what she was on about. I don't know who she was, but there was talk she'd been on a table with conservative politicians. It figures.
A fun time being had by all, including yours truly:
It really was a great night out. I'm so glad I managed to bag a ticket! Other highlights include chatting with other media types, excellent desserts, cutting loose on the dance floor once the DJ broke out "500 Miles" by The Proclaimers, and being stalked on the Jumbo TV after attracting the attention of the mystery camera operator by doing some "trapped in a glass box" mime work (that footage is probably on YouTube by now). Despite finishing after midnight, I didn't turn into a pumpkin, and my handsome prince Wah very kindly returned to the annexe in the Corolla Coach to pick me up.