Lily & MeWhile perhaps not gushing quite so much as the Old Palace girls themselves, I was rather looking forward to this evening. Unlike a number of guys, I actually rather like dressing up, and having shelled out so much for the suit, I was determined to get my money’s worth! I was accompanying a rather nervous Lily who was beautifully turned out in a pale blue dress with translucent sleeves.

Arriving fairly punctually at the Purley Aerodrome Hotel, we spent a long while congregating in the foyer, greeting everyone as they arrived. Naturally I had seen most of them for at least a few months, so it was to get a brief “hello” in before things kicked off and we were all separated again. It got a little cramped, to tell the truth, but we eventually moved into the main hall which was far more spacious. The bar was well stocked with a range of whiskies, Dalmore being my chosen accompaniment for the evening (one of those cases where it actually might have been cheaper to buy the bottle, though it’s nice when you’re drinking something unique so the bar staff remember your order without having to be told), and was open much later than at the Whitgift Ball. A number of ex and current Whitgiftians were present, so it was nice to chat to a few of them about gap year experiences and such like, particularly the ones to whom I would not usually get to speak.

my favourite girlsAfter an elegant start with Mark playing piano, things deteriorated rather drastically music-wise as some DJ’s arrived and span their discs or whatever it is you young people call it these days. At any rate the young ladies seemed to love it, but I decided to get a refill on that drink and retire to the foyer along with many of the other guys. Conversation was good although the hazy smoke offered by the cigarettes was more irritating than ambient. Nonetheless, bow-tie undone, glass of whisky in one hand, I did feel a Frankie vibe coming on. If only they were playing some decent jazz instead of that…crap. I felt particularly sorry for Friya’s Chris who doesn’t drink. Not the healthiest life choice, and to be honest I’ve never really trusted teetotallers: they always remember the next morning what was said the night before. And that’s just unnatural!

The girls all looked fantastic, of course, and it was nice to see them that way as I imagine it may be the last time I get to see a few of them. So at least I get to remember them at their best and, I hope, vice versa. A very successful evening, so well done to Ally and everyone who organised it!