Kid tested. Mother approved.

Christmas Ball: Unchecked Misery




Look at this sign, it's terrifying! Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews

Look at this sign, it’s terrifying! Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews


Almost a week has passed since the Mermaids’ Annual Christmas Ball and I’m still having night terrors. I try to vanquish the memories from my mind, but it’s no use. It’s like trying to put out the fires of hell with a Capri Sun. A raging inferno of misery. Sometimes I just lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, asking why…

Christmas Ball has always been a prominent date on my academic cal. This year’s was Potter themed, and I’d be lying if I said that J.K Rowling was not literally one of my favourite authors of all-time – so already I expect you’re getting a sense of just how excited I was when the bus pulled up to Kinkell Byre last Sunday! Christ, I can’t believe it’s only been a week.



Floating candles; snazzy venue decoration or fire hazard?!?!?! YOU decide. Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews


Now, in typical Mermaids style, the venue looked totally fab. I’m talking candles; I’m talking suits of armour; I’m talking UV lights. It’s testament to the commitment, assiduousness, care, compos mentis, teamwork and sheer vision of the committee that the Ball’s décor was such a roaring, unmitigated success. I can’t imagine anything anywhere ever took so much planning. The Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony… Apollo II… The Battle of the Ardennes. There was a picture of Moaning Myrtle in the girl’s bathroom. It’s this kind of attention to detail that elevates a ball from the banal to the transcendent.



Chocolate kebab’s were abundant, imagine the horror. Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews


The chocolate fondue was delightful. Imagine walking into Kinkell and suddenly ‘chocolate kebab?’ ‘Don’t mind if I do!’ That was a nice touch. We ambled into the main hall and the gasps were audible. You could literally hear the gasps. They were also visible. Everyone was gasping. It was one big gasp fest. Golden snitches had been strewn over the tables, but instead of real snitches, they were winged Ferrero Rochers! WHAT!? What kind of genius puts wings on a Rocher? Where’s that going to fly? How about into my mouth!


There was also butterbeer, Ron’s iconic favourite drink from the Potter franchise, and it was vegan to boot. It’s safe to say that there was not a dry eye in the house when the barman informed a poor vegan girl that the butterbeer didn’t really have butter in it – she got trollied! We made sure she got home safely, though, and everyone had a good laugh at her expense.


Santa's Grotto, where you could sit on Santa, or Santa could sit on you! How progressive. Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews

Santa’s Grotto, where you could sit on Santa, or Santa could sit on you! How progressive! Credit: Lightbox Creative St Andrews


Santa’s grotto was the pièce de résistance. You could literally have your photo taken with Santa and cut-out of a house-elf… name of Dobby, heard of him? I would have stayed in there all night, but I heard Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson blasting out ‘Bastille’, the hit single by Pompeii, and couldn’t wait to hit the dance-floor. I saw the night out in true Chrimbo style with some close friends and a messy-bomb… or TWELVE.


It was, on reflection, a terrible, miserable quagmire of a ball – a morally bankrupt morass of kitsch.


Won’t go back.


Can’t sleep.



All photos from

Lightbox Creative St Andrews




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