The Ball on the Wall

When it was announced that Austcham were bringing back The Ball on the Wall we jumped at the opportunity to get all dolled up. It isn't often we get the opportunity to go to a Ball let alone one held on the breathtaking Great Wall of China.

It rained all day Saturday so things weren't looking good, at one stage we were tossing up what we should do.

I said I was getting dressed up no matter what the weather did so then it came to deciding what we were going to do if it continued to rain as we knew the Ball was an open air event. I was voting to choose the flashest Restaurant in Beijing and go to dinner and the boys were voting to go to Paddy O'Shea's Irish Pub and watch the rugby between Australia and Ireland.

Kellie came over and got dressed at our apartment which was a lot of fun and then she gave me lessons on how to show a bit of leg in the photos.

News came through that the weather had cleared at the Wall where the event was being held so we set off for the 1 & 1/2 hour drive north of Beijing.

The whole evening was a bit of a pinch yourself experience as the setting really was breathtaking.

On arrival we were handed champagne and our photo was taken on the red carpet.

Then we walked up a level where we were served finger food and got entertained by an orchestra.

This gave us another opportunity for more photos to be taken.

It was also the perfect opportunity for people watching and checking out the fashions. It seemed to me that silk dresses in block colours were the flavour of the night.

Then we climbed up another level of the Wall where all the tables were set up and how about that view!

As the night went on the view became more magical.

We didn't have enough people to fill a table so it was a bit of the luck of the draw but we did extremely well. We had 4 Swedish people sitting with us. A husband and wife and then two ladies who were filled with fun and had left their husbands at home. At the end of the night we all agreed we ended up with the best table at the Ball.

We were very happy with our table and Leo was very happy with his dates.

The Swedish couple said they had been to Australia once for 3 weeks and absolutely loved it. They said they visited a lot of places but the highlight was a farm stay near Dalby.

We said, "Oh, that's our home town, tell us more".

They said they couldn't remember the peoples' names but they went horse riding and the people were lovely and they had all these dogs that did tricks.

Leo said, "Was it called "Old Boyneside and the people were called Peter and Moira?"

"Yes, yes", they said, "how did you know?"

Leo said, "They're my cousins."

Oh, the poor people nearly fell off their chairs.

As the night went on we enjoyed a 4 course meal and were entertained by Chinese dancers and also 2 opera singers, one female and then one male. I didn't think I was a fan of opera but these really made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

By the time we had dinner, sat through the entertainment, speeches and an auction we were all ready to dance. Something I have never seen happen before happened. As soon as the music started the whole 500 people hit the dance floor. It was all 80's and 90's music and of course our new Swedish friends went wild when they played Abba.

So there you have it, a magical, fun night and a quiet car ride home, apart from a bit of snoring, and it wasn't coming from me......

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