Review: Selwyn Snowball

A good spend of the overdraft despite a stupid one way system and few festive trappings.

ball Christmas Selwyn winter

A Christmas Carol – The Selwyn Snowball, December 4th.

Getting to the Selwyn Snowball meant I had survived my first term – not only had I got in, but I hadn’t yet been thrown out or had to leave under Doctor’s orders.  It was going to be my own very own Cinderella’s ball… Primark heel left in the taxi on the way back, with no idea which foot was left or right, and a midday not midnight curfew when my Mum piled my stuff and me into the car.

We arrived to find a huge queue outside, but us ball virgins, determined to stay positive, chirped at the mince pies and umbrellas ‘Gosh, aren’t they organised’.  In hindsight maybe they had their priorities wrong – don’t let it take 45 minutes to get people in and then think about the mince pies.  While Cinderella was naturally gifted with wavy locks there was nothing I could do about not being blonde and the rain was re-straightening my lovingly curled hair.

Inside Selwyn’s huge court a marquee in one far corner shone like a beacon of hope, leading the way from the cloakroom, and the imminent onset of frostbite, to alcohol.  I was very excited that there were things to do, eat and drink, as if a part of me had really expected an expensive black tie bop.  Hot Pimms was poured out from cute knit clad teapots and there was a chocolate fountain where you could gamble with the cleanliness of your face and your dry cleaning bill.  While an ice bar definitely is exciting within a few hours the staff were forced to warn us in sweet tones that with the vodka luge ‘your face will get very wet… and cold’.

The carvery was clearly designed to sober up the very drunk, laying on bread and chips under some jazzed up titles, but this isn’t a complaint.  While I yearned for the poncey canapés of my dream fairytale evening I understood that like my Mum (who had told me to pack earlier in the week), the Snow Ball committee knew what was good for me.  Instead, after fighting the temptation of high carb meals posing as snacks, I was left a shaking wreck, sugar levels rocketing after far to many Smirnoff Ice’s and too much time trying to get under the chocolate fountain.  A drink was never more than a generous arm’s length away and the entertainment was brilliant, particularly the Diabolo Act where two brothers made jokes, standing on each others shoulders juggling knives with bodies that would make the Fairy Godmother grant her own wishes.  The silent disco was a huge success, keeping the punters very happy, singing out of tune and watching others trying not to trip over their gowns, and the neighbours not disturbed.

Both the ‘A Christmas Carol – The Selwyn Snowball’ and I claim to have acquainted ourselves with Dickens last term.  While it’s definitely a mature approach to my degree for me to lie to my supervisor, I was a bit disappointed that the Snowball publicity was lying to me.  A Christmas Carol was prettily projected onto one of the walls of the Selwyn court, there were some thoroughly unappealing Dickens related cocktails and some carol singers on the way in, but such a list didn’t really amount to much.  The screamingly infuriating one-way system made it really difficult to find anyone again and in parts, my Selwyn Snowball quite lonesome.  But, there was festive bonding in the lobby of the very limited girls loos as we tried to fit everyone, legs tightly crossed after too many Smirnoff Ice’s, inside to wait in the dry.

While the Snowball disappointed in a few respects, I had the night I had hoped for.  The cheque I handed over a few weeks before is now just a hazy memory, and cheques still seem like Monopoly money to me.  If my bank claims otherwise I have it all under control – the overdraft was invented by Mr. Overdraft to have fun.  Cinderella didn’t have to worry about finances and I am very pleased for one night I did the same.  £60 was well worth it.