On Friday night I attended the annual financial markets ball. I was in and out of Melbourne in less than 24 hours and it was freezing! It was 12 degrees Celcius (54 F) which is the coldest temperature I’ve felt all year and far too cold for spring. Definitely not going to be moving to Melbourne any time soon.
We didn’t arrive at the hotel until 5pm. While that sounds okay in theory as the ball didn’t start until 7pm, my editor (obviously a man) scheduled pre-drinks with our table guests at 5.15pm. I had 15 minutes to get ready. Back in the old days, I used to get dressed up quite often but it’s fair to say I’m well out of practice. I also had no idea how I was going to do my hair, and leaving it to the last minute to decide was a risky move indeed.
Somehow I pulled it off: in 20 minutes I unpacked, showered, dressed, ironed my shawl, and did my hair and make up. Annoyingly, the only full-length shots I have of my dress from the night are the ones I took in my hotel room.
There were about 1500 people at the ball, including all the major bank CEOs, the trainer Tiffiny from the Biggest Loser and, of course, David Koch – he was less than two metres away from me for the whole night. Just what I’d always dreamed of.
We had goodie bags on our seats. I squealed loudly when I saw that they contained a water bottle I had been talking about buying that very morning:
I should mention that everyone at my table was a good contact of mine, so they already know that I’m into my fitness and get excited by random things like water bottles.
The food was nothing spectacular and the portions were unusually huge. Normally functions like this serve pretty simple cuts of meat with sides of vegetables and salads, but the meals at the ball were extra creamy. They were doing the ridiculous ‘alternate drop’ system, which I hate because they don’t let you swap for the other option and everyone inevitably ends up wanting the same thing. For example, for the main meal what seemed like a whole cow was placed in front of me. Every single person at my table wanted steak. Conveniently, I hate red meat and was happy to switch to the tuna – which is actually my favourite fish!
Karma paid off because my client next to me switched desserts with me when I was obviously disappointed with my sticky-date pudding. Yum.
I broke my usual Friday night tradition of falling asleep at 9pm and stayed out until 3am! Between then and 6pm I had a grand total of just three alcoholic drinks. Quite impressive if I do say so myself 🙂
I’m quite used to everyone around me getting completely hammered while I stay sober and level-headed, yet maintain an illusion of drinking just as much as them (quite handy when you’re a journalist and trying to get the inside scoop!). Usually at these events the staff come around and top up your wine without asking, so there’s really no way to keep track of how much you’re drinking. For once they didn’t do that, which meant I sipped on just a single glass of wine for the entire ball. For pre- and post-drinks I had vodka, lime and soda. I hate the taste of these so it made it super easy to drink really slowly! Of course I have sneaky ways of not drinking any alcohol at all, but I figured I would loosen up a bit for one night.
I truly am dedicated because I still ate protein dough in my hotel room at 3am:
Lately I’ve been loving Sara‘s frozen peanut butter protein cups before bed. It’s blended protein powder, peanut butter, cocoa, stevia and water. You freeze it in mini muffins tins (not like my picture below!) and leave it to set and it tastes AMAZING. Screw protein dough!
I had to wake up early the next day and get straight on the bus back to the airport. It was almost two hours before I ate so I was not happy! At the airport I had what was probably the best cold oatmeal I’ve ever had in my life. No joke. Even better, it was only $3.50!
On the flight home I read my first issue of US Muscle and Fitness Hers which arrived since I subscribed. The subscription was $30 for six issues, including shipping to Australia. Pretty good considering a single issue sells for $12 here (while it only costs $5 in the US, go figure). The only other magazine I read is the Australian Oxygen magazine – it’s much more hardcore than the American version, which is a bit too much of a mainstream female fitness magazine for my liking. I would definitely recommend my Australian readers taking up a M&F subscription if you’re serious about lifting!
What did you guys get up to on the weekend? Who’s watching the Rugby World Cup (go All Blacks!!)?