Sheffield SSAGO Ball 2008

There aren’t many occasions for a Scout to wear a posh suit, shirt and tie without getting mud over them so when the opportunity arises I’m more than happy to spend a little bit more for a demure evening than I would on an exuberant weekend camp.

This particular SSAGO Ball has special significance to me, it will be my Birthday this weekend. I’m not particularly fond of Birthdays, and certainly not this one. To add to my melancholy I’m also going to be handing over my position as Publicity Officer. I’ve enjoyed the challenges this role has presented to me and the situations it raised, I’m going to miss them.

I suppose I should be happy about who I am handing over to, she was one of the first members I met in SSAGO and to boot her Brother had the role only a few years ago and his advice has been a positive sounding board from what has been to what will be.

Regardless, the handover went smoothly and expediently facilitating a few hours to take a autonomous tour of the city centre. Originally the plan was to catch a movie but we couldn’t find a suitably recent flick to accommodate our timetable.

We made it back to the hotel for a quick ‘makeover’ for the dinner and evening entertainment hosted by the Sheffield Hilton and accommodation, The crowd planned to set off from the Inn’s lobby, into the rain, around 7pm.

Dinner was more enjoyable than last year, I actually had a bond with my fellow table mates and none of them felt the urge to spill red wine over the entire table!

After dinner and the disco some local girls invited James and I to their Union, having a piss poor Union I’m keen to see other Student establishments so I graciously accepted. We were all a little over dressed but we were merry enough that we didn’t care, besides at a hundred miles from home why care?

A near vacuous continental breakfast, a few thank you’s, good byes and I was away the next day. I look forward to next years.

Liverpool SSAGO Ball 2007

My second ever SSAGO Ball Attendance, and my second visit in recent memory to Liverpool. Arrival was planned for around 6pm on Friday, I’d be driving up in the Millennium Canary to meet Laura at Lime St Liverpool Station. What we didn’t know was that there are infact 3 entrances, I arrived at Lord Nelson Street entrance ( 90 minutes late due to traffic around Junction 8 of the M6 and near 18-20 ) and Laura was at the Lime Street Entrance.

I did feel slightly bad for her having to lug around all the things that girls need for such prestigious occasions but this is the problem with arriving separately albeit the most time effective solution with her coming from Basildon and me from Bristol.

We were arriving on the slightly earlier Friday for a rather jubilant local SSAGO individual’s Birthday, that individual was Sarah and it was her 21st Birthday. Considering my Birthday was tomorrow I had been downplaying mine for quite sometime, not just because I didn’t want to steal the limelight but because I also didn’t want the attention!

After some faffing around at Sarah’s house and parking in the almost completely under construction city centre we managed to go round a couple of the establishments before myself and another Mike had to facilitate a Scout Hut intrusion with the Swansea lot.

Once arrived there was some discussion about what to do for the rest of the evening as it was quite late, in the end a quest to Tesco for supplies and when we arrived back at the hut challenges and games came forth for us to progressively get worse at as the evening wore on.

The morning boasted a vigorous walk around Liverpool city centre, we saw, as in walked past, the Tate, The Maritime Museum and the Beatles Story. We did however get to thoroughly visit the Albert Dock and all its glorious souvenir shops. It was great spending this much time with Laura, and got even better when we lost track of everyone else and it was just the 2 of us for a few hours. Together we popped over to Liverpool’s Chinatown which was very beautiful.

We made our way to the Hotel where the Ball was being held, and we had a few hours to get ourselves, or so I thought, I was soon dragged to a post Ball Exec meeting held before we’d taken our positions, rather humorous scheduling but certainly enabled Daz, Paul, Ilona, Matt and I to get away the next day. So half dressed and half primped we all had a 45 minute consort about our desires for the rest of the year.

Chilling out just before the dinner in the Bar was good but I was slightly amused and disappointed when I saw the seating arrangement. Amused because there was no table 13 ( numbered upto 14 ) and disappointed because I wasn’t on table with any of the new Exec or anyone I really knew at all, and all the people I had been working with over the last year were situated with the key peoples of SSAGO, probably a political maneuver to retard my bonding with them. Tut tut.

Dinner started off badly, a moronic Nottingham member knocked over a class of red wine soaking the table and ruining the table setup, I could’ve easily forgive this but at the past rally he tried to claim my drink as his a la “mine, mine” of the seagulls in Finding Nemo but ended up spilling half of it, therefore for again inflicting his foolish antics I spurn him.

Laura intrigued me about Cuisine standards passed down from her father over the Breast of Chicken filled with cream cheese and chives, wrapped in bacon and served with a sautéed leek and cream sauce. Felt nice to be so civilised after nearly 4 years of laxed student decorum.

After dinner I tried to rally (no pun intended) all the mascots I could together for another group shot as they are far and few between with the DefCon between club thievery so low. It was a cracking image and hopefully it will be put to as good a use as the one from last year.

With such a long day behind us Laura and I retired for the evening as we both had long, separate, journey to our respective homes, put not before the old execs handover meeting which I’m sure many things were missed out of in our panic to evacuate the hotel.

Despite some panic in the planning the Liverpool SSAGO Ball 2007 was a great success and I hope that they will do it again in the far future to give other clubs a chance!

Cardiff SSAGO Ball 2006

A completely satisfying event! Started slow with the SSAGO Exec handover meeting where I received ‘the baton’ so to speak of presiding as the National Publicity Officer. I knew there would be a fair amount of meetings involved which most of the time I can sit through and entertain myself via sporadic humorous (well I like to think so) interruptions. Unfortunately on this particular occasion I had to put on my business cap on and listen as the rest of the new Exec seem to want to take things far too seriously.

The meeting ended after 5ish hours. I tell you I don’t look forward to having to do this again next year but at least the duration will be halved. 😉

After the meeting I started looking around for my date, yes I know I should have taken her but she was coming from Durham and secondly if had brought her she would been sitting around board for 5 hours instead of partaking the insidious activity known as shopping in Cardiff.

Dinner was enjoyable, albeit small I would’ve helped myself everything I wanted but being polite I didn’t want to seem greedy and deprive the other table occupants of what they wanted. Moley, the Durham mascot, did get a bit over-zealous with the vino but seeing as he is a mascot who spends most of his time out on drinking evenings I think I can let his alcoholism go.

The evening went on and there was some rather poor Disk Jockey action, why would you want the same song played 4 times in a night I will never know. Heck they didn’t even put any slow music on for some proper dancing, there wasn’t evening anything to ‘Jive’ to either.

Apart from some unexpected commotion surrounding BUGS’ Rae and Steve Ang, others personal emergencies and political climbing it was a enjoyable event and I look forward to the Ball next year. I can’t believe that I put off going to one for so long…