By Jantsen McBride
Last night was the winter ball for Furness. At Lancaster, each college has a big, fancy get together where food is served, dancing is done and a good time is had by all. The winter ball was like an upgraded version of prom in high school. Marley showed up at my flat with a wonderful bouquet of flowers and looking quite smart in his skinny tie and grey suit. After a few pictures were taken by the designated “prom mom”— Lindsay — Marlz Barkley and I headed down to the bus underpass to catch the coach, erm I mean carriage, to the ball. Unfortunately, our coach was almost forty minutes late. That meant waiting in the frigid weather with a light tuxedo jacket and open-toed heels. I was literally thinking about what I would do if I had to get my toes amputated because of frostbites. Finally, the coach came and the herd of people waiting rushed aboard.
One hour later and we were arriving at the Netherwood Hotel, which is beautifully located in Grange-Over-Sands near Cumbria. To say this hotel was amazing would be underselling it. It was spectacular and hands down the most magical looking place I have ever been. Standing atop a hill with a perfectly manicured lawn, the hotel looked more like a castle than a place for people to stay. The inside of the Netherwood was set up in full fashion for the Christmas season. White lighted branches lit the hallway making an arch above our heads, while a gigantic evergreen with at least fifty presents of all sizes made the mansion feel quite homey. Dinner was held in a ballroom the size of the Mizzou basketball arena and each table was set exquisitely for 10 people. Dinner consisted of a three-course meal that each guest had chosen beforehand. I had a delicious carrot and butternut squash soup, the contrebeef filet and Christmas pudding. Mini mince pies and coffee were served afterwards. Each of us also received a Christmas cracker. I had never seen one before so Marley showed me how to pull it apart to make a popping sound. Inside the presents were little gifts such as a crown, pencil sharpener, joke book, etc.
Faculty of the college were also present and interestingly bought each table an extra bottle of wine. This was quite a cultural shock to me, as professors back home would never drink with students, or condone drinking at all for that matter. After dinner, we all went to get jiggy on the dance floor. Marley and I, being the dance divas that we are, were some of the first ones to break out our moves. Full-length gowns and fancy suits in all sorts of charming colors could be seen as they swirled around the dance floor in a blur of sequins and shine. About halfway through I got a migraine and had to sit down; however, the majority of the night was a great success. I accidentally left my camera’s memory card at home so apologies for the lack of pictures!