Yes, I landed back in Riyadh last Thursday to find a ball in full swing (Me to Editor: Can I say "balls in full swing?" Ed: Bit late now isn't it!) . "Pirates of the Wadi Club: The Curse of the Black Abbaya" had started at 7.30 but by the time I got there at nine they'd just served the starters -- result! The dress code on the ticket said, "Pirate dress or black tie" so I wore black tie.
I don't do fancy dress usually (the Elvis transformation for the murder mystery party was an exception, and that only because the outfit was handed to me on a plate -- not literally otherwise it would have to have been a very large plate.) Call me lazy, call me stand-offish, I don't care. I like to see others in fancy dress, and truth be told I don't mind dressing up a bit myself (that's enough of that! -- Ed.), but I just can't be bothered going to the effort of putting a costume together. This policy proved doubly useful on this particular night, as I had to rush back from the airport and jump straight into my dinner jacket so that I could get over to the ball before all the food was gone. I wasn't the only one not dressed up I'm relieved to say. I reckon about two thirds were in pirate gear, with most of the third third in dinner dress but with a few adding the odd pirate accessory or two (thank Allah we've just had that new branch of PirateAccessories'R'Us open up in town).
The food was good, the weather a relatively pleasant 32 degrees Centrigrade, and although there was no raffle we did have an informal treasure hunt which began by all the guests upending their chairs in the search for the treasure map stuck to the bottom of one of them (the chairs', not the guests').
After the meal and the treasure hunt there was nothing left to do but dance the night away under the stars. I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the photos (courtesy of Embassy Photographer Elliot Neal)
Graham puts on a brave front as he realises Sue's PirateAccessories'R'Us loyalty card is a mixed blessing
The 'Walk the Plank' queue in good spirits. It's amazing how giddy some people get on alcohol-free beer and grape juice
Lisa's Swedish so more of a Viking than a pirate really, but she'd never let a technicality like that get in the way of a good time.
Shiver Me Timbers!