A polonnaise opens every important ball. Young men and women in black and white did the honours at the Flowerball in the Rathaus. The impressive Viennese town hall was smothered in flower arrangements created by the council’s gardening department.
It was my sort of ball and not just because of the gardening angle. I enjoyed the event hugely – the gorgeous backdrop, beautiful gowns, enthusiastic dancers, excellent bands and Frankfurter with mustard and horseradish to keep us going.
I am already planning which ball to attend next year. And in that I have a terrifically wide choice. Some 500 balls are on during the ball season which starts in early January and lasts until Ash Wednesday.
The organisers range from the chemists to the coffeehouses, the government of Lower Austria, the lawyers and the Croatians, to name but those whose street hoardings I happened to see.
At the top of the tree is the ball of the Vienna Philharmonics, where tickets cost a whopping E180 a head. But I think I will give this one a miss.
And then, someone reminded me, there is of course the opera ball. A singular event in its very own category.