When the BAFTAs came to Spalding

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Blogger Trish Burgess writes for the Free Press

‘Over here, darling... yeah, that’s it... give us a smile... nice one!”
It’s not often you enter Springfields Exhibition Centre to be greeted by the paparazzi but, diva that I am, I rather liked the attention.

The Digital Paparazzi, dressed in raincoats and each sporting a Trilby, had been hired for the evening to snap away as guests arrived for the Spalding Midsummer Ball because the theme this year was the BAFTAs. It was a great start to the evening and I was sorely tempted to rejoin the queue and face the cameras for a second time.

Dougie and I arrived on the red carpet just in time, which was quite remarkable as I had only just got off a train from London, having been to a blogging conference for the weekend (more on that next week).

I managed to get ready in half an hour, choosing a favourite frock, circa 2005, which was easy to wear and didn’t truss me up like a turkey.

Dougie, in his kilt, took far longer as there are many elaborate elements to the highland ensemble including complicated shoelaces and sporran positioning.

Now in its 19th year (and we must have been to the last 14 at least) the Midsummer Ball committee pulled out all the stops yet again in order to raise significant funds for their chosen charities: Action Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and, this year, the Teenage and Young Adult Oncology ward at Peterborough City Hospital.

It always amazes me how the committee transform Springfields into a stunning venue for a ball: every year they come up with something stylish whether it’s for a Best of British theme, Moulin Rouge or Boogie Nights. Add to that delicious food, cocktails, a professional band and disco plus an auction, it is always a night to remember.

My favourite part of the evening was, as always, the gift tree. Pay a tenner and you are guaranteed a prize.

In previous years we have ‘won’ a huge teddy, jewellery and a selection of car cleaning products. A few years ago I was lucky to receive a rose bush and a chiropody session.

A friend of mine had also won a rose bush but was happy to swap so I could have a matching pair and she could get her corns done.

This year Dougie was delighted to win a bottle of malt whisky: how appropriate for the only man there in a kilt.

The next morning he slid it out of its cylindrical sleeve only to find the security tag still attached to the bottle. After several attempts to remove it with various kitchen knives, I was all for taking it back to the supermarket from whence it came, but Dougie reckoned we’d get arrested for not having a receipt.

He disappeared with the bottle into the shed and emerged triumphant some time later having attacked it with a power drill. There’s not much that gets between a Scotsman and his whisky.

l You can follow Trish on 
Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com