Christmas has come/Dancing with Ed Balls

lizzie ewart-james
2 min readDec 5, 2022

Christmas trees are popping up everywhere, there is an enormous one in the lobby and one round every corner it seems. They are beautifully decorated though. There is the added bonus that Cheltenham Festival of literature has arrived and with it loads of celebrities. I go to the talk by Alexander McColl-Smith and find myself sitting next to Pru Leith and her husband. I cannot resist telling her about the Harvest Festival I went to at Amesbury school which my grandchildren attend and where they had a spoof bake off competition and the tennis coach (a young man) was Pru Leith in drag. I think she found it funny — her husband certainly did.

I meet my friend from the golf club and think about, the man at breakfast who was told off for coming to breakfast in a vest and told to go off and change. You can’t play golf in a vest even on a hot day. Rachel Johnson the famous sibling valiantly tries to defend the indefensible in a talk with Matt Chorley from the Times. So now that the weather has closed in there is still plenty to do

We have new dinner companions who are fun and after a lively dinner we go off to the ballroom. It is the Red and Gold Ball tonight and luckily I have a 40 year old red dress which believe it or not I can still get into. However there is only one or two couples floating expertly round the floor so I persuade Andrew to go to the disco which is tiny by comparison. We bop away for a while when suddenly we are invaded by celebs one of whom is Ed Balls. They charge onto the floor and leap about. I am loving it and so when Andrew has had enough, I stay dancing with Ed and Matt Chorley of the Times. My dancing would embarrass my children, but do I care. We finally collapse into bed at about 2 am and don’t emerge again until 10am.