David Parkin on bangers, Boris and BBQs

David Parkin on bangers, Boris and BBQs

YOOHOO! I’M BACK! Calm down, calm down. OK then, you never knew I’d been away. Fair enough. A relaxing 10 days on the Greek island of Kefalonia has helped recharge the batteries. My last “official engagement” before heading off on holiday was to attend a very fun Royal Ascot event at Bibis Italianissimo restaurant in Leeds. The day, organised by the glamorous Mandy Taylor, sales and business development manager at Bibis, a Leeds institution for the last 40 years (Bibis, not Mandy), raised money for the Maggie’s Yorkshire charity, where I am on the fundraising board. It was my job to say a few words about Maggie’s and the amazing centre it is building in the grounds of St James’s Hospital in Leeds which will open later this year. When I arrived at Bibis the event was in full swing with around 180 guests in their best bib and tucker and the place decorated with flowers and bunting. The races were broadcast on a big screen, there was a tipster, a bookmaker, fashion, jewellery and wine exhibitors and a huge flower wall where photographers Lincoln and Perrin from Roth Reed Photography, who had donated their services for free, were taking photos of guests. I even got in on the act, adding my own touch of sprezzatura in a photo with Mandy (pictured above right) and Luciana Spirandio of Bibis (above left). It made their day. Laura Riach of Maggie’s Centres had already spoken to the audience so I just needed to briefly thank everyone and tell them about the huge positive impact that the new Maggie’s Yorkshire will have...