Necessity and fairness dictate that this should be my last Campaign Trail post. Tomorrow is Election Day, and I'll be spending it making conference calls to various countries and working on uotting together a 150-page report for my trustees. But I WILL VOTE. Please make sure you do, too.
I'm not going to mix my local politics with my national politics. I believe parish council level politics should be unencumbered by party-political things, unless a candidate's party-political beliefs interfere with what a parish council should be doing, which is representing the village as a whole.
So, a quick summary of my last few days.
I was meant to play cricket. It rained, so I didn't. I felt a certain amount of relief at not having to bat in four layers again, and at having a day to relax, but that turned into frustration, because I'm actually pretty bad at doing nothing.
Finished distributing leaflets, mainly in Battlesea Green. The leaflets were my own, and the leaflet of the Green candidate for the District Council election, James Hargrave, whom I strongly support. I was really happy to have the company of my eldest daughter, Charlotte, on this round of distribution. This election will be her first time of voting, and I hope she will be one of many 18-year-olds voting with their conscience.
I mowed the back lawn. Someone has to.
I mowed the front lawn. Someone has to.
Actually, having a front garden in the centre of the village is great. It has meant I don't have to go canvassing, because a huge amount of people walk by, stop and talk. It's like having an open MP's surgery. Except I'm not an MP. Anyway, many good conversations have been had over these past three and a bit weeks, in the fron garden, or on the pavement opposite.
The phone rang for the umpteenth time. It was yet another person from the village pledging their support. I am humbled and astounded by the volume of supportive phone calls I've had. This one was from an 80-year-old man who has lived in Stradbroke forever, and remembers a 100-year-old tortoise living in the garden of one of the houses on New Street. Amazing.
Bank holidays dislocate me, and I had a lot of work to catch up on. And I went fencing. And tiredness took me.
I thought today was Thursday, but I'm glad it's not, because I'd have forgotten to go to the polling station. It also gives me an extra day to get all my work done, and to look at how much I've spent during my campaign (on printer cartridges and paper, mainly).
The absolute highlight has been meeting so many lovely people whom I didn't know before. Amongst them are Andy from the Wirral; Sue (our lovely vicar who made me feel at home again when she called "God bless" after me as I was leaving her front door); the lady who told me she used to own the Skoda I now drive (she called him Alan; we call her Flic); the man who showed me round his land and his workshop and told me he hoped the parish council would stop being a "self-interested lot;" the couple sitting in the sun who asked to read my leaflet there and then (and it was obvious to me that they were so happy in each other's company). All those conversations and observations have had a huge impact on me, and made me determined, even if I don't get elected, to continue to put the interests of the whole village first.
Dead animals spotted while distributing leaflets: 2 birds and 1 mouse. Quite a small total, really.
And that's it. Just to reiterate my election call: Honesty. Integrity. Accountability.
Please vote for the following good people, too, who will do a fine job at representing the village:
Caroline Barnes, George Chaplin, Oliver Coles, Lynda Ellison-Rose, Brian Goffee, James Hargrave, Maureen John, Velda Lummis, and Ellie Wharton.
Promoted by Richard Pierce-Saunderson of Spring Cottage, Church Street, Stradbroke, Suffolk, IP21 5HT.