Thursday, 28 October 2010

Political shift

I have become the person I hoped I would never be.

At university, I was very left-wing in my views and was outside the mainstream of all major political parties.

Then I because a member of the Labour Party and was generally happy with their political stance on most things.

At the last election, however, I could not bring myself to vote Labour. I cancelled my membership, gritted my teeth, and voted Lib Dem.

I now find myself, not disappointed in their coalition with the Tories, but admiring of their political courage in not being afraid of grasping power and taking tough decisions. Nick Clegg continues to impress me.

So whilst I know that many Lib Dem supporters are horrified, I maintain my support for the Coalition and the Lib Dem role in this. They have helped temper the excesses of the Tories. Of course they have had to compromise but, hey, they hold less than 10% of seats at Westminster. They are punching above their weight, doing it in the national interest and doing it sensibly.

Have I simply become a realist or is self-interest starting to drive my political views? I hope it is not the latter. But I have certainly shifted my political position. And, strangely, I am entirely comfortable with that.

I hope for some form of proportional representation, for gay marriage, for support for a multi-cultural Britain, for assisted suicide, for rehabilitation of prisoners, and for resistance to faith schools. I remain socially progressive. But I am becoming economically prudent.

Maybe it's an age thing.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Spanish therapy

We have just returned from 10 days in Malaga. It was a very relaxing break after months of stress both at work and with the move. I don't think I had realised how stressed and tired I was until I slept for about 12 hours on each on my first couple of nights in Malaga, got up, went to the beach and promptly fell asleep again!

Andrew had suggested that I go into the local travel agent just down from our flat in Malaga and see if we could go somewhere for a few days while we were there. Delphin, the agent, speaks no English, so I was quite proud of myself in explaining what we wanted and understanding what she was proposing. I booked a 5 days cruise out of Malaga stopping at Portimao, Lisbon and Tangier on an all-Spanish vessel with ibero Cruceros.

It was a really good cruise and amazing value. We paid £240 each and this included the cruise, all port taxes, all food and, amazingly, all drink. We certainly took advantage of this latter offer with our champagne cocktails and copious quantities of quality wine with dinner. I had booked the cheapest lower deck inside cabin; we were upgraded to a higher deck superior outside cabin - I know not why! And I loved Lisbon.

We finished with four sunny days in Malaga, mainly relaxing on the beach, though we did go into Torremolinos for a huge gay exhibition of holidays, clothes, furnishings etc etc. I cooked my usual Zarzuela one evening and we had a couple of meals in the superb Vino Mio restaurant. I read some books, watched some DVDs and generally chilled out. Just what I needed.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A stranger in my bedroom

I had asked for a fitted wardrobe to be put into bedroom 2 before I moved. But Weston Homes said that because of the short timescale between exchange and completion, they would have to do this after I had moved in. So I gave them a key and they did it on the first Wednesday after I moved in. A painter was then due to come to cover up the work.

On the Friday at 6 a.m. I was lying in bed when I heard someone come into my flat using a key. He walked down the corridor and came straight into my bedroom. ¨Hello´, I said (sadly I could think of nothing more original to say. ). He immediately jumped back, very startled. I turned out that this was the painter, who had been told the flat was empty and had decided to do the work early.

I have to say it is not often that a complete stranger walks into my bedroom at 6 a.m. uninvited.


Friday, 1 October 2010

Tired but content

I am exhausted.

After moving home I had to prepare for our annual conference and then go up to Stratford-upon-Avon to help run it. I was responsible for the quiz at the pre-conference icebreaker event and for the AGM. I also was room monitor for a number of sessions and of course available at all times to answer questions.

But it all went very well and was a successful three days in terms of organisation, content and finances.

I got home last Thursday and was up at 4 am on Friday to get to Luton for the flight to Aberdeen. I am now in Keith to try to look after my Dad and sort out his future. I return to London tomorrow.

We then have a big Executive meeting on Wednesday which needs a lot of preparation.

Then we head for Spain and hopefully some relaxation. Much needed.