End of week 2 and we’re still here and running at a million miles an hour! This week, the weather has been rubbish (but it is November in the UK, so it really shouldn’t be a big surprise), but that hasn’t dampened enthusiasm (this is also probably due to the enormous amounts of tea and Dairy Milk being consumed – other chocolate is available).
This week, we have stepped it up a gear with video production. We are incredibly lucky to have talented camera and script people who are local members and willing to give their time and energy to the campaign for a cuppa and a big thank you (tea is featuring large in this campaign…). So, armed with cameras, light, mikes and creative folks, we headed out on Tuesday afternoon to make some magic! The amount of people and local businesses who were willing to be filmed for the campaign was overwhelming – particularly big thanks to Pixies Greengrocers on Goring Road, who let me potter round their shop and look meaningfully at tomatoes, beets and cooking apples (the cooking apples were particularly splendid). Also, thanks to the lovely locals who patiently waited whilst the creative types insisted on 94 takes of me walking past the Dogs Trust Charity shop. Gotta work on that walk for the next vid…
I have been out and about as much as possible across the patch, smiling through the rain! My lovely, but massively mischievous beagle, Sydney, has come with me to our street stalls and is developing a following of his own! He is incredibly friendly and very sociable, but he will literally eat anything within 3 miles of his nose given a chance. So I now owe several fantastic Labour friends replacement toast that “mysteriously” disappeared in this week’s street stalls. On the plus side, I can see #Sydney4PM trending before this campaign is finished.
Our manifesto was out this week, which means my bedtime reading list just got significantly longer. One of the great things about being the candidate is that you are in effect, the Labour spokesperson for the area, so it’s imperative that I have a handle on our policies. Conversely, one of the worst things about being the candidate is that you have to dig your rusty old memory out of your brain’s broom cupboard, and soak up facts as though you are still 19 and at medical school, rather than 42 and cream crackered because your kids have been up 3 times in the night and the dog needs a walk. Still, it’s a good read, so am hopeful that something is going in!
To end this week’s blog, a couple of unexpectedly beautiful moments. First, I was invited to the mosque to say hello to the local residents who meet to worship there. The reception was so warm, friendly and interested that I didn’t stop smiling all day (and we ran out of leaflets). And secondly, this weekend we headed over to East Preston to say hello to people at their Christmas Fair. Cards on the table, I was expecting a bit of a frosty response. We had done a similar thing a couple of years ago, and there was tumbleweed surrounding our street stall… This time, I honestly thought we had come to a different village. People came up to greet us as though we were long lost friends! “We’re so glad to see you…We’ve been waiting for you to visit…Great to see Labour out and about in East Preston!” So this week’s resolution is to put all my preconceived ideas and expectations in a small box (probably the one that I am going to drag my memory out of) and get out there next week with an open mind and an expectation that we can win Worthing West! Have a great week 😊