Sunday, September 30, 2007

31 today!


You Are 31 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Battlestar Gallactica Season 3

I've just finished watching season three of Battlestar Gallactica (BSG) on DVD.

What a fantastic series, and what a great ending to the penultimate season.

BSG is a 'reimagining' of the classic but cheesy late-seventies sci-fi series about a group of human survivors trying to find earth in the face of the genocidal Cylons.

Much of the series tackles contemporary issues such as the use of torture, the tactics of insurgency and the democratic process. It does this by making the humans, with whom the audience tend to identify, into the insurgent terrorists, using tactics such as suicide bombings and torture.

Given that the programme is a US production it is a brave approach.

Along with all the best sci-fi (ie Firefly) the real strength of the series is in the strength of the characters. There is no hero here. All are deeply flawed. But they draw us in all the more for it.

This is a must see series for any sci-fi fan that hasn't caught up with it yet.

Post 200 - Battle Stations ...

As Ryan pointed out a few days ago this blog is one of a small but hardy batch of blogs that existed when Lib Dem Blogs was born three years ago.

Regular readers will know (well when I say 'regular' ...) that posting has always been somewhat sporadic. This is because I only post when I have something to say and time to say it, and, as my friends will know, I often don't have much time.

This is the 200th post. Not bad if you ask me. And comes on what I now think to be a likely general election.

At the moment we don't have an internet connection at home, following the flood, so I've not been posting much because of that. Hopefully I'll find time to post as the election progresses.

I do find that blogging is a good way of getting things of my chest, and sometimes a good way to think through issues and my position on them. It is also a good way to keep in touch with what's going on round the party and with quite a few old friends who blog.

So I intend to keep on blogging, probably sporadically, and within the limits of what a member of party staff can get away with. Do keep in touch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 4 in the Irony Hotel

Temperature - even hotter

Training sessions run - 2

Attendance at them - up but visibly wilitng.

Key seats met with - 3

Dinner with a few colleagues - very pleasant

Meeting up with large group to celebrate Richard Huzzey's birthday - excellent

Strong environment policy to campaign on - passed

Chances of them fixing the air conditioning - apparently slim.

v busy - more later - ttfn

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 3 in the Quality Hotel

Another training session delivered - this time in the sub-tropical temperature of the Chestnut Room here in my base for conference The Quality Hotel (also known as The Irony). The air conditioning has apparently broken down which means we are training in very warm rooms over very noisy fans. Surprisingy the trainees did not fall asleep despite the heat and the best efforts of the trainers ;-)

Today also included several more meetings with key seats and a useful meeting with Regional Executive members to do some early planning for the South East European election campaign.

This evening I chatted to folk at the East of England and South East/South Central Regional Receptions as well as briefing several of our regional journalists.

Then it was off for a very pleasant curry at River Spice with Steve Goddard, our candidate in the highly marginal Oxford East constituency.

(Apparantly there is a conference centre nearby too!)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Back in Brighton

I'm back in Brighton for Lib Dem Conference.

I enjoyed a lovely dinner last night at The Fisherman's Rest with Chris Rennard (Chief Executive), Hilary Stephenson (Director of Campaigns) and colleagues yesterday evening where we chatted about progress in our key seats and preparations for a possible autumn election.

We then met up for a few drinks with the rest of the Campaigns Department Team at the Grand Hotel.

Mood very positive.

This morning I did the first of several training sessions I will be doing this week - on 'Making the most of VIP visits' with the excellent Dave Hennigan from Rochdale.

This afternoon I will be meeting the teams from some of our London seats and London Campaigns Officer Andrew Reeves to discuss their campaigning and planning for a snap election.

I may even get along to the conference centre at some point, but I suspect most of my week will be spent here in the Quality Hotel.


Go see Atonement.

It features some great footage of the beach I spent much of my childhood making sandcastles on and a couple of scenes shot outside and inside the Regent Cinema where I spent many a happy late Friday evening in my youth.

Aparantly the story and acting is also quite good!

After the flood

The past few months have been a been spent dealing with the aftermath of being flooded.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail but suffice to say that the whole experience is a lot more disruptive than I had ever imagined.

We are now settled in a temporary home not too far from our house and the kids are back into their normal routine.

The insurance company have been as helpful as we could expect although they and all the various contractors involved have clearly struggled to cope with the large number of claims across the country.

The one thing we still haven't sorted out is transfering the TV/phone/internet connection to the new house so internet access has been somewhat limited.

On the positive side it has meant that I've caught up with my DVD viewing and have been enjoying Season 2 of Battlestar Gallactica (Season 3 is now on the way) and the complete set of Tommorrow People DVDs - a series I vaguely remembered from my childhood but which has been a joy to watch with my 9 year old James.

On top of that I went to see The Police last Sunday with Samantha and they were absolutely fantastic.