I've been a bit quiet recently, and when wondering why this was, drift into musing over how busy February was, quite apart from the day job. Another opportunity missed to get my allotment into shape before the spring, though I have planted a quince tree, some blackcurrant bushes, a few broad beans and mangetout peas (in makeshift cold-frames, though they are okay in cool temperatures). It's the dratted leafletting that gobbles up time - Sunday 3 Feb (and much time beforehand): spent much time dashing about preparing newspaper deliveries in my patch for Brian Paddick. My day was ruined by pickpockets who nicked my purse in Starbucks. Don't anyone tell me crime is not a problem...
Cannot remember weekend of 9-10 Feb specifically, but suspect it was spent on domestic projects. Weekend of 16-17 Feb: very frosty; on 16th I tended my allotment wearing 2 fleeces and an overcoat and was only just warm enough, then as fog descended I went home for tea, then out again to Colchester Lib Dems' annual dinner with my good friends Liz and Chris Hall, fellow blogger Nick Barlow and many other local friends and colleagues. Baroness Ros Scott gave a speech that included a most entertaining account of how she came to be a working peer. It cost quite a lot (joke). No, seriously, she won it in a raffle (joke). More seriously, apparently Charles Kennedy phoned her one Sunday morning when she was cooking lunch for her mother. As she had to keep the contents of the conversation confidential, on putting the phone down she gasped, "I think I'll have a sherry!" Always a good move at such moments. A sombre note, though, when Bob Russell MP reminded the gathering of the thousands of lads from the Colchester area who were going out to serve in the grim conflict in Afghanistan, not all of whom would return.
The following morning, 17th Feb: I took an early train to join the ongoing deliveries for Brian Paddick in south Westminster. Sunny, excellent leafletting weather. 21st Feb: I announced to a startled International Relations Committee my proposal for a policy resolution on the global population crisis - a subject I have been brooding over for many years, and the situation's getting worse. Did you, dear reader, know that the planet's human population has more than doubled since 1960, when (at 3 bn) it was, according to some respected scientific opinion, at a feasible level for sustainability? Cause for deep pessimism. I try to keep my carbon footprint down, but with a net population increase of 1.5 million people per week, obviously there is a serious question what is the point, what difference can we make, unless the absolute number of humans using resources is reduced to a manageable level.
Rest of February blurs together rather, but the 25th stands out - the evening of the Chinese Lib Dems' New Year feast, near Russell Square. The feast was excellent, and many political friends were there in what is undeniably an upbeat mood among activists.
Oh yes, and I spent most of the last Saturday of February travelling to and from, and delivering leaflets in, Highgate where our by-election candidate is, I learn, a fellow-allotmenter. A good sign, I feel.