Bap bada, bap bada

Well, quite by chance we settled down in front of the end of Make Your Mind Up, the new name for “A Song for Europe”
We called the voting totally wrong, thinking two other bands would make it through, but in the end, the one I voted for made it all the way.

Yay!  This is the sort of camp-as-tits OTT shit that Eurovision needs!

Now a dilemma!  Do we go to big gay camping on Shell Island on the 12th May weekend… or do we stay home and watch Eurovision?

And blimey – the guys out of Scooch have not aged well.  All their publicity photos are about 7 years old.  They’re all about the same age as me, born between 1977 and 1980.

Claim to fame axed

I have just heard that the £20 note is to be replaced, removing my claim to fame.

I once stayed in the house on the back of the Elgar £20 note, which pictures the back of Worcester Cathedral and the huge, gorgeous house next door to it. In 1999, I volunteered at the Three Choirs Festival there in return for board and lodgings and free access to all concerts and events, and they put me up in the famous house, which had just been renovated to a fabulous standard.

It was there that I met Kit and the Widow, who had also been billeted there. Well, I say “met,” more meant, “sat on a sofa listening to them for hours.”

Elgar must have been in circulation for ten years, I suppose. Instead he’ll have to make do with the statue of him in Hereford.

iPod – a mixed blessing

After playing with a friend’s iPod nano, I was bowled over – such a great user interface! So I got a blue one for myself a few weeks ago. What with all the leafleting, and the slaving over a hot printing machine, there’s plenty of time I get to use it.

Except… the first time I took it out leafleting, the thing froze up. Froze solid as the screen merged from one track to another.

It wasn’t till I got home and had access to Google that I figured out the key combination to reset it. (Press and hold middle and down)

Then last week, I started leafleting, plugged in my ears, found what I wanted to listen to… strained… and couldn’t hear it at all. Somehow, every track on the device was too quiet to hear.

I think iTunes had changed the volume on everything. Again, getting home, googling, found an answer (basically, go to iTunes, select everything, right-click, Get Info, and use the boost volume setting for every track you have) – but it was another leafleting session without access to my choonez.

Except, as you may already have guessed, I’m not actually listening to music. Mostly, it’s podcasts from the BBC. I started downloading them almost as soon as they were available, more to encourage them in a good thing rather than because I wanted to listen to them. Now I have hours worth of various programmes to help me on my way. This evening, whilst printing, I had two hours of From Our Own Correspondent. The Now Show has been an old favourite. The Today Programme 8am slot has kept me going for a few extra rounds.

Shame there’s so little comedy.

Just what are my local Tories up to?

My local Tories spent the last Full Council meeting rattling their sabres.  They made it very clear that Labour’s current budget would just be an “interim” budget, because after May, the place would be full of “young, professional Conservative Councillors” with new brooms ready to sweep the place clean.

This is quite a tall order.  I think they have to quadruple their current numbers to take outright control.  They’re currently languishing behind us, and they did much worse than us at the last Council elections.

And there’s no sign they are campaigning for it on the ground.  I live in a Lab/Con marginal ward.  It elected 2 Lab, 1 Con last time, but the Tories (and we!) were hammered into the ground in the by-election caused by the surprised Conservative victor resigning the seat we don’t think she expected to win, a few months into the last Council.

In the last six months, I’ve received a number of Labour leaflets.  Some of them are even quite good, as Labour leaflets go.

Nada from the Tories.

Once, a year ago, there were Tory leafletters in my local high street handing leaflets out – but that’s a slightly scattergun approach to getting your message out.

Similarly, they were spotted with a street stall at a market in the North of the city, so one of our spies helped themselves to a full selection of literature.  Not much evidence of these “young, professionals.”  Lots of evidence of the usual suspects.

The Tory Shadow Minister for Nottingham, Angela Lansbury helpfully told the Nottingham Evening Post recently that there was no way the Conservatives could take the city, a statement that was hastily rebutted by the local lot who retorted in a letter that that was precisely what they were intending to do.

But how?  It seems that they think that because the opinion polls are doing reasonably well for the Tories nationally, they will simply mop up seats in the city without having to do anything like knock on doors or deliver leaflets.

Or maybe they will suddenly come from no-where and have a huge leafletting campaign in April – but that is really leaving things a little late.

If they do manage to win the council on the back of one month’s leafletting, my aching legs and feet will curse them!

Blogmeet report

Well, yesterday’s Nottingham blogmeet ended up a marked success, I thought.

I turned up at the Broadway rather late. I’ve not been there since their refurbishment, so it was a bit of a shock how swanky the place looks now. The bloggers were easy enough to identify, sitting in a corner, so I went and got a beer and came to sat down at what turned out to be the non-blogger end with a rather sweet couple of pretty young men who were there as part of Mike’s coterie. And they said Hi, and asked what my blog was about, and I said, politics, and they asked which flavour, and I said Lib Dem, and they asked, so what do the Lib Dems have to offer, then?

I ought to be used to that question by now. It comes up whenever I tell new people what I do for a living. And yet so often in a social setting I get blindsided by the question and end up fighting fire – no we’re not in favour of nuclear weapons, no, we’re not about to jump into bed with the Labour party, no, etc.

I should really just parrot those words from the constitution at them:

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair free and open society in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity.

They’re printed on the membership card, and I can almost recite them without having to cheat and look at the card again. I particularly like the “none shall be enslaved by conformity” part.

Time and time again, though, the best answer I can come up with on the spot is

The Liberal Democrats exist

which doesn’t really cut the mustard.

Still, the initial sticking point passed, the conversation flowed more freely as I had more to drink, or at least it felt like it did. It turned out that several people had beefs with the City Council in ways I can probably help fix if they send me the details, so I dished out business cards here and there.

And eventually, moving on was discussed, and the gay end of the table relocated en masse to the next door gay bar the Lord Roberts, where more beer was consumed, and the conversation took on a more scurrilous nature.

At various points in the evening, Mike left and returned, Alan phoned for reinforcements, James quizzed me about incinerators and Miss Mish, erm. Miss Mish, erm, talked about all sorts of things that cannot be repeated. And lent me her pashmina and hat.

Far too much alcohol was consumed.  I arrived at 3pm, left shortly before 11pm, and was drinking all evening.  I’m out of practice for that sort of thing.

Progession of tiredness

On finishing leaflet bundle #1

… that wasn’t so bad at all.  There was hardly anything in that bundle.  I can do this all day if I have to.

On finishing leaflet bundle #2

… hey, still not so bad.  I’ll be home well early today. Maybe I will have the energy to tidy the house after all.  I’ll just go and have a wee bit of lunch and a sit down.

Halfway through leaflet bundle #3 it hits you

… oh, my legs and feet.  I can’t drag my weary self around another street, let alone another do hundred leaflets, I’d better take five minutes to drag my sorry soul to the garage around that corner for a can of coke and packet of paracetamol.

On finishing bundle #3

… can I really do four bundles in one day?  shall I go home and return tomorrow to do the last bundle?  Or is it better just to get it out of the way now?

On finishing bundle #4

… relief. Tiredness.  Legs and feet ache (must get new insoles for boots).

Have to do this again and again, three times a week at least for the next eight weeks. Oh dear, oh dear.

Nottingham blogmeet

There is a Nottingham blogmeet this Saturday, as Alan reminds me.

It’s in the Broadway cafébar from 2pm until early evening. Further details care of Troubled Diva and Rullensberg Rules.
I plan to be there, but… well…

Thing is, we have a delivery day that day.  So I will definitely be out pounding the pavements in the morning, and I probably ought to be doing so in the afternoon too.  Which means being busy til about 3, then being all hot and sweaty and smelly, so will have to go home and shower.  Then it will be a bit late.

And I worry that all these people will know each other, and I won’t have been able to find the time to read any of their contributions at all, bar the occasional dip in at Mike over at Troubled Diva on days when he’s not writing erudite things about pop music that I know nothing of.

Although the world of political bloggers seems quite cosy and well known to me, and many people know me through the various political link exchanges and aggregators, the bloggers of the Real World seem quite remote to me!