Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just another hectic weekend

The weekend was one of those hectic, manic episodes of whizzing around Blaydon constituency taking photos, producing leaflets and going to meetings. It started on Saturday morning with my taking photos for the Whickham North Councillors. Then I have to rush down to Ryton for the Blaydon constituency meeting, storming in 10 minutes late with 2 large plates of sandwiches for the buffet lunch.

Once the meeting had discussed the latest madcap decision of the Highways Agency to block a factory development on the Team Valley, we then got on to the issue of library closures. Gateshead Council want to close Lobley Hill and Ryton Libraries. I remember LH library from when I was a kid so I would be sorry to see the loss of it. The end result was that the meeting wants me to organise the campaign to save them.

So at the end of the meeting as everyone was eating the sandwiches I had brought, I spent my time explaining to the Ryton and Lobley Hill/Dunston Hill members how I would run the campaign. Fortunately the sandwiches hadn't run out so I took what was left home with me for an impromptu lunch.

I had two hours to put the Lobley Hill and Dunston Hill Focus leaflets together before heading down to Lobley Hill library to take photos with Allison Chatto and Yvonne McNicol, the Lib Dem councillors for Dunstion Hill and Whichkam East (which includes part of LH) and Susan Craig, our Focus Team leader in LH.

With the light beginning to fail, we whizzed round LH to get some more photos taken for our Focus newsletters. Once back home I was able to put the pics into the Focus files then head down to the office in Whickham to print the first batch of 300 for delivery the next day.

By the time I was back home and had had my dinner, it was 10.30pm. But I refused to forego my normal Saturday night relaxation - a long hot soak and the read of a good history book. I climbed out of the bath at 12.30am and rolled into bed.

Sunday was equally manic. I was in Rowlands Gill for a meeting with our council candidate at 11am, back to my house at midday for a meeting with our Winlaton and High Spen team and then down to Ryton at 2pm to take photos of the 3 cllrs outside the library. Back home, I put together the Ryton Focus newsletter, churned off a load of target mail and then went back to the office with Noel Rippeth , our group leader to print the Ryton Focuses.

I got to bed at 1am and then got up at 1.15am, having realised I had forgotten to back up a load of files I needed to take with me to London. Back to bed at 1.30am.

I sleep walked about the house on Monday morning trying to wake up. The train I was due to catch was at 8.30am. We would normally set off in the car to Newcastle half an hour before the train is due to leave. But not this time. The traffic builds up on the Sunniside to Lobley Hill road and congestion is the order of the day. We had to leave early to avoid it. Problem was, I ended up getting to the Central Station with half an hour to kill. Had I left leaving the house a few minutes, the chances are I would have missed the train!

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