Sunday, September 24, 2006

Front page splash

Having been away for a fortnight and not having the time yesterday to look at the overly large pile of post waiting for me, I've started to sort through the the missives sent in my direction this morning.

My favourite was the letter from GNER containing a £26 cheque as a part refund for an abandoned journey in August. (The trains weren't running that weekend 2 months ago because of a power failure.) Given I spend nearly one hundred times that sum each year with GNER travelling between Newcastle and London, the chance to get anything back is always nice to have. However, as I was stuck in London, the amount I spent over that weekend as a result was far in excess of £26.

Nevertheless, abandoning the journey was a better option than one I suffered from in May. Then my train got stuck overnight somewhere north of Darlington. Having left London at 10pm, I eventually arrived at Newcastle at 6.30am. As compensation for that, I got two open return tickets to London. I use the last one tomorrow morning. 6am train. Oh joy.

Also included in the post were about 30 survey forms from constituents, a rather nice PEP statement and, most importantly, Lib Dem News from 2 weeks ago. My interest in this was because I took the front page photo (I also used on the front page of Parliamentary Campaigner which I edit.)

My plan for today was to deliver Focus and a petition form about Post Office closures in part of my ward. Since the weather has been of Biblical flood proportions, I have decided to hold off until the end of the week. I'm coming back from London on Wednesday evening (to recover lost sleep after conference, restore my sanity and help in the Dunston and Teams by-election in Gateshead.)

So I have been home today (except for one quick trip down to the office) working instead on the conference videos. This is when I spot all the cock ups. The biggest howler was a video I took of North East reps demonstrating their support for green energy sources on the beach at Brighton. The BBC had turned up as well and in such circumstances, always let the professionals set up the photo ops as they know what they're doing. I simply stand with my video camera as close to the BBC camera as possible.

I use a hand held mic in circumstances where there is a lot of background noise (such as on windy beaches in Brighton). The BBC camera woman offered a feed to my camera to pick up the audio instead but we found we couldn't get a link between the two. So I returned to using the mic. Today I have found that it must have been switched off. So I have a completely silent Fiona Hall MEP. Fat lot of use that is.

My next job for today is to prepare my entries for the Northern Region's campaigns awards. Watch out colleagues as on this I am determined to win at least one of the 5 awards! No stone will be left unturned in pursuit of victory on this. Pity those who stand in my way! You have been warned!

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