After the peace and serenity of a well oiled conference machine that ensured everything worked well (conveniently overlooking the reference back on local government policy paper) I have been hit by the blizzard of things going wrong.
I left London on the 9pm train last night to head back the the North East. As usual, David arrived at Newcastle Central Station to drive me over to Sunniside, our home village in western Gateshead. He went back to the house and I headed down to the Blaydon constituency office to print one side of the Dunston and Teams A3 main leaflet which was needed this morning for delivery. (The by-election is on 28th Sept.)
The advantage with doing printing at 2am is that I am guaranteed a parking place outside the office. Inside the office, quite where the black drum for the riso was parked was something of a mystery. I then remembered that the machine had been serviced in the afternoon. Presumably the black drum was taken away by the engineer for further work. No choice about it but to print the leaflet in blue.
2000 back pages were run off. My colleagues Alan and Marilynn were due in first thing this morning to print off the front page. I then headed back home to find David lying on the settee with his shoulder in agony. But I couldn't convince him to go to the A&E.
After 4 hours sleep he woke me at 7am, having decided that he needed to go to hospital after all. So I drove him over to the A&E at the Gateshead Queen Elizabeth Hospital and waited with him whilst he saw the nurse. He then had a wait of 2 hours to see the doctor so I headed home.
About 15 minutes after getting back to bed, Alan phoned to say there was a problem with the disk and he could not recover the file from it for printing. 15 minutes further on I was back in the Blaydon office with another copy of the file which fortunately this time worked.
A txt came through from David telling me he had a dislocated shoulder and they were about to screw his arm back into place. Some people will go to any lengths to get out of delivering their leaflets!
When Charles Jevon the agent arrived at the office to collect the leaflets I decided I might as well volunteer to deliver a patch. I ended up with 300 leaflets to do on the estate where the BNP candidate lives. However, it was the sort of area that can be delivered in less than an hour.
With the patch delivered, I tried a number of times to phone David but got no response. Back home I read the Labour leaflet that I had found lying on a pavement (it was my public duty to remove such litter). Most of it was in some way slagging off the government or pointing to the failings of the council - ironically on the failure to collect litter!
So typically Labour in Gateshead. Their campaign slogan should be, "Labour are crap, vote Labour"
I eventually got through to the A&E dept who told me David had just been discharged. Seconds later came a call to me from a nurse saying he was ready for collection. So back to the hospital I went.
He's had a kip this afternoon (I could do with one myself) and now he's up and about as if nothing had happened! I wonder if that means I can get him to deliver a leaflet patch tomorrow!?
I've just started to go through over 400 photos and 4 hours of video I took at conference. I'll put the Blogger of the Year reception on Youtube shortly. Anyone unfortunate enough to have been caught by me on camera will be sent copies.