Friday, 9 October 2015

Busy Summer!!!

I am guilty of neglecting my blog and can only blame the summer which seemed to be packed with activities......but I tend to mend my ways!

So am going to recount some to he things we have been involved in starting more or less at the end of the period.
We came back from our main holiday on 1st Oct and had to have a quick turnaround before departing for Manchester on the 3rd Oct.  You can imagine the amount of washing to be done after 3 weeks away in hot climes and then having to sort out suitable clothing for the North and cooler temperatures.
There is something quite therapeutic and of course necessary about tackling washing and somehow I rested a little easier knowing this task had been done before we departed for Manchester.
The purpose of the trip was twofold...
1. going to Man City/Newcastle Match at the Etihad.  My husband has been a lifelong supporter and this was his birthday present from me
2. attending Conservative Conference from Sunday until Weds.

The match was particularly rewarding as Man City won impressively 6-1.  As it was a special occasion I organised "Citizens Hospitality"  so we had a good (padded) seat and a meal!.. I can't say I am a natural supporter but having a brother and husband who are fanatical about it you have no choice but to get involved.  I almost enjoy it now particularly attending a match.  There is something about the roar of the crowd, the banter, the colour, the scale......



We stayed at the Piccadilly Hotel as it is central and convenient. We checked in around 6pm and settled down in our room.  Very soon after unpacking the noise started.  Protesters who seemed to anti everything had congregated in the Park opposite the hotel.  They had loudhailers and "music" which constituted drums and heavy thumping.  Despite numerous complaints nothing seemed to be done to stop it.  We had very little sleep.  The following day (Sunday) we made our way to the Conference Centre. Even though a security wall was erected around the Centre we still had run the gauntlet and tried hard not to make eye contact as the  jeering and finger jabbing mob hurled insults at us.  In my opinion they were allowed to be too close to us and should have been pushed back so not to obstruct. We really can't understand the policing policy on this.. We were luckier than some who were pushed and spat upon.  We have never experienced anything as ugly as this.  Whatever happened to free speech and decorum.

Despite the daily hassle we still enjoyed the Conference particularly the second half. Some wonderful inspirational speeches on prison reform and measures already taken to stop reoffenders and the support that is now available. One man who spoke was a serial criminal who after having finally experienced a traumatic event started to respond to those trying to help and embraced support to become usefully employed.  He now mentors others.
One of the stands at the Conference apparently this was the actual Carling Cup.......

The key speeches, Osborne, Boris and David Cameron were impressive and Im sure you have read at length the variety of impressions of the content. The speakers from Scotland, Ireland and Wales were also emotional and impressive.  You can't help but be impressed with politicians who are on top of their game and show such commitment, stamina and vision. These roles are 24/7 and not for the faint hearted.
 


Well we left feeling quite uplifted but very tired - in addition to the noise already mentioned on another night we were wakened by the fire alarm and the hotel was evacuated.  There we all were standing on the cold pavement in quite an array of clothing - some with bare feet....at 4am.  We were told a guest had decided to smoke in his room.......

It was so good to get home and sleep our own bed again......