You might have noticed that I wasn't around here much on Thursday because I'd been invited to spend the day at the opulent Liberal Democrat Voice Towers as guest editor. Thankfully the kitchen is the preserve of Sara Bedford, so there's always fresh baking around, Alex Foster provides welcome feelgood bellringing, Mummy Helen has a real techie treasure trove and (whispers), I found the key to Dr Pack's chocolate stash. Pink Dog has her own very plush parlour where you can sink into plump, welcoming cushions when you're tired.
I still can't quite believe that they let me loose on their site for the day. My aim was to provide a bit of a showcase about what was going on in Scotland but not in such a way that people south of the Border would think it was nothing to do with them. I hope that the example of how Jenny Dawe and her administration transformed Edinburgh, and how Katy Gordon's campaign team more than doubled local membership will inspire. I hope that the articles on higher education will inform and help the discussions south of the border in the wake of the Browne Report. And when I first read Peter Barrett's report on how he has health and housing convener had taken a housing service with a poor record and turned it round, I actually cried.
It was a busy day, and I was shattered by the end of it. Most of the pieces I'd asked for had come in by Wednesday and were all ready to go up. All I had to do on Thursday was to write up the debate on tuition fees and interview Jo Swinson for five minutes. Easy!
Well it's easy if you wake up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed! My brain felt like it was full of sludge last Thursday. I got it done, though, just in time to interview Jo.
Thanks to Anna, who set it all up for me, I recorded the interview. I'd thought it would be a brief five minute affair, but, free of the necessity to write down copious notes, the conversation flowed quite naturally for a whole 21 minutes. We talked about everything from sport, to Strictly Come Dancing, to gender stereotyping to door knocking to the Coalition, to calling Tories "Honourable Friends", to Nigeria to living with allergies. Typing that up, in 3 parts, took most of the evening.
It was after 10 when I finally finished writing my farewell piece.
Just for posterity, here is a list of all the articles which went up that day. My thanks to all the contributors, Paul Freeman, Callum Leslie, Tim Farron, Susan Kramer, Jenny Dawe, Stephen Glenn, Katy Gordon, George Lyon MEP and Peter Barrett for their articles and to Alexandra White and Jo Swinson MP for being such brilliant and easy to talk to interviewees.
From the top:
Presidential Prospects, Passionate Debate and Poll Confidence - a day of inspiration, optimism and hope - an introduction to a day I hoped would soothe and invigorate after a tough couple of weeks.
Opinion: A First Timer's Guide to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference 2010 by Paul Freeman who blogs at Set in Darkness
Opinion: We are a Party founded on the principles of free education by Callum Leslie
Susan Kramer: Why you should back me for Party President (Scotland specific)
Tim Farron: Why you should back me for Party Presdident (Scotland specific)
Delivering a bright new future for Edinburgh by Cllr Jenny Dawe
The Speaker who stole the show at Scottish Conference - an interview with 14 year old sensation Alexandra White
A snapshot of a first class debate - a Scottish perspective on Higher Education
Opinion: the day the Northern Irish came to Scottish Conference by Stephen Glenn
We should be ambitious in our campaigning - by Katy Gordon
George Lyon MEP - our high hopes for the Scottish Parliament elections
Door Knocking, Deputy Leader and Honourable Friends - Interview with Jo Swinson Part 1
Sport, Gender Stereotyping and Gender Specific Marketing - Interview with Jo Swinson Part 2
Helping children with allergies and Nigeria with climate change - all in a year's work. Interview with Jo Swinson MP part 3
Opinion: How we transformed Housing in Perth and Kinross by Cllr Peter Barrett
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight