Thursday, March 01, 2012

Safely in Inverness for Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

This week has been hectic, all in capitals and underlined in blood. The result is that I'm exhausted before our Scottish Conference even starts.

I should warn you that if you are looking for political gossip and debate, you will be sorely disappointed. This post is cosy domesticity in its entirety.

I'm writing this in the comfort and calm of my sister's house. She's only recently moved so it's the first time I've seen it. I banned myself from helping with the move before she banned me for being useless. Anyone who knows how cluelessly impractical I am will understand.

So, I have dogs sleeping at my feet, children watching 16 and Pregnant on MTV (what is it about that programme - one of Anna's friends always puts it on in our house?) and I have a few minutes to blog.

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Scottish Party HQ helping (or maybe hindering) our fabulous party administrator Linda Wilson.

If you are coming to Conference this weekend, you should know that she's barely had a day off in the last month. And she'll still greet everyone with a friendly smile at the Registration desk and patiently and efficiently deal with any queries and problems. So be sure to thank her for all she's done.

I left Clifton Terrace after a meeting around 8:30 on Tuesday. Twelve hours later I was on the train to Glasgow with my sister. This Conference, you see, is the second most important event happening in Inverness this year. The most important is my sister Honor's wedding to her lovely and perfect-for-her fiancé Jamie. Yesterday was her final fitting for her wedding dress.

I can't speak highly enough of the lovely women in the Bridal Department at Fraser's on Buchanan Street. They were so welcoming and friendly, they really listened to what my sister wanted and then did all the alterations during the course of the day.

We amused ourselves by nabbing a Starbucks, then wandering around the Apple store. I am now absolutely and irrevocably convinced that I need an iMac. I was looking at the MacBook Pro but given that I have my iPad to take out, I might as well go for something cheaper and even more gorgeous. My sister amused herself by changing the internet on the iPhones in the place to look at this blog.

We'd arranged to meet our cousin David there at noon. He took us to the Tea Rooms at the Butterfly and Pig. It was lovely and I had the biggest and most delicious tuna sandwich I'd ever eaten along with a glass of wine. And when I ordered Earl Grey, it came in a china pot, with a proper china cup and saucer, and a jug of milk. So there to those people who tease me for taking milk in my Earl Grey. If they serve it like that in a tea room without being asked, it must be fine.

My sister then dragged me to a clothes shop and made me buy lots of clothes. Including a rather nice pair of boots.

Oh, and a very nice young man at Customer Services at John Lewis let me charge my phone when it ran out of battery.

Everything seemed to go with amazing serendipity and pretty good timing all day.

My sister and I then went out to dinner with my mother to celebrate her retirement. Her last day of work was yesterday. She's always worked, barely taking maternity leave. She's looking forward to some well deserved time for herself, keeping her gorgeous Yorkshire Terriers under control. If you knew Maya, her 6 month old puppy, you would realise exactly the scale of the challenge she faces.

I drove up with my sister this morning and have had a restful afternoon which is excellent preparation for the rigours of the weekend ahead.

Highlights of tomorrow for me include some meetings in the morning, then looking after the SWLD stall in the afternoon for a while, then listening to Nick Clegg and Vince Cable speak, a reception with Nick and Willie Rennie run by Scottish Women Liberal Democrats later. The evening is taken up by the Campbell Commission's consultative session. And then hopefully some people will fancy going out for dinner. My future brother in law has recommended a good real ale pub we can go to.

I have to thank my lovely niece Emma for giving up her bed for tonight. She goes away tomorrow, but she's agreed to share with her sister and has to sleep in a bunk bed. Bless her. If you saw her brand new super king size bed, you would realise what an enormous sacrifice that was.

And my star future brother in law has come to my rescue. I couldn't find the cable I needed to charge the bluetooth keyboard for my iPad and he has managed to find me a replacement.

It's going to be fabulous to have my family around me at Conference for the first time ever. So, if you see them with me, please come and say hello - and don't tell them anything about me that they could potentially tease me about forever. Because they would.

I am missing Bob and Anna. This is the first Scottish Conference I've been to without them so it feels really strange. I'll be away two weekends in a row as there's federal conference next weekend.

Oh, and if you are driving up the A9 tomorrow, there are some nasty roadworks about 10 miles south of Inverness. They have a convoy system in place and it travels at 10mph. The road was pretty quiet when we passed through and it held us up for 10 minutes. If it's as busy as it's likely to be tomorrow, they have the potential to be bothersome so leave in plenty of time.

I hope to see lots of the people who read this over the next few days. It looks like we're going to have a pretty vibrant Conference in one of the loveliest places I know. Most of the important places of my childhood were within a few minutes' walk of the venue and it just feels comforting to be here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:My sister's dining room table

1 comment:

KelvinKid said...

Only one real ale pub? Huh, I know three and I've got a map.


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