I've been juggling two Local Parties for some months now, Dulwich & West Norwood, where I lived for so many years and am Membership Secretary, and Brent Borough, where I now live and am Secretary. And now I kind of have a third, so step forward Bury St Edmunds Liberal Democrats!
Ros and I threw a small cocktail party for some of her oldest friends on Saturday evening, as much to renew old friendships as to introduce me to Suffolk Liberal Democrat society. I say 'Ros and I' although Ros did all of the hard work (supported ably by Sally and Jamie) whilst I spent a blissfully happy afternoon up to my elbows on hot, soapy water doing dishes.
I admit to being a Londoner from head to toe, and have spent my political life watching the melee that is politics there. Suffolk is, on the surface at least, rather gentler but I am entranced by the warmth and rooted nature of politics there. In fact, I might almost be tempted to run for public office there, were it not for the minor difficulty caused by my London residence.
A group of Ros's oldest and dearest political friends were able to join us, and whilst I was a mite nervous (there is always a sense, conscious or otherwise, that you are being judged), they were incredibly welcoming. I hope that I can repay their faith in the years ahead, and look forward to spending time with them, either individually or collectively, as the opportunity arises.
The evening ended with a small group of us, Jamie, his girlfriend Lisa, Ros's sister Ann, the neighbours Marcus and Nikki and the two of us singing to the accompaniment of Marcus and Jamie on guitar under a dark sky. It may be the romance talking, but evenings like this put the bureaucracy into perspective...