Saturday entailed a latish start, as we weren't due in the award winning Tedburn St Mary (Best Village of 2001!) until after lunch but, as we had some time to spare and a little shopping to do, we made our way to Okehampton for a gentle stroll to ease the kinks out of my back (it's a little better thank you, although I still ought to have it looked at, methinks...) and grab some coffee.
Okehampton is a pleasant little town on the northern edge of Dartmoor, and has managed to keep its main shopping in the centre, making for a bustling scene on a Saturday. However, sadly, we had to move on to make sure we arrived in good time for the Central Devon AGM, where Ros was the guest speaker.
Business was conducted fairly briskly all things considered, despite a slightly idiosyncratic performance by the Chair and Ros was on her feet somewhat earlier than I might have otherwise feared. She gave a frank and honest appraisal of Party strategy, noting that this had an impact on our targeting strategy in places like Devon, where our primary opposition is the Conservatives.
Ros complimented Sally Morgan, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Central Devon, noting that the Party needed more like her if it was to achieve its goal of selecting and electing more women to Westminster, and I share her enthusiasm. Sally juggles her family and political responsibilities in a manner which demonstrates that she could handle the competing priorities of an MP's role quite easily.
There is an assumption in some quarters that raising a family is a barrier to being a successful candidate. It is - for anyone who is a parent. However, it should not be insuperable, and we have a duty as liberals to ensure that we provide support sufficient to enable anyone to play any role they are qualified to fulfil. It shouldn't be down to the partner, if one exists, to shoulder the burden of support, although there are many who do so uncomplainingly.
Meanwhile, outside, a field full of sheep chewed thoughtfully on the damp grass as a thin drizzle fell throughout. I find sheep intriguing. They aren't very interesting in terms of activity, but I am increasingly suspicious that they have greater understanding of what we're up to than they let on. I wonder what they make of it all?...