A slow start yesterday morning, as the ravages of jetlag were still impacting on Team Ros. Breakfast with the Holmes, plus cat interaction, before being dropped at Chesterfield station for the brief train ride to Derby, where we were met by Lucy Care, our PPC for the target seat of Derby North, and Ruth Sheldon, Executive Member for Adult Services on Derby City Council.
Our first stop was 'Soundbites', an organic grocery store run as a workers' co-operative. Upstairs, we were shown into the office of 'Bike-It', part of Sustrans, where Mike spoke eloquently about their efforts to get children onto their bikes for journeys to and from school and elsewhere. Ros, Lucy and Ruth talked about the implications of achieving that, as well as about things that local councils can do to make things easier.
For the record, I suspect that amongst the many reasons why children don't cycle to school any more is 'stranger danger'. We have indoctrinated both parents and children to minimise risk at all costs, and that means not allowing your children out of your sight. If you do, and something happens, you risk abuse from the media for being neglectful of your children's safety.
Next, we visited the shop, and took tea and a bowl of carrot and aubergine soup whilst Ros was interviewed by a reporter from the Derby Evening Telegraph. I did a little shopping, purchasing a bottle of the locally produced Amber Ale (organic, just 13 food miles), whilst Ros was photographed looking at ethically sourced, organic products.
Our final stop, for the bureaucrat at least, was the Party HQ, where we stuck labels on European election addresses. So I finally got to make a small contribution to the campaign to get Ed Maxfield elected as our second candidate in the East Midlands, which pleases me a lot. Ed and I were at university together, albeit two years apart, and he's a great guy. He'll add weight to our Group in the European Parliament and represent his constiutents as they deserve to be, with vigour and enthusiasm.
I carried on labelling whilst Ros did a brief session of canvassing but, all too soon, it was time for the next stage of our Derbyshire weekend...