Election day – i

Back home on the patio for a much-needed coffee after a couple of hours outside the rather breezy St Barnabas polling station. Sunny spells means that people are much more cheerful than the rather vile weather we had in May! Calls of “hello” from passers-by on the other side of the street and suchlike are always encouraging.

I’ll put in another couple of hours this evening. Most of Worcester Greens are over in Herefordshire, to support Ellie Chowns who stands an excellent chance, but I’m not up to a full day’s activities there.


I’ve agreed to print and fold 63,000 A5 double-sided “blue letters” for Carla Denyer in Bristol. She’s our best hope for a / an additional Green MP, so I’m pleased to help. 7,000 were done at the start of last weeks, and an additional 2,000 were collected on Friday. Slightly different artwork for the batch I’ve just finished – below is what 20,000 blue letters looks like! Only 34,000 to go. Still massive problems with te folding machine – it only does about 1-2,000 folds before giving up and needing the temporary fix of a wire through where the defective roller pin should go replaced.

Also, sadly, Mum was unresponsive when Sharon tried to wake her on Saturday, and was taken to JR. An MRI revealed a bleed on the brain – a stroke, in short. On Sunday she was apparently unresponsive while being washed, but – to the surprise of the medical team – came to when she heard Jane’s voice talking to the nurses. She’s apparently eating and drinking OK, and can speak in short sentences, very slowly. Per her advance directions, no major intervention is to take place: she’s on supportive care only. I’m going over tomorrow- rather earlier than usual, as I hope to be there when the doctor does their rounds.

I’m still very shaky on the least exertion. Feels like a massive adrenaline buzz, or like far too much caffeine. Blood test on Wednesday morning (12th).

upcycling ?

Being a good Green, I’m recycling the banner I had for the local elections to do duty at the General Election. Cut down, border glued, eyelets applied, handwritten imprint in white acrylic marker … it’s ready to go somewhere that gets more passing traffic than my quiet road!

Ouch – it’s noisy!

The WGP folding machine arrived on Wednesday. It did a few test folds, and 400 of St Clements, then stopped. Not working!  Investigation showed that the roller pin that connects the friction drive had fallen out. I put it back in, and it did another 300 or so, and the same thing happened! I rang the supplier, who said a technician would ring me that afternoon. No phone call. I rang again yesterday (Thursday), but still no call back. Phone call eventually came at lunchtime today … he will send me a replacement roller pin, and in the meantime said I could use a paperclip twisted round! Actually, I’m using garden wire, as I don’t have a paperclip, and it’s working fine (touch wood).


Well, it wasn’t the result we’d hoped for. In Rainbow Hill ward, I failed to get in by about 37 votes, and Josh (my running mate) failed by only a handful more. Things were even closer in Cathedral ward, with Jon missing out by 16 votes, and Leisa by less than a hundred more. We did hold all our existing seats, and increase the total by one (Alex Kinnersley), for a total of 12 councillors out of 35. (full results at https://www.worcester.gov.uk/councillors-democracy/elections/2024-elections and submitted to www.archive.org

Yes: that represents a massive increase in our vote in many areas. Yes: it’s disappointing to have come so close. But my feeling as I went to bed last last night (exhaustedly, at the precedented time of 2145) was not one of disappointment, but a nagging sense of familiarity.

I woke this morning having had a mini-epiphany in my sleep. It was so reminiscent of my first real Theatre job – the five years at Hampstead Theatre, with a newly-written or new-to-England play being put on every six weeks. The morning after Press Night, reading the reviews, knowing we’d done our best for a play we believed in. Some, on reflection, were stinkers. Most did Ok. Some were commercial failures but important in developing a new writer (I remember a dreadful play by Hanif Kureshi). Some gave me a store of anecdotes (a barbecue put on by Paul Newman). Some plays did fantastically well, transferring unexpectedly or otherwise to the West End.

So perhaps I have a slightly different perspective to many of my colleagues: I’m more used to the kind of roller-coaster experiences, albeit on a shorter time-scale. Still we’ve got the General Election shortly – and despite the balance of seats on the council, because our vote was so close, we have pretty much the same overall number of people voting for us(“share of popular vote”) as Labour do. There’s still much to get worked up about!

tie decision …

I’ve just posted on Facebook:

Sartorial advice needed! Being a gentleman of advancing years and a retiring disposition, I’d normally choose the dark green tie. But the lighter green is an almost perfect match for the Green Party rosette that I’ll be wearing (tomorrow, standing outside a polling station as a Green candidate, and on Friday at the counting of votes), though I’m not a fan of skinny ties.
To go with- tomorrow: navy cord trousers and casual jacket, Friday: charcoal suit with almost imperceptible pinstripe, shirt almost identical to tomorrow’s one (but with French cuffs).

Ugh! Ironing!

This is turning into an annual post!

Ironing is one of my least favourite domestic chores, ranking well above emptying the cat litter tray on the scale of hatedness. Long gone are the days of ironing a daily shirt at breakfast time before going in to work – it’s a chore I now usually avoid!

However, I’ll need to look marginally less scruffy when standing outside my local polling station on Thursday, and at the Count on Friday, so the iron has been dragged out from the deepest recesses of the cupboard.

more seasonal decorations

The last of the seasonal decorations goes up! It couldn’t be put up earlier, as it cuts down the light that all the plants in the front room need. It’s sort of an extra … when I ordered the banner for the top of Mayfield Road, I had to get two of them to meet the minimum order value.

And before anyone gets on their high horse, the imprint on the banner reads “Promoted by C Wratten on behalf of J Trimmer and N Weeks (Green Party) all at 3 Mayfield Road WR3 8NS”