Week 2 10th - 17th March
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Monday 8th

Woke up with one of those colds which you know will last a week. Not ideal. Especially as I'm meant to be going ormering today this afternoon for the first time. An opportunity not to be missed, cold or not.

I Had to go into town to get those extra snaps developed in 1 hour at Boots

Spent the hour waiting in the library, putting final corrections to my manifesto. But, ooops! I lost it on the way home. Somebody's going to be having an insight into my ideas - and maybe a chuckle.

Met my old school friend Chris and Angus at 1pm down at Grandes Rocques. Full moon was 2 days ago and this is the 6th ormering tide of the year; picking were scarse - or worse. Dressed in waterproofs, wellies and guernseys (or a "shortie" in my case), we spent an hour either side of the low tide turning over rocks in the shallows and in rock pools and peering into cracks in the rocks for the elusive ormer (aka abalone). Our master ormerer, Angus came away with 4 nice sized specimens; Chris andI, zero.

BBC article on ormering

It's an odd perspective you get on the island from out there, way beyond Fort Grey, looking back at the island. You see all sorts of creatures too: star fish, hundreds of lady crabs, small crabs with long claws - almost halfway between a crab and a crayfish - sea anemones and red coral-like growths on the rocks.

Great fun - the weather was fine, if a little brisk and we sat in The Imperial afterwards, watching the tide rise over the alien landscape we had been exploring not 2 hours before.

Re-did those finishing touches to the manifesto in the evening.

Tuesday 9th
Some time today: See Ephraim at Hamilton Brooke about getting my manifesto printed

Urgh! The cold that came to stay.

My meeting with Ephraim was very good - I took my amateurish document and my home snaps with me and had the other photos delivered by Chris George. Ephraim started asking me what I wanted to do with it all but, after some general pointers, told me that he would look after the rest. Great!

Not much else today - feeling crook!

Wednesday 10th
States in session - 1st day

Went down to the States to sit in for a while. After the rubber-stamping of several previously passed laws, including one regarding environmental polution (which strangely seemed mostly concerned with mobile phone antennae!), the first thing on the agenda was the Board of Health's plans to build a car park at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, opposed by the Island Development Committee.

The problem is that they want to use a green field site and there's little enough green space in the island already. Puts one in mind of the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi".

There's not much doubt that they need the space because most of the island's health services are going to be centralised there - but one can't help wondering how they didn't see this issue coming up. They need more space and, because there are few viable transport alternatives. The site isn't near the central bus terminus and the staff work irregular shifts. They should have been getting on with providing alternatives over the last couple of years.

It's about time they put a realistic price on car usage. They should build the least obtrusive car park they can, whatever it costs and recoup the money through charging visitors for parking. Just like they already do at the airport.

The Board of Health won and the car park got approval. Goodbye another acre of precious greenery.

My bad head, stuffy nose and cough decided to head home mid-morning.

Got home to find that I had to head back down to Hamilton Brooke to approve their copy. Crikey! It's almost too professional! It's got sky & grass backdrops and there's a picture of some kids using a computer.

Download it from here: manifesto.pdf

Went for a sauna and steamroom treatment afterwards at Beau Sejour. Typically for gym users, I joined about 2 weeks ago but haven't used it much since, though in my case I'm excused as I've had this cold on and off since. Anyway, it's good to see our public facilities improving like that! As someone said to me recently, there's no reason why it should be crap just because it's public.

Hopefully I won't have to come in again as they're going to send me pdf copies by email. Which is a relief!

Set up my web-site.

Thursday 11th
States in session - 2nd day
7.30pm Mock hustings, Les Beaucamps

Still not feeling so good - have decided not to attend the States debate today.Listening on the radio instead.

They have been discussing the first requete - to employ more Speech Therapists locally as a matter of urgency.

There was an article in today's Press about tonight's mock hustings, which, made me sound a bit thick: "Fundamentally, the reason I want to stand is to give people the choice"... did I say that? :-)

Backwards and forwards with the efficient June at Hamilton Brooke trying to get my manifesto sorted out.

Wrote and re-wrote my speech for tonight's mock hustings.

Was meant to be going out for dinner after tonight's meeting but have decided that this cold is going to make it difficult. Home and bed instead, I think.

Later... The hustings was good - even though the weather was pretty terrible and probably put some people off. Only 10 or so in the audience, including deputies Dave Jones & Bernard Flouquet - and my glamorous assistant, T. I thought the content of my speech was alright it was but stilted - I need to learn it better and make notes rather than read it.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Ann Robilliard and the questions were:

Deputies Jones & Flouquet were pretty verbose, as you would expect, but did have some good tips for hustings including:

Somehow it was much more encouraging speaking to the deputies than it was speaking to John Nicolle last weekend; my goal seemed more attainable.

Nomination time is approaching. I was a little nervous of doing so, because I'm not sure she has been taking my decision to stand particularly seriously until now but after the meeting I asked Ann if she would consider nominating me. She agreed. Nice!

T & I adjourned to the Captain's afterwards for a restorative.

Friday 12th
States in session - 3rd day

Feeling a bit better today - may go down to the chamber this afernoon.

On the agenda today,2 requetes: Mary Lowe wants a Tribunal to investigate the events behind the Sandpiper vinery affair and Eric Walters wants another investigation into the appointment of the subcontractors on the airport terminal building who subsequently went bust.

In the meantime, time to catch up with my web log.

Went down to the Chamber later in the afternoon to have a last look. Today is the last day of the current term.

There most interesting debate was concerning a Requete (prayer) to the house for a tribunal to investigate the decision of the IDC to allow a large scale commercial development in a Green Zone in St Peter's. A health products company was planning to build a very large scale packing plant at the Sandpiper Vinery and it seems they presented their case very professionally. I think the IDC got carried away with their considerations for the island's economy, to the detriment of their duties as members of the IDC. That's the trouble with the committee system - that people wear several hats and even they sometimes don't know which one they should be wearing. The requete was lost - pity! I think will be perceived as a bit of a white-wash, even though it probably isn't.

Saturday 13th

Woke up feeling a lot better today - which is a relief!

Right, everything seems to be on course. Manifesto will be ready on Monday or Tuesday, web site is up and running, web log is coming along, I've written and presented my hustings speech (it'll need to be tweaked and polished - later). This weekend is for sorting out my nominations.

Nomination forms have to be received by the Bailiff's office some time between Monday 15th and Friday 26 March. As it's my first election and I'm not particularly well known as yet, I'm aiming to hand it in first thing on Monday morning. Nail my colours to the mast.

I think perhaps because of my somewhat green credentials, Ann is willing to take a punt on me. I called her this morning and she said to pop in so that she could sign my form.

Meanwhile, I was trying to rustle up a seconder, preferably from St Andrews. I had a few suggestions to follow up...

It's a lovely day today - spring seems finally to have arrived. Lovely clear sky, god is in his heaven and everything is right with the world! Aaah - I donned the shorts and jumped on the old bicycle for a quick spin down towards the Ville Au Roi. Luvverly! Fresh air ciruclating around the old pins and I was down there in 5 minutes.

It's surprising how differently people view this nomination business; some take it very seriously, some more lightly. Ann tells me that the nominators are published in the Gazette Officielle. I think it means a lot to the circle of people who are conscious of the Guernsey network for one reason of another - avid readers of the Gazette; for people who haven't concerned themselves particularly with politics, which is the vast majority of the population, it means much less. Perhaps because the deputies are already in it, they realise that it's a sort of game are perhaps more willing, therefore, to take a chance.

Left there half an hour later with a fantastic nominator and half way there.

The afternoon I spent with a friend, demolishing a concrete wall in his garden to make way for a sun-trap patio which I hope to see in use within the next couple of months.

Evening spent catching up with some more blogging.

Sunday 14th

Have to sort out my second nominator today. It seems to be under control - a good friend of mine who happens to be a pillar of the community has agreed to do it. Going to see him at 11 o'clock.

Not in - but we've arranged to meet up tomorrow morning, so I'm still hoping to get my nomination in first thing. I'd thought I would have to return it to the Douzaine Office in St Martins, but it turns out that I have to take it to the Baillif's office in the Royal Court building.

Took the afternoon and evening off from politics and had sunday lunch at the Bon Port with T. 4 courses inc. beef & yorkshire puds, etc for 12.95. Great!

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