Week 6 5th - 11th April
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Monday 5th

This week's plan is to cover this area. Which is the most western part of my patch. It takes a fair while just to work out which bits of the Digimap map relate to which parts of the "walking list" before I even start.

Today's plan is to head down La Villette, Les Marettes Lane and the Long Trac and see how I'm going after that.

One of the first houses I go to turns out to be the residence of Mike Torode. Oops! His wife is very nice, though. :-)

It's quite cold today and by the time I get down to the end of the Les Marettes, my hands are cold and I would welcome a place to stop and have a cup of tea. No joy until I head down Long Trac and knock on the door of the parents of an old friend of mine. Mr M invites me in and in his kitchen is a cluster of bottles containing Mrs M's 2002 vintage sloe-gin - of which Mr M kindly offers me a sample. Aaah!

Mr M is one of the many people who tell me on the subject of traffic that we should be focusing on allowing cars to move more freely. Well yes, but apart from the perhaps questionable planning by States Works, the fundamental problems of congestion and the need for so much road maintenance are largely caused by the volume (and size!) of traffic we have on the roads.

From there it's down towards Rue de la Fallaise. Lovely places down there - really rural. There are horses and goats all over the place and enormous gardens. When I reach the end I decide not to go down to the one house I've got listed in Petit Bt.

A bit cold but not a bad day's walk - back home to polish my radio and newspaper manifestos for tomorrow.

Tuesday 6th
Manfesto interview Radio Guernsey 1pm
Manfesto to Guernsey Press

The plan today is to cover the Rue des Croutes, then Les Pages and back towards Les Martins. In the afternoon I will head west towards Les Rebouquets.

The weather's a bit nicer today and I head out early so that I can cover a bit of ground before I have to go down to the BBC at lunch time. When I'm at the house on the corner of Rue des Croutes and Clos des Fontaines, I spot a bus / oil tanker traffic jam. You've got to admit that these vehicles are pretty cumbersome around these roads in particular!

In the Clos des Fontaines, I meet Dawn Leigh-Morgan and her regal old cat. Like most of the people who take the time to talk, Dawn is kind and encouraging as Dawn. Some of the more traditionalists see my campaign as a bit brash, but there are probably an equal number who don't politicians on their own terms and are eager to see some new blood in the government... and probably on the floor of the house! :-)

I stop in at another old school friend's dad's house for a coffee before heading along Les Pages, past what turns out to be Tom Scott's where I talk to his secretary.

From there, it's back home to submit my manifesto to the Guernsey Press and then I head down to the BBC. The lovely Gemma Carre does the "interview" but allows me to re-record the bits which haven't come across too well and gives me plenty of say about how it will sound. All very easy - and interesting to see the editting process.

When I come out of the studio, John McQuaige has arrived. He's a businessman who runs a mail order company called "MX2" - unsurprisingly, he's concerned about the commercialisation of Guernsey's public utilities, especially the Post Office, whose charges have risen dramatically this year. Apparently someone has parked a Porsche in the BBC spaces - must be his, I surmise.

As I'm going through town, I spot the bit yellow "Hum Vee" vehicle that is so noticeable on the island's roads (and this is the smaller newer version!) and the owner getting in... is that "Big Dick", the guy who was on Blind Date a few years ago? He's a big guy - maybe 6'8" if not taller - perhaps he needs an exceptionally large vehicle to enfold his gangling limbs.

Back on the beat after lunch to head down Les Hurettes and Le Rebouquet before heading back along the Forest Rd. There aren't too many people in and progress is swift until around 4.30pm. Les Rebouquets marks the western limit of the area I have to cover. Someone says to me that I have got to go all the way down to Jerbourg from here - and all the way to the Castel Church. It is a lot, n'est ce pas?

At about 5.30, the weather deteriorates. Rain, hail and wind blow in but I manage to avoid the worst of it because I'm inside a porch at the time, possibly that of Chris and Antonia and their two kids. Along the road opposite La Trelade Hotel, I am amazed to learn that the area - along the Forest Rd between La Villette and The Chene has no main drain! Apparently it has been delayed by the airport project. I thought the network was complete now, but no, I suppose not - those horrible yellow sewage trucks still pound the lanes, don't they? Come on Guernsey, get up to speed - sort out your sewage!

Wednesday 7th

Today is my godson's birthday, so I head down there for a celebratory breakfast and a game of footie in the morning.

On the way back, I pop into the Thai shop up Mill Street to pick up some essentials for the Chinese dish I am planning to cook for my brother and his wife tonight. Their stock is diminished, due, I learn, to a bureaucratic nightmare they have experienced with their shipper and, hence, the UK Health & Safety people.

Then down to the market to buy some veg and a pork fillet. Some of the market traders are still soldiering on. What is going on with our lovely, historic market? Apparently the States have sold it to McAlpines for 1 on condition that they re-develop it!!! Giving away our heritage to developers who are not even local! What's that about? Now that they have ballsed it up, can we have it back? Criminal!

Today, I'm along Les Croutes and I meet and talk to a variety of interesting people, including Constable Barbara Herve, Joe Dowinton, and the owner of Les Cerisiers, which is in blossom at the moment. I found a sympathetic ear at St Malo - an 80 year old lady who was lamenting the passing of her local community, sacrificed to the expediency of the car. No longer does she meet her neighbours at the local shop or on the bus because they drive everywhere.

I bump into Francis Quin on La Trelade Lane. He tells me that so far he's been too busy with existing States work in the run-up to the machinery of government changes to concentrate on canvassing very much. I can believe it - but the advantage he and the other incumbents have is that they already have a high profile. Swings and roundabouts. Perhaps he is starting to look to his laurels... good! :-)

One of the last doors I knock on is that of Bill Bell, along Les Moulpieds. Ooops! I'll know next time. Along the same road, I meet the States project manager for our glorious waste to energy plant and we talk for 10 minutes.

Home for a run along the chilly but bright cliffs and then out to my brother's to do the meals on wheels. He's got a small baby - also known as Robert Gregson! :-)

Thursday 8th

Heading towards Les Bequets and then Les Varioufs today via La Quevillette

The first door I knock on is John Cleal's. They say that the candidates have more in common with each other than they do with the electorate... we talk about the election for a good 20 minutes before I head out to start work.

The fields between Les Bequets and La Quevillette are really lovely - and the roads are nice and peaceful. Aaah. Slow progress as I chat to several people along the way. The only thing that disturbs the peace is that we are still pretty close to the flight- path here. I knock on Cynthia Cormack's door but there's only the (Portuguese?) cleaning woman in.

After dodging death by walking along the road towards the Old Forge, I feel a certain sense of relaxation come over me as I head down Les Varioufs and then Les Quatre Vents. A big bank holiday weekend is in prospect and I'm going out for a meal at the old "Absolute End" tonight to sample their Salon Culinaire / Guernsey Naturally menu. Again, there are plenty of people who want to talk, but I'm back home by 6pm.

Excellent food - and not the stodgy atmosphere which I was somehow anticipating. Lovely!

Friday 9th
Good Friday

A day of rest - and a little gardening - and sitting outside in the sunshine! :-)

Saturday 10th

A full day of knocking on doors today. Loads of ground still to cover before a week on Wednesday so it's down the Oberlands, back up Les Frieteaux and all the way up to the Old Forge along Rue Poudreause and Rue Cauchee.

An (apparently typical) traffic jam between the Ville Au Roi and the Hospital involving two buses. Those buses really are too big.

A surprising number of people are out - normally it's about 50:50 but today there are whole stretches where there's nobody in. Again, lots of the people who are in want to talk - and I seem to be improving when it comes to people with whom I don't inititally see quite eye- to-eye.

I stop in at Anne Robilliard's to give her a 10 minute update before carrying on. Towards the end of my route, I have another break for 10 minutes with an old school friends of mine who now has a couple of sweet little girls.

I start to run out of bumpf at the end of the afternoon but carry on regardless and leg it home by 6.30. 2 more days off now - it really isn't the done thing to canvass on Easter Sunday/Monday!

Sunday 11th
Easter Sunday

Chocolate - and rest - and a lovely lunch at The Pavillion!

Nothing much else to report except that the weather is lovely and I have a paddle in the sea at Le Jaonnet - it's blinking freezing!