Went to a party tonight. It had been going on all day - and looked to be settling down for the long haul when I left. I'd only expected there to be a handful of customers there - but there were hundreds of them. An informal social occasion which urned out to a great, if unexpected canvassing opportunity - and all I had to do was meet up with a lot of Montgomeryshire people whom I hadn't seen for a while. And a good opportunity to speak Welsh as well. It was the 100th birthday party of Bowen and Sons of Cefn Coch, a quarry and associated business.
Over the years, I've been to dozens of these sort of dos - but this was the most enjoyable I've been to. Hardly a suit in sight. Just local people who understand how important this company is to the economy of the area. No whinging about the quarry being a scar on the countryside - which it undoubtedly is. Everybody knows that it is needed - so we accept it. Which is more than you can say for the 17 bloody great wind turbines on the hill overlooking the quarry. Now that is a scar on the landscape that's going to produce b****r all - except a bit of welcome income for the farmers involved.
Actually, I wasn't interesting in canvassing at all. I just went because I like the boss, and know a lot of the workforce. And there is a strong link with our garden. We have the biggest stone ever to come out of the quarry on the island in the middle of our pond - and the gorsedd circle we built in 2003 all came from the quarry. Not for us the ridiculous plastic rubbish they use at the National Eisteddfod.
But a lot of people came up tonight, saying things like "I've voted Liberal all my life, but not next time. I'll be voting for you. Really pleased you've decided to stand". Not going to get carried away - but I really am starting to feel optimistic about my chances at the next election.