So... last few days have been hectic... left Bristol late-ish Sunday afternoon, popped into Westminster office for a couple of hours, then did Radio 4's 'The Westminster Hour', all about Damien Green, with a passing nod to the Queen's Speech, then had to drive to Bedfordshire, got there about midnight.
Monday - fascinating visit to Honda F1 Racing's HQ in Northants as the token female amongst a bunch of MPs (more on that later), with pitstops to see friends and family in Luton and Milton Keynes en route, and then back to Bristol, picking up emergency supplies from Tesco Eastville at 1am. I'm told by Paul Smith the store shows up on credit card statements as Tesco Evil; I wouldn't know, I paid cash.
Tuesday - Question Time at the City Academy, to discuss the deportation of child asylum-seekers (actually, failed asylum seekers but no-one except me seemed to appreciate the distinction). Made the Pensioners Convention look like a teddy bears picnic. Then to Paintworks to see plans for completing the rest of the development; looks great. Lunch in the Boca Bar there, where I saw an ad for a gig by The Hook Ham Boys, a bluegrass group comprised of members of Portishead, Massive Attack and Spritualised. My Luton musician mates - ex-punks most of them, same sort of age - are massively into bluegrass now and gig regularly. I call it old man music. Thought it was a peculiar aberration on their part, but obviously they're not the only ones. Then went to office, signed loads of Christmas cards, designed a 'credit crunch' leaflet, arranged a visit to Bristol by the Sec of State for International Development, looked at emails, signed the post, fixed the office plug-in radiator (the fuse had blown but the staff were too scared to change it), got my car washed/ valeted by the guys round the corner. Then a quick curry at Krishna's Inn (highly recommended), missed train from Temple Meads, cabbed it to Parkway where I espied my Lib Dem neighbour further down the platform. Back in London flat by 10.30pm.
Wednesday: nice start to the day - haircut, accompanied by a soya latte and vegan blueberry muffin at the cafe there (highly recommended), then Queen's speech, Speaker's statement (followed by a long series of points of order that weren't points of order), and the Simon Mayo show on Five Live (supposedly to talk about the Queen's Speech, but again mostly about Damian Green's arrest, which is obviously a Government conspiracy to stop people talking about the PBR and our new legislative programme). They're moving Five Live production to Manchester soon, and Simon Mayo is reportedly moving to Radio 2 to take over the Ken Bruce show; suppose that means he won't be doing PMQs anymore. Finished off the day speaking at a Young Fabians/ ACSA event about AIDS in Southern Africa, and then some emails. At least we're on a one line whip today, so left Parliament at 8.30pm with the Queen's Speech debate still going strong.
So that's why I haven't been blogging!