Saturday, September 29, 2007


I spent Friday morning in a meeting of North East Liberal Democrats, discussing various political issues. Part way through the morning I received an e-mail from Stockton Council's PR department with the result of the Darlington referendum on having an elected mayor. A pretty comprehensive victory for the No campaign was greeted with relief - such votes on the whole are a distraction from the main job of councillors to represent the people who elected them.
The afternoon was taken up with a meeting to examine the issues and possible solutions so far in the scrutiny of policy and practice on memorials in our cemeteries. There are new issues every time we take evidence from someone. Now the problem is - if we allow some extra memorialisation on lawned graves who is going to be responsible for removing them if the grave needs to be reopened for a second or third burial is to take place in the plot. We still have the problem of who should "police" any rules - there doesn't seem to be an obvious person or service at the moment. And of course there are budget implications for any changes.
Time for a quick tidy up at home before a really enjoyable network was re-established in the flesh. My husband grew up with a cousin living very near in both age and housing. They were almost inseparable until his cousin's family moved away to the south of England in the days before internet, phones in almost every house or family holidays to further away than Whitby. As a result contact became much more spasmodic so this was the first time in many years they'd actually met up. It's amazing to me how some relationships survive this sort of distance and others disappear under much less stress. Seeing them together it was as though they'd never been separated. The jokes flew, the laughter, the conversation were all as they had been years ago. We eventually managed to load ourselves into the car to go and meet the rest of the family for a meal. It was an opportunity also to catch up with our nephew and his plans for his career. It seems no time since he was a toddler getting into trouble for examining things too closely for their and his safety - switching things on and off, pulling bits out to see if they would go back in! Now he's planning to be a civil engineer.
So, different sorts of networking during the day, all worthwhile but only one producing side-aching laughter. Perhaps just as well otherwise I might not have survived.

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