On my radar, week 2

DSC06896I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this up because I reckon that some weeks it’ll be a little difficult to come up with the requisite seven significant experiences. But as my good friend Kyoji said in his recent birthday message to me ‘life must be lived every moment’. I’ll just have to look harder. So here goes week 2.

1 Beer: I’m not a big beer drinker and, I’m sorry, I don’t really like English beer. But I do like good German/Czech pilsner (brewed in accordance with the Deutchereinheitsgesettz) and I’ve drunk my share of lagers as I’ve travelled worldwide so I’m always keen to sample new ones. This week I scored two. First was Lawless draft lager from Purity Brewing which is a Bavarian style beer which I enjoyed at The Punter (see below). The second was Korev Cornish lager from the St Austell Brewery. That also claims to be brewed in the Helles style of Southern Germany. I shared a 500ml bottle of Korev with son-in-law Alex.

2 Restaurant: every couple of months or so I meet ten to a dozen old Churchillians who live locally for lunch. This week we met at The Punter in Cambridge which is one of those good pubs which sell a range of beers (see above) along with a simple but interesting menu. This is rounded off by excellent service and decent prices. I’ve been several times and recommend it.

3 Council: with the summer break now at an end I was back into the routine of meetings at the County Council this week. Towards the end of the week we had the Health Com and then the Health & Wellbeing Board. Until May I chaired the former and was a member of the latter. Now it’s all change with Tories chairing both committees and it’s a little frustrating watching from the sidelines.

4 Pub: Monday night took me south of Cambridge to The Plough in Shepreth. You can’t form much of an opinion from one nighttime visit of course but this place seems to meet the challenge of a modern pub in a village setting. It’s been opened up inside and it’s got the clean ambience of a pub that offers a range of beers, choices of decent wine and good food. There’s also food and it does music.

5 Election: politics can be cruel but just sometimes you win. Ely used to be a Lib Dem stronghold, Clement Freud was the MP there, and it returned multiple district and county councillors. Recently however we’ve not been too smart and we haven’t worked hard enough so that only one councillor remains. Until this week that is when we won an election to double the number of Lib Dem councillors from Ely on South Cambs District Council.The victory was down to a good Lib Dem campaign led by a determined candidate. She got lots of support and I did my bit with several visits to deliver literature. Well done Christine Whelan!

6 Family: there are pros and cons to not living in the same place as your family. The bad news of course is that the support network isn’t there. However this is balanced by limiting opportunities to interfere. That’s the way we brought up Clare and Charles. It means of course that when you meet there are always changes and even though I see my two granddaughters every couple of months or so it’s hardly surprising that they ‘grow’. Amelia is 4 and has just started school. Sophia is 2 and is just starting to talk. It goes quickly at that age of course and I’m sure she got her tongue around ‘happy birthday’ just over this weekend. Add to this Clare being almost 7 months pregnant and it’s clear that changes are happening and will continue so to do.

7 Event: the week ended with my 70th birthday bash. For 60 I remember a big marquee in the garden, a hog roast and 60 or 70 guests. This time it was just a dozen and we had an outside caterer in to prepare and serve. They were super with a Mediterranean starter, a nice big sirloin and then three desserts including and excellent pavlova.

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