I have become a follower, of another blog, which is of one of my local councillors, Matt Stevens, who is very commited to Thornhill. I am thinking of becoming an MP as have realised my ambitions of becoming secretary of state for education depend on first getting into the lower chamber. Or I could become a peer straight from the shop floor and get in that way. I am going on a march, in March, in London, to protest about the cuts. Just in case you didn't know already, I DID NOT VOTE FOR THEM.
R had a meeting tonight at the Youth centre where he does his bike project to find that all the open access youth work on the east of the city is being scrapped. This means that effectively, unless people volunteer to open youth centres ( and it is not a job for inexperienced, well meaning volunteers on their own, but a very challenging and tricky role which you need professional training to do well) there is nothing for the most disenfranchised and vulnerable young people in the city to do. Shall we look forward to a rise in anti social beahviour, drug use, petty crime and teenage pregnanices? I wrote a letter to one of my councillors ( the young tory one) telling him what I thought, and not to reply with platitudes. He already tried to fob me off regarding the library, which is to be run by local people. Only Libby and I are local people who care about libraries, Libby is not running a campaign a la her Cobbett Road efforts yet, and Thornhill does not have the capacity of people who care about libraries and have the spare time and energy to volunteer in them. Grrr. Can you hear my blood boiling? There may well be other library lovers in Thornhill, I hope there are, but you can't expect people to run public services well.
Having left Esporta on my bat, with R reluctant to do so, we have been experimenting with public swimming pools. A baptism of grime after two years of comparative luxury, at a price. R has done two training sessions at the quays with soton tri club, and got on well. I did ok there apart from the smell of urine in the changing rooms, which I mentioned on a comments form and got a reply today. Last night I had to go to Eastleigh to go swimming, as Southampton pools shut at 9. Well, Fleming Park, I had not been since 1994 and I don't think they have cleaned it since then. I found it a bit too scary for me, as the deep end is really deep and sudden, a sort of cliff edge effect about 5 m in from the deep end edge. It is like a deep water vent in the Pacific ocean. I kept thinking of sharks and that if I drowned down there, the smiley but plump lifeguards probably did not have the skills to rescue me from certain death. And Fleming Park ( I don't like it to start with cos of the word phlegm in its title) is not where I plan to die. So after 32 lengths trying to shut my eyes over the precipice I gave up and came home, never to venture near the place again. I can't help thinking that R will be feeling a little smug over this episode, although he is much nicer than me and doesn't say ' I told you so' when I come home with veruccas all over my body.