Sue and I walked down to Summerseat today to watch he traditional Boxing Day cricket match at Brooksbottom.
After a hard fought contest Tottington St.John’s ran out winners having scored 104 in their innings they bowled out the home team for 78 in the final over. Everyone was lucky that for the most part the match was played under grey skies with little wind and the sun was starting to peep out by the end of the match. As we walked back Sue and I contrasted todays match with the last time we watched Boxing Day cricket four years ago. Then we were in Melbourne attending the famous Boxing Day Test ‘at the G’ as they call the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. That year Australia were playing India; a fixture which by coincidence was being repeated as we all slept last night. The crowds and the conditions at the two games might be rather different but the enjoyment factor of all involved is, I am sure, just the same.
I feel surpringly wide awake this fine morning considering Susan and I attended the midnight service at Church last night which as ever was very well attended and it was approaching 2am before we were able to retire to bed.
We will be attending the Christmas Day service at St.Anne’s this morning and then I think the plan is, that we will open our presents ( with accompanying snacks ) and then have a Christmas Dinner later in the afternoon.
So it just remains for me to wish all readers a very happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas.
It seems hardly a week goes by without a new revelation of supposedly safe and secure private information being “lost” by the Government. 25 million records of those in receipt of child benefit. details of those seeking to pass the driving test and now the medical records of patients.
Incredibly the Government has already spent hundreds of millions of pounds on a national database on which will be placed everyones supposedly private medical records and of course there are the Governments plans to introduce a National Identity Card Scheme with yet more of our personal details stored on computer programmes. I certainly do not trust the Government with this information and I doubt many others do either.
Away from politics I have been busy helping Susan with preparations for Christmas. Susan’s mother and father and an Uncle are coming to stay with us over Christmas so we are having to step up our catering operation!
I have just one more wrapping up session to do in the Millgate Centre tomorrow to help raise funds for the Bury Blind Society. It was really busy today and I understand there was a one hour wait by this afternoon. I knew it was going to be busy today when shoppers started to hand in their presents for wrapping even before we had set up!
This evening Sue and I have been to a Carol concert at Bolton Road Methodist Church with proceeds being divided between the Parkinson’s Disease Society and the Fusilier Court Garden Scheme. It was a very relaxed and enjoyable evening with a large audience despite the very cold weather.
Throw in a flat battery on the car and dealing with various telephone calls and emails and it has been a busy day.
On the political front the main news has been the election of yet another new leader for the Liberal Democrats. No doubt Lib Dem supporters will be hoping this leader lasts a bit longer than the last two! It does not bode well that thousands fewer took part in the ballot than last time when Ming Campbell was elected and if the Leadership candidates can not inspire their own Party members to vote for them what chance have they of inspiring uncomitted voters to support them?
Over the last couple of weeks we have been conducting a survey of peoples opinions on crime. In order to encourage residents to return the survey all those received back by yesterday were to be entered into a draw for a Christmas Hamper. So, yesterday we invited a Solicitor from Latimer Lee LLP ( so as to ensure fair play! ) to conduct the draw and …. the winner is Mrs Mo Connell from Massey Street in Bury.
Yesterday, I also went to collect from the airport my friend who has been over in Sri Lanka watching the cricket and he stayed with us overnight. It was a bit of a shock for him temperature wise! In Columbo the temperature was over 30 degrees celsius this morning we had to spend ten minutes scraping the ice of his car!
This evening Sue and I have been to a Party at the home of the Parliamentary Candidate for Bolton North East Deborah Dunleavy.
Today our Labour Prime Minister has signed what is in effect the European Constitution. At the last election Labour promised the British people would be given their say on this document in a referendum. We have been denied that say. The Constitution, or the Treaty, or the Constitutional Treaty. whatever people want to call it hands over yet more powers to Brussels. Let us have a referendum on the document and see what the people of the United Kingdom really think – after all that is what we were promised at the last General Election.
Last night I attended the last meeting of the year of Bury Council and it was dominated by the issue of the Congestion Charge. Although the Conservative Group have always been opposed to the Congestion Charge because the Council representative voted at a meeting of Leaders of the Councils in Greater Manchester to submit a bid for billions of pounds of additional spending on our public transport infrastructure this has been interpreted as the Conservatives being in favour of congestion charging. When Councillor Creswell voted as she did for the bid to be submitted she made it absolutely clear that in doing so the Conservatives opposed the principle of congestion charging. Last night. in order to make the position crystal clear the Conservatives tabled a short unequivocal motion opposing congestion charging. After being amended by the Liberal Democrat group the motion was passed despite Labour refusing to support it.
I have really begun to experience the build up to Christmas this weekend. Yesterday Susan had me helping clean/tidy the house and put up one of our Christmas trees ( a task which I do enjoy but seems to take an inordinate amount of time ). Yesterday evening we attended a Cocktail Party held to raise funds in aid of Bury Hospice.
Today after the usual service at church this morming Sue and I went up to the Christmas market at Ramsbottom. It was really busy and there were lots of festive gifts and produce. I particularly enjoyed my cup of soup- Santa’s Chestnut Surprise! I don’t recall that I have ever had chestnut soup before.
This afternoon the Christmas theme continued with the Christingle Service at St. Anne’s. The special service marked the debut of the new Junior Choir. The Nativity Play was excellent with lively modern music.
This evening we have started the task of writing Christmas Cards and I have watched most of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year programme and I was delighted that the boxer Joe Calzaghe won. Even though a member of the Royal Family won it last year and I am an ardent Royalist I thought he should have won last year and I am pleased he has at last won this most deserved award.