Monday, February 2, 2009


Today it is snowing and in 21st Century Britain 50% of the population will get up and soldier into work somehow while 50% turn over in bed and go back to sleep. Bedford has not had heavy snow but one school closed instantly, while Elstow Lower School has stayed open - our Head Teacher is made of sterner stuff. The post has just arrived and I drove home in snow last night - but I remember living in Scotland as a child. We regularly had heavy snowfalls and were never allowed to stay off school - it was par for the course. We are fast becoming a nation of risk averse wimps, doomed to live safe, bland and boring lives with no excitement at all.

My late father survived 6 terrible years at sea during World War II on minesweepers and minelayers, including Arctic convoys to protect merchant shipping. One of his ships was sunk and half the ship's company including the captain were drowned, but never a word of complaint about his suffering crossed his lips after the War. He was also the navigator in HMS Frobisher, the leading frigate in the British Fleet during the 1944 D-Day Normandy Invasion and 33 years later he was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government - their highest military honour.

Last Saturday, the Friends of Elstow Abbey did their bit for the Credit Crunch by providing a wonderful Organ Recital and a generous Ploughman's Lunch with a free drink, all for £5 for the older music lovers. This was our 3rd Concert in our 1st Elstow Music Festival and the cannier souls bought season tickets for £15 for 4 concerts, so the Saturday concert and food only cost them £3.75 each. Where else in Bedford could you be entertained, fed and watered for that money in 2009?

Our 4th and final Concert will be a rousing performance from the Luton Male Voice Choir on Saturday 28 February at 7.30pm and we are well on the way to raising our target £1,000 for the 4 concerts to continue refurbishing our historic church and its organ. Not bad when we have offered such bargain prices for the 4 excellent concerts.

After a recent expensive weekend dining out, this weekend I enjoyed gourmet home cooked food at a fraction of restaurant prices. My fellow Councillor Andrew McConnell had a Jamie Oliver moment on Saturday and cooked 2 superb fillet steaks and I cooked a deilvcious lamb shank on Sunday before trampingout in the snow to deliver election leaflets for the forhcoming Unitary Elections. We are indeed fortunate to live in a country where food is plentiful and cheap, unlike the poor souls living at starvation level in Zimbabwe.

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