Sunday, March 8, 2009
THE RED LION ELSTOW and THE NHS
Elstow village has two fine pubs, The Swan, a traditional village pub and The Red Lion, which has just been refurbished by its new owners Mitchells & Butlers and reopened this week with a new Manager Edward White. On Sunday customers and local residents were invited to sample the new menu and I enjoyed an excellent and fairly priced Sunday lunch. It was a brief relaxation before a very busy week.
On Monday I chaired my last Borough Council Corporate & Resource Committee, and on Tuesday attended a BEAR Seminar about the Countywide Waste Management strategy after a school governors meeting and before an evening update on the new Bedford Academy, which John Bunyan Upper School becomes in September 2009.
On Wednesday and Thursday I had regional meetings in Cambridge and chaired my final County Council Redundancy Panel and on Friday had an Employment Tribunal in Watford, so I seemed to do a lot of driving around this week. In between meetings and dealing with various resident issues and numerous emails I managed to fit in 3 visits to my Fitness Club and two medical appointments.
On Tuesday it was my 3 yearly breast screening and on Friday I had an emergency dental appointment to replace a crown which fell out of my mouth when I was chewing an Opal Fruit sweet! My wonderful NHS dentist is a white South African who came to the UK 16 years ago and I travel 20 miles to see him because he is such an excellent dentist. This time I saw his colleague, another South African who is equally good. Many people complain about the NHS but I have only ever experienced excellent service from NHS doctors, surgeons, dentists, physiotherapists and nurses, especially in 2006/7 when I had 3 operations in Bedford and Cambridge within a year.
On Friday evening I met Hannah Miles, the Masterchef Finalist who runs a popoular Blog called Hannahscountrykitchen which attracts 150,000 hits a month. Hannah is a shipping lawyer with a passion for cooking, especially patries and desserts and lives in Podington, a small village on the edge of North Bedfordshire. Hannah gave a talk and a cookery demonstration to an audience of 100+ enthusiastic Conservatives. She charmed us all and made a delicious Toblerone Tiramisu, which takes only 30 minutes to prepare, a Lime and Ginger cheesecake and a delicious rose flavoured summer punch.