Election Blog“Calm before the Storm” up to Sunday 28th August 2016

Friday 26th August
After another terrible night’s sleep, I finally gave up trying at 6am.

I went through the normal Friday routine, checking websites and social media, completed my paper round before arriving in the office at 8.15am. The morning went relatively quickly, stopping only for the usual Sausage Bap and mug of coffee at 10am.

Just before lunchtime I called into the printers (The Copy Shop), which most candidates use during the election. Not sure the reasons why, maybe because the staff are fantastic and very helpful or maybe it’s because the business is run by Manx Radio’s Roger Watterson who is always on hand for a quick chat.

I was there to collect a few election posters but I was surprised to discover that my draft manifesto was also ready for collection. After speaking to Roger and going through a few things, the draft manifesto looks very good but may require a few small changes once I have had the opportunity to read through the document.

Kate Beecroft called into the shop just I was leaving, I always enjoy speaking to Kate on political and personal matters. After giving her a hug, I told her she was off my Christmas Card list for putting a LibVan candidate against me in Onchan. To be honest, having two LibVan candidates elected in 2011 I did expect them to put at least one candidate in this election for Onchan.

I do wonder if my decision not to run under the LibVan banner in May / June this year will be something I regret in time, but I believe Onchan will need two independent candidates that can work together over the next five years.

I finished work at 17.15 and when I arrived home there were two parcels waiting for me, one was an extra 12 election rosettes and the other was my three main election posters, which will be posted around Onchan in September.

I spent the evening reading my draft election manifesto, which looks really good, I only hope Onchan residents don’t see it as being too long.

Ellen was on the 22.45 boat from Liverpool, so I took the opportunity to call into Tesco to do some shopping. To be honest, I have never done shopping at 22.00 at night and I was very surprised how busy the store was.

I got to the sea terminal at 22.35 and the boat was running a few minutes late. Fortunately, Chris Thomas was also waiting for family members, so we spend around 20 minutes talking about our election campaigns.

Ellen and I finally got home for 23.00.

Saturday 27th August
Awake for 5.30am, so I started to write up this week’s blog. I fell back asleep at around 7.40am until 9.30am.

After making Ellen some egg & mushrooms on toast, I received a text message from older brother Peter, who is my biggest supporter but also my biggest critic, which is not a bad thing because it keeps me grounded.

He had clearly read my previous blogs because his message suggested instead of saying how tired I am, I should say I am re-energised and ready for the fight to bring strong leadership etc.

That’s a fair point and one reason why I am not hitting the election trail now until after my election manifesto is in the post to Onchan residents.

As I said to Peter, the blog is something I want to look back at and over time reflect on this incredible journey, but at the same time I want to record how I am feeling each week and actually show how difficult it is running an election campaign, holding down a full time job and being an Onchan Commissioner. These pressures must be even greater for those candidates with children and homes to run.

My brother and his wife Oz are returning to the island on 21st September to be part of the election, and I am looking forward to asking him how he feels after 15 hours on his feet, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of an Election Day.

The afternoon was spent building wooden frames for the election posters that will appear in and around Onchan after the Manx Grand Prix. Again, it is another one of those jobs that no one really notices, but it took about me around two hours to build some of the frames needed.

Sunday 28th August
Up and about for 6am, so I took the opportunity to finish writing this week’s blog.

The day started with a trip to B & Q to purchase some nails and a couple of sheets of board. Once home I went straight into the shed to finish off the poster frames, but I still have a number of lamp post frames to build.

The rest of the morning was spent going through the draft manifesto in fine detail, making sure each section was just right. After a couple hours, I was left with several changes required, along with some additional items that need to be added. The manifesto will be A5 and over 40 pages long – I just hope the people of Onchan like it as much as I do.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cutting the grass, ongoing work in respect of my speech and additional research needed on several topics. I spent the rest of the day just relaxing ahead of another long week ahead.