Blog 3 Jul 17It is fair to say that my calendar this week was fairly light in respect of meetings and briefings, which has certainly given me time to catch up with things and to look at a few things that I haven’t had time to fit in……..

Many of the newly elected Members will also experience Tynwald Day for the first time this week. I was very fortunate to have represented Onchan Commissioners and the Constituents of Onchan as Chairman back in 2014, but I have a feeling that Wednesday’s Tynwald Day will be something very special.

With no meetings or briefings scheduled for Monday, I took the opportunity to work from home, which was extremely fortunate because I was having some work done on the house and I was waiting for my morning suit to be delivered.

I spent most of the day drafting my second assignment for my McGill University course on parliamentary procedures, which is still ongoing. I have one more section to complete, which will include the usual quizzes, assignments etc.

I still needed to respond to numerous e-mails and phone calls throughout the day, but overall it was a very pleasant day. My morning suit finally arranged at 16.40, I just have to hope it looks ok on the day, but it does fit, which means I don’t have to sit on Tynwald Hill with just a top hat, tie and a smile…….

In the office for 8.15am on Tuesday, but with no meetings scheduled for the morning I was hoping to complete my McGill University assignment, but the morning didn’t go the way I thought.

I spent part of the morning reviewing an urgent Onchan matter, which involved a lot of phone calls, checking legislation and the guidelines before I was able to give a suitable to response.

There was also a lot more people walking around our offices than normal, which made it difficult to concentrate at times, but I still managed to draft a thousand words of my assignment, which has to be submitted by Friday.

At 13.15 I headed up to the Barrool Suite for lunch with the Tynwald Day official guests and a delegation from Pakistan who were also on the island.

I managed to get back to my office at 14.30, and after catching up with e-mails and several conversations with colleagues I continued to work on my assignment. I left the office at 16.30.

I didn’t have much time at home but I still managed to call a Constituent back before changing into my Dinner Suit and heading off to Government House for the “Beat the Retreat” at 18.00. It rained before and after, but it didn’t rain during the RAF Parade, which was fantastic.

At 19.25 we had to leave in order to get to the Villa Marina for the Tynwald Dinner, which is to honour our Tynwald guests who are on the island to help celebrate our National Day. I believe the event has been scaled back this year compared to previous years and that the dinner is being held on the eve of Tynwald instead of being held on Tynwald Day itself.

Each table had a Minister, MHK(s), Tynwald Guest(s) and Partners and the menu included Salmon, Fillet of Beef and a Mousse dessert, along with coffee. There were also some excellent speeches given at the end of the night, and it was a real privilege to be part of a special evening celebrating with our Tynwald Guests.

We managed to get home for 23.35 and after sending a couple of e-mails, I called it a night at 23.55.

I didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night but still up and about for 7.30am, in order to get ready for Tynwald Day. Ellen and I left the house at 8.40am in order to collect my mother before heading to St. John’s for 9.30am.

Thereafter the day just unfolded so incredibly quickly. I did a couple of interviews on arrival before grabbing a cup of tea and heading back to the robing room. Suddenly Members were asked to take their positions before marching from the robing room to the church for a wonderful church service. The solo piece by the Cleveland Medal winner, Ruth Tickle was simply outstanding.

The day continued to progress with the parade and the usual salutes to the Lieutenant Governor and the President of Tynwald. Once sat on the Hill, it was difficult to hear everything, but again the whole process was over far too quickly. Before I realised it, the event was over for another year and in total we promulgated thirteen new laws.

It was a genuine honour to represent the people of Onchan and this island on Tynwald Day, I certainly have some fantastic memories and the weather was simply perfect.

It was also nice to see so many friends in the grandstand – I felt very proud and honoured throughout the day.

Just after 13.00 we went to the Hawthorn for lunch before returning to St. John’s to look around the fair. It did appear to have a lot more stalls this year, and there were large crowds throughout the day.

I managed to get home for 16.15, which gave me an opportunity to send a couple of e-mails and to relax a little before we headed back to St. John’s for 19.00, in order to enjoy Tynwaldfest, which is something else that is new this year. There were still a lot of people in St. John’s for the entertainment, but the weather throughout the day was absolutely perfect.

Finally got home for 21.50 and after sending a couple of emails and drafting my Blog, I called it a day at 22.15 feeling very proud, not just today but for the last few days.

In the office for 8.15 on Thursday and with no formal briefings and meetings, I was able to finish my assignment for the McGill University course. I just finished the final sentence of the paper when a Constituent called into our office to discuss an overgrown hedge.

This is an ongoing issue for a number Constituents and unfortunately the law doesn’t really help our elderly community who are unable to look after overgrown hedges that cross over into their boundary, unless they are willing to incur costs personally.

Once the meeting was over I headed over to DED for a short briefing before trying to help a Constituent with an employment concern, which involved several calls and a follow-up e-mail.

I then drove into Onchan to look over the condition of a road and kerbs in a housing estate.

At 12.30 I headed home for the afternoon, in order to continue to review a serious medical negligence case, which I have been reviewing on behalf of a Constituent. I did promise to get back by them by end of June, but it isn’t a straightforward case – there are lots of legal correspondence and notes to go through.

I also took the opportunity to draft several items of correspondence before finishing at 16.45.

After tea I headed into Onchan for a board meeting of the Onchan Live at Home Scheme, which finished at 19.15.

This week went by so fast, in the office just before 8.30am on Friday, and the first task was to submit my McGill University course. The next couple of hours was spent printing off the documents and reports for this month’s sitting of Tynwald.

Although I use my iPad and BoardPad for most things, I do enjoy having a paper copy for reading and making numerous notes etc.

I also needed to print off various documents for the final section of my McGill University course and for a Committee session scheduled for next week.

It always surprises me how long it takes to print off agenda packs and reports, but before I realised it was 12 noon. After finishing a few additional tasks I headed home for 13.00.

Once home I continued to read through the medical files I received from a Constituent, along with drafting several letters and e-mails on various topics on behalf of Constituents but I called it a day at 16.50.

The weekend will most certainly be taken up with the Tynwald Order Paper, drafting a response to the medical negligence case I am reviewing and drafting several more correspondence items that need to be done before Monday.