Posted in Family, Personal life, Writing

Not Written Off Yet

Rock-paper-scissors chart
Image via Wikipedia

Although it’s taken me a long time to label myself as a writer, writing has been at the core of all the jobs I have ever done – reporter, PR, marketeer.  But what I most enjoy writing – and reading – are letters.  Among my most precious possessions are airletters penned by my grandmother when, aged 8, I lived in America for a year.  (Her not-so-subtle parting gift to me was a writing case, so that I might write to her too.)  I cherish boxes of letters from old schoolfriends, received when I moved to Germany at the age of 14.

So I was terribly disappointed to discover last year that I’d missed by a few days the deadline to apply for a job writing letters for Steve Webb, our local MP, responding to his constituents’ enquiries and requests.  For a long-term supporter of the Lib Dems, what a dream job that would have been: getting paid for writing about issues that really mattered to society and playing a small but significant part in changing our nation for the better.

My disappointment was short-lived.  In the wake of the General Election, as the new coalition emerged, I decided I’d had a lucky escape.  I would not have relished responding to the wrath of the disillusioned masses.  I began to feel sorry for Steve Webb, even though he’d been elevated to Cabinet Minister. But I still couldn’t stop myself firing off a few letters to him expressing my dissatisfaction with some of the new government’s policies.

Then last week I had the chance to meet him.  He visited the village school to plant a tree donated by Morrisons and I was invited to take photos for the school.  My disenchantment quickly melted away.  He came across as a sympathetic, dedicated representative of our community with a genuine interest in our children.  Some of them will not be eligible to vote for another 14 years, so no cynical fishing for votes there. He may be a Cabinet Minister, but he gave himself no airs and graces.  No formal silver spade for him – he got stuck in and muddy.  And no cynical kissing of babies, either – instead he played “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with the Year 6 boys.

A little later, we spoke briefly and he asked me my name.

“Ah, yes, Debbie Young,” he smiled.  “France Lane.”

My goodness!  I thought.  A Cabinet minister knows where I live!  What stroppy message had I put in my letters to make my address stick in his mind? But really, that doesn’t matter now.  Next time there’s an election, I know who’ll be getting my vote.

(This post was originally published in Hawkesbury Upton Parish Magazine, April 2011)

Join the conversation - leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.