A very Happy New Year to all of you out there who read these meanderings from time to time. As you will have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet lately. It’s not because nothing is happening down here or because I have been captured by aliens. What happened was that the day after my last post my wife was hospitalised. I and my two daughters watched as she was taken in an ambulance from our local surgery to Epsom hospital suffering from “respiratory distress” which turned out on closer inspection to be pneumonia brought on by a severe chest infection. Once she got out she had to rest at home for a week and then there was Christmas and New Year and no time for blogging.

However this has given me the chance to do something not often associated with Conservative politicians – to praise public services. Firstly there’s Epsom General Hospital, which placed my wife, an NHS patient, into a private room with an en-suite bathroom and not on a mixed ward. Well done guys. Then they managed to get her on her feet in 48 hours and sent her home with enough pills to make her rattle for a couple of weeks but, by Christmas, she was in fine fettle. My only gripe would be paying £2 for the car park whenever I came to visit her. Expensive; and I expect prohibitive for anyone on the minimum wage or less.

Secondly, a big cheer for the Xcel leisure centre in Walton. My younger daughter had her birthday party there yesterday and what a good time they put on for her at a very reasonable cost. A big pile of bouncy castles, ball pits and so on for her and her little friends to climb on, followed by a tasty and even healthy party tea afterwards. Harry and Leanne, the party hosts could not have been more helpful and got into the spirit of things with the 3 year olds. A truly Xcellent afternoon, if you will forgive the excruciating pun so early in the New Year…..


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