Berriew is a very nice village. I am lucky to live there. Its not suffered much from the character-less housing growth that has desecrated so many villages in rural Wales. And it has several rather grand houses around and about. Glansevern Hall is one of them - and was lucky enough to have fallen into the ownership of Neville and Jenny Thomas some years ago. They have restored this fine house and gardens to a condition of some splendour. I seem to have spent much of this weekend there.
Saturday morning, I hosted a coffee morning at Glansevern, as President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. Not as many members came as I'd hoped. So it gave me the chance to have a proper chat with those that did. Found one couple that regularly read this blog. And another chap who wants to see a new bowling green built on top of a new supermarket in Newtown. And another who wants to stop any new houses being built in Welshpool. And another who asked me whether it was right that the CPRW President should be an parliamentary candidate - which is a rather good question. And another who wanted to talk to me about why I supported hunting, even though I've given up any personal involvement in field sports some 30 years ago. An interesting morning.
Today, I went to a party at Glansevern - the 25th birthday party of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, which I have recently joined as a trustee. Full of old friends and new. There were TV stars there too. Iolo Williams for one - in his shorts. I was tempted to bid for a day out with Iolo on one of our reserves in the auction - which I knew would appeal to Mrs D. Iolo is a fine figure of a man. I think that I'm going to become more involved with the Trust.
And between these two pleasurable events I spent the morning at a meeting of target seat candidates at Llandrindod Wells. Received a shot across the bows about this blog. I suppose its fair enough. Party bosses always like to exercise as much control as possible over candidates - and blogs are a free spirit. I suppose I could just regurgitate centrally produced press releases - which would have the added benefit that nobody would read it. But I'm not going to. I'm hoping to win - even if I am going through a phase when the absurdity of party politics, cursed by its shameless opportunism and disconnection with the people is blurring my vision.