Even so, I was surprised to see it was so long...
Wednesday night was another O'Shea Shield practice. I'm greatly encouraged, as Chris's speech has improved beyond recognition since I heard it on Monday. Every year that I've done this (this is the fifth), there has been a point at which the delivery has shifted from OK to tremendous. I'm just not keen for it to be just a week and a half before the main competition.
Thursday morning was our Toastmasters AGM, which was ably run by David, our club president, whose presidential report was slightly longer than it should have been, though I won't complain as quite a bit of it was acknowledging my contribution to the club over the past however many years. October 1998, you work it out. Our new president, Rachel, is originally from Chester, so the club is in safe hands. Three british presidents in three years...what does that say?
It's clear from looking at my friends entries that there are a lot of Brits there , encouraging me to vote for this or that party. I'm not voting this time, but I will next time! I was taken with the picture in the Economist of the posters reading "Bliar", showing that political cunning is alive and well.
Headlines to look out for in Friday's press run along the lines of
"Double celebration for Blair"
"Electors give Blair a special birthday present"
"Tony's birthday disappointment"
"No birthday party for Blair"
depending on what happens.
Today, I'm off to Tauranga, home of New Zealand's favourite maverick politician, brilliant in opposition but disastrous in government. One described in a confidential Australian diplomatic briefing as "a loose cannon", Winston is the man who is an embarrassment to the Government party, whether he's in it or not.
However, I will be there not as a politician but as a Toastmaster, as our convention is there this weekend. This will be the last one I attend, of course, though Invercargill in November sounds like it could be fun.
I'll be flying WLG-AKL-TRG from 1 o'clock and returning on Sunday the same way. My rusty trusty laptop will travel with me, but it will be as much to see how wireless and roving work as anything else. Watch this space: if it works well, you'll see posts from me throughout the weekend. If not, you won't!