Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.



My memory is like a sieve. Only the day before yesterday, someone asked me when I had heard my first cuckoo this year. It was less than a week ago, yet I had to look it up on these posts. A bell rang somewhere but the details had gone.

Even so I can remember exactly where I was on this day in 1997, 24 years ago.

We were camping (in our metal tent) on the foreshore of a sandy beach on the Galloway coast. It was the crack of dawn, the van door was open, a beautiful spring morning ,the sound of the oystercatchers mingled with the breaking of the waves.

We turned the radio on and the sheer relief and release will never, ever leave me. An 18 year nightmare had been brought to an end. It had been a Labour landslide, a swing of 8.8%, Labour had won 418 seats giving Tony Blair a majority of 179. It was the Conservative’s worst election defeat since 1906, retaining just 165 MPs, their smallest share of the vote since 1832.

Outside Downing Street, Blair finished his victory speech with the words1Waters Creative (www.waters-creative.co.uk. “British Political Speech | Speech Archive.” Britishpoliticalspeech.org, 2021, www.britishpoliticalspeech.org/speech-archive.htm?speech=222. Accessed 2 May 2021.:

“For 18 years — for 18 long years — my party has been in opposition. It could only say, it could not do. Today we are charged with the deep responsibility of government. Today, enough of talking — it is time now to do.”

As time would show, Tony Blair was not perfect. He made mistakes but I hope that one day I get that feeling again!







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *