Joyce Lucas: I like to hear all sides of the story

Shadow leader of the House of Commons Hilary Benn addressing the Labour Party Conference at the Echo Area in Liverpool . PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story LABOUR stories. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire ENGEMN00120110929155229

Shadow leader of the House of Commons Hilary Benn addressing the Labour Party Conference at the Echo Area in Liverpool . PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 29, 2011. See PA story LABOUR stories. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire ENGEMN00120110929155229

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I have been heavily involved, since I last wrote my column, in politics both locally and nationally.

I am not a political person but I strongly believe that if one needs to criticise or compliment a subject then one should hear all sides of the story. I have received many phone calls recently where I have put my point of view and I listened to the whole ten and a half hour debate on the air strikes on Syria. NO I didn’t sit in front of the television. I have a contraption, because I am deaf, so can I plug in and listen to anything and still do the ironing or washing up.

However, one comment I will make is whilst I was watching, having a cup of coffee, I was amazed to see how many Members of Parliament were studying their ‘tablets and iPhones’. However two members stood out in the debate as far as I am concerned. They are Yvette Cooper who gave an excellent account as only a female could, she was precise in detail and easy to understand and Hilary Benn, pictured. (This observation does not in any way indicate how I cast my vote at election time.) The latter was eloquent and theatrical. He delivered his speech in such a way that is became compelling to watch.

Since I last wrote I have celebrated yet another birthday. I had two lovely presents. Husband and I were treated to lunch at the Fox and Hounds, Exton. This is not a fast food or pub grub place to eat. In delightful surroundings we tasted Butternut and Ginger soup, Steak Frites and Lemon Posset.

We were introduced to Omar Palazzolo, the chef, a charming gentleman from Milan who really knows how to cook. He explained his thoughts behind the menu and this interlude added more ‘flavour’ to my day. The second present was Nick Robinson’s book entitled Election Notebook. A full and candid account of what goes on behind the scenes in politics and his personal account of battling with cancer. It is the sort of ‘I can’t put it down’ book and is worth a read.

It is almost Christmas and soon we will have the shortest day and then we can look forward to the spring. So let’s think about New Year resolutions and try to be positive.

Talking of spring I ventured into the garden this week and was pleased to see all the spring bulbs showing some movement. The snowdrops will soon be in flower followed closely by the daffodils. So please try to look on the bright side of life.

Oakham Late Night Shopping is over and people seemed to enjoy the Christmas Fare. The weather was kind. I would even say more like late autumn than December.

I treated myself to a record/CD/tape player. I have a stack of old records and nothing to play them on. Apart from the first one which was Geoff Love and his Orchestra the second was quite a find. Recorded in Uppingham School Chapel in 1976. Elgar, performed by Uppingham Community College Choir conducted by our very own Barry Collett. What a nostalgic few minutes of sheer delight.

And so the alphabet. I am now up to ‘J’

J is for…….. Jazz My new record player gave me the opportunity to play some wonderful old jazz records. However, we in Rutland have many jazz opportunities to listen to local groups.

J is for…… Jam and Jerusalem. Yes, throughout our county there are many WIs They are well-known for making homemade produce but they also give help and support to our many residents. Please consult the listing pages in the Rutland Times for their dates, times and venues.

J in for……Just Join and make things happen. It is up to YOU. There are many opportunities for some exciting additions we can make to help our residents and visitors… so go on give it a try.

And finally…the quote of the week. If the ‘bag for life’ falls apart after two weeks. Why not try buying a canvas bag next time? Just a thought.