Last weekend I went across the Pennines to visit my father in York.
The M62 isn't known for its suburban outlook, but there was a fair amount of driving through countryside at my father's end, and through built-up areas at our (Manchester) end. Partly to amuse the children, the journey became a game of 'spot the election campaign notice.'
Large orange diamonds are hard to miss. And it seems that farmers have the space to erect large Blue posters all along their hedgerows, nailed to every tree (surely that isn't good for them?) But no-one - I repeat, no-one - was displaying a Red sign.
Is this a reflection of the likely voting outcome? Based on our survey, the Conservatives would have about 590 seats in parliament, the Lib Dems about 60, and Labour would be signing on the dole. None of the swingometers and polls seem to mirror our observations!
Whilst the family prepared dinner, I nipped across town to visit my grandmother. She wasn't having a good day, which made it almost impossible to have a conversation. She knew that she knew me, but struggled to understand anything I said, wasn't really clear that I have a husband and children, and started wondering why my mother hadn't been to visit her. "Oh, I suspect she's busy," Gran said. My mother, her daughter, has been dead over twenty years now: a very difficult situation to explain. (I didn't: I just let it pass).
I enjoyed my journey through York. The evening sun cast a beautiful light on the old Roman walls, and the grassy banks were covered with bright yellow daffodils, heads held proud. It is a sight that never fails to delight me.
Returning to Dad's I was delighted to declare that I had - at last - seen a Red poster.
"Really?" my husband asked.
"Yes! In fact, lots of them! They were nearly covering a large window."
"The headquarters of York Labour Party," I said gleefully.