Confronted with deciding what was more important — the first daffodils in Lenton Recreation Ground in 2008 or a demonstration against the closure of New Lenton Post Office — I decided to go with the flow. When we left the house to attend the demo we walked through the park to see if any of the daffodils were out whilst the sun was shining, as the weather forecasters said it was going to cloud over later in the morning (and so it has turned out). Today we were not to be disappointed, as the first daffodils were open and I have the pictures above to prove it. Last year we saw them on 1 March, so they are just four days earlier than in 2007. The winter has been milder and I had thought the first daffodils would be open sooner than this, but it's still great to see them and in a few weeks parts of Lenton Recreation Ground will be a carpet of yellow flowers. What a wonderful thought!
From the park we walked to the nearby New Lenton Post Office to take part in a demonstration against its closure which was organised by the Nottingham University Students' Union and supported by the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum as well as lots of local residents. All the usual suspects were there, some with placards. Our local Member of Parliament Alan Simpson also came along and gave one of his spirit rousing speeches to the crowd standing around the entrance to the post office. There were probably about fifty of us, which wasn't bad for 10am on a Monday morning. Some of the students present were dashing up and down Lenton Boulevard collecting signatures for the latest petition against closing the post office, whilst us oldies stood about chatting about everything except the reason for the demonstration.
I first mentioned the post office closure in my blog dated 14 December 2007 and explained how I thought that our post offices were victims of the so-called 'free market' approach to public services. This allows the profitable parts to be creamed off by big business and large corporations whilst leaving the taxpayer to subsidise the non-profit making services. Alan Simpson said much the same thing today and also pointed out that Post Office directors had paid themselves fat bonuses for actually closing lots of post offices! That this has happened under a Labour government is shameful. I do not know a single member of the Labour Party who supports the closure of local post offices. Alan has been a great MP and it was great to see him in Lenton today supporting local residents, including students, who are determined to fight the closure of New Lenton Post Office until the very last minute of the very last day. Perhaps there will be a miracle?
As I walked home from the demo and turned onto Devonshire Promenade I saw the daffodils in the last picture above. They were larger and there were more of them than you can see just a few yards away in the park. No doubt the fact they are a good week ahead of the park dafs can be explained by their location in a small front garden between tarmac and the front of a large brick house. Colour is returning to Lenton and as much as I like the winter I have to admit I love this time of the year as well. I can't wait to see those bluebells we planted in the park last year — 5,000 of them!
Supporters waving red flags and Che Guevara banners poured onto the streets of (Greek) Cyprus yesterday after Demetris Christofias clinched 53.4% of the vote in the election to become the country's sixth president. His victory paves the wave for the island's reunification under 'the umbrella of a bizonal, bicommunal federation' (the island is presently divided into two parts: Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north).