Well, finally, some free time to blog. Though I'm not complaining really. I think it's an incredibly healthy sign if a parliamentary candidate is too busy talking to actual human beings rather than just staring at a computer screen at conference!
What a few days it's been - I've thoroughly enjoyed it and feel energised for the general election campaign ahead. The level of support from all has been fantastic and we have high hopes of capturing more Westminster seats than ever before.
My personal highlight up to now was chairing one of the sessions on Thursday - What does the future hold for Wales after the 2010 election? I felt honoured to be in charge of such a prestigious panel - Myfanwy Davies, Eurfyl ap Gwilym, Dafydd Wigley and Ron Davies. It was a lively discussion, but more than that, extremely interesting and thought provoking. None of the speakers played it safe - they provoked the audience and spoke from the heart. There was a fantastic reception for Ron - let's hope it encourages him to join us. It would be a brilliant boost for a future referendum campaign and a definite boost for Plaid to have him as one of our Assembly members. The ideas floated by him and the other panelists were important - very much focued on nation building rather than short term gains. Definite plenty of food for thought.
Montgomeryshire's motion regarding the transportation of wind farms was discussed - will blog again on this - but I was glad to see it properly debated. I was also delighted to see Plaid have a proper discussion about mid Wales - Montgomeryshire is often ignored, simply because we usually have less members and therefore they're less vocal. We are changing that and I've been delighted to see many Sir Drefaldwyn members here at conference and taking part. I told you we were running to win there!! On that note, I was on Radio Cymru yesterday morning and was asked about the likelihood of Glyn Davies winning. I honestly don't think it's as definite as some pundits are speculating. Lembit, despite everything, still has fantastic name recognition. Plus - Glyn has lost elections in the past and isn't popular with everyone. Whilst I'm realistic about my own chances, I am increasingly hopeful that our vote will increase considerably. Could that have an influence on the result in Montgomeryshire? Don't dismiss it as a possibility..
The dashing George Monbiot was our guest speaker at the Plaid Conference Dinner last night - he was fantastic. Really interestng and thought provoking and arguing in favour of a English parliament. We're hardly going to disagree with that as Welsh Natonalists are we! I also had the pleasure of speaking to him about the issue of Tesco's in Machynlleth - a discussion which I hope to continue with him in the future as he certainly has strong and interesting views on the matter. Incidentally, I was sitting on the Tesco table at conference last night and attended the fringe meeting. So at least I'm speaking to those on both sides of the argument!
An emergency motion was passed this morning regarding the translation of speeches at the National Assembly. I had hoped to speak but had been stopped by someone outside the hall for a chat so missed it which was unfortunate. Whilst I certainly support it, I also wanted to appeal to our Assembly Members to use Welsh more often whilst making speeches so that it was naturally registered anyway. I do get fed up of seeing people who are completely fluent in Welsh speaking English rather than Welsh, and yet complain about the lack of translation facilities. My message therefore - USE YOUR WELSH!!! (This is a message to politicians from every party by the way - it's not just Plaid ones who are guilty! In fact, Plaid politicians are far more pro-active about using their Welsh than politicians from other parties).
Final very girly point. One lesson I've learnt for next year is to remember to bring flat shoes. My feet are killing me by now from wearing high heels for three days! Having spent most of the summer in Mid Wales at Agricultural shows and visiting farms etc my feet are far more accustomed with wellingtons. Think I'd have got some strange looks though if I'd worn them at conference!!!
Right - enough hiding from the world from me. Back to participating.
Think Different. Think Plaid.