I spent yesterday evening in the company of John Lee and his wife, Monique, attending a fundraising dinner for the North West Region of the Party at Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club. I've met John from time to time, but had never met Monique and, as a political spouse myself, I always enjoy meeting my opposite numbers.
Monique was no disappointment, and I admit to being somewhat smitten. She's feisty and opinionated but absolutely charming, and we enjoyed a lovely evening of conversation, whilst all around us, the personae dramatis of North West liberal democracy spoke and mingled. I had the opportunity to catch up with an former Young Liberal Chair, Jane Brophy, now our PPC for Altrincham West & Sale, and her husband, John, whilst stellar blogger Costigan Quist was there doubtless gathering more material for his 'must read' blog (just make sure that the Quistlets don't get at the Grand Marnier, my friend...).
John led the auction, which raised valuable funds for the Region (why doesn't London do this?), and with a number of speeches plus a presentation to Keith Whitmore to mark both thirty years as a councillor and his new role chairing the new Integrated Transport Authority, the successor to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. With a vote of thanks from Andrew Stunnel, and a raffle prize for the irrepressible Mark Hunter, it was a very pleasant evening indeed. I should also highlight Shan Alexander's work in making it all possible.
John and Monique were most kind in putting us up for the night in their gorgeous home, and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading for Wilmslow for this morning's expedition back to Suffolk. We boarded the train to find that Virgin Trains are experimenting with a weekend breakfast service in First Class, so I had another round of bacon and eggs. I'll skip lunch...