3 October 2023

Last week was a really quiet week. At least that’s how it started, and that’s how it was meant to stay!

Monday night saw me attend a meeting of the town’s Fairtrade group committee. As Mayor of Trowbridge, I am automatically the Honorary President of the Trowbridge Fairtrade Group, but I’ve been a member of this group since first becoming a Councillor in 2021, and I have no doubt I’ll continue to play some role within the group when I stop being Mayor next May.

The aims of the global Fairtrade Foundation are things that I personally believe in and want to support, but we do need to find more like-minded people in the town who feel the same way and are willing to get involved. The group here in Trowbridge is small but very committed, and we are always looking for willing people to join us, even the committee.

You can find out more about the aims and objectives of the Fairtrade Foundation and information on their activities across the globe by following this link:

If you want to find out more about Fairtrade here in Trowbridge, you can follow the group’s Facebook page at: or look at their page on the Town Council’s website at: Trowbridge Fairtrade: Discover Trowbridge

But if, like me, you’re interested in getting involved, please do get in touch, and I’ll introduce you to the group.

That was Monday, and that was it for mayoral duties until Friday.

Now, you know that occasionally in this life you have days where just about everything that can go wrong DOES go wrong… and then the (not so benign) universe throws an extra curve ball at you just for fun?

That was Friday last week!

It started with my having to make a last-minute dash over to Bath in the morning. Fine and dandy, Bath’s a nice place, but I was meant to be reading the Talking News in our Civic Centre on Friday morning. Even I can’t be in two places at the same time. I had to be in Bath. I’d agreed to read the Talking News. Oops!

Luckily, the amazing Louisa from our information team covered the talking news for me and saved me from being caught between a rock and a hard place. Thanks, Louisa. You’re a star!

I returned home from Bath late in the morning, ready and willing to prep for my afternoon engagement, which was attending the start of the Trowbridge domestic abuse charity FearFree’s 24-hour “Dance-a-Thon”. The charity wanted to use the event to raise funds and bring families together through, as they put it themselves, moving and shaking together.

So we, yes, my wife, came with me, turned up at Cumberwell Park at two o’clock on Friday afternoon as I’d been instructed to do, and looked for the room where we fully expected everyone to be gathering ready to start their day, night, and following day of dance.

Nobody there!

For some reason, there had been a mix-up over the timing of the event. I thought it was starting at two in the afternoon. I eventually found out that the group organising it was starting it at six that evening! Apparently the timing of the event had changed sometime between the original mayoral booking being made and the final arrangements being finalised.

Nobody’s fault; these things happen, and event timings often “flex” between the planning and implementation phases. Lesson learned: when the mayor is booked months in advance for an event (which is a good thing), always double-check that the timings haven’t changed before you turn up!

The event, when it did happen later that day, was a real success and raised over £1300 for the charity. Money they really need as this group provides such an important service to adults and children who are often traumatised and in a very vulnerable place. Well done, everyone involved!

Anyway, that was “cock up” number two of the day.

As it happens, this second failure to actually do something that I’d been asked to do last Friday may have inadvertently done everyone concerned a big favour.

I’d been feeling a bit under the weather all morning, and when we got home from our abortive excursion to Cumberwell Park, I turned to my wife and muttered something along the lines of, “Well, dear, I really am feeling a bit unwell, you know… I wonder whether I’m sickening for some sort of malady.”.

“Rubbish,” she said, “there’s nothing wrong with you,” until I tested positive for COVID an hour later! Oh, how I gloated!

Next week promises to be even quieter!

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