I left County Hall on Thursday afternoon to drive down to Cow Lane in Canterbury for an informal briefing of the local County Councillors on the modernisation programme in Adult Social Services. As I left, the Chief Executive Peter Gilroy was coming in, and bemoaned the fact that "Maidstone is gridlocked and the M20 is closed". Sadly, he was right, and I waited on both the M2 and A2 for almost an hour and a half in all the traffic which had been diverted off the closed motorway.
When I arrived at the meeting - some forty five minutes late - I was pleasantly surprised. It had all the potential to be stormy and confrontational. Yet the Councillors seemed quite content with our vision, and the small number of attendees from the parent carers' Action Group also seemed much more collegiate about our plans and their timescales.
After the meeting, local Councillor Alan Marsh invited me back for a coffee, which I eagerly accepted. He has a beautiful house with a large garden just off Wraiks Hill, and as I stood chatting, a fox wandered down his path. Alan told me this was their 'pet' and that they regularly put out chicken for the fox and his family. I couldn't believe my eyes when the fox jumped up onto the bird table and began to eat his 'dinner' in front of us all.
So I really wanted to show you the picture I took of this on my Blackberry, but even after the magic of Photoshop enlarged, contrasted and brightened the image, it's still not very good! Maybe there's another excuse to return to Chez Marsh and have another cuppa?