I won't be blogging David Cameron's speech this afternoon, as I have driven home to Tunbridge Wells to support my partner John at the funeral of his beloved mother Enid, who died ten days ago.
We're all really missing her, as she lived here with us and her husband Roland. She relished a good old political argument and she and I loved winding each other up. She was certainly a doughty defender of pensioners' interests!
I will never forget how she welcomed me into her family and John and I were delighted that she was able to attend our civil partnership (see pic) in June. She had already been diagnosed with cancer and was finding life very difficult. It's terrible to see a loved one suffering from this awful disease. John did everything he could for her and tried to make her last weeks as tolerable as possible. Roland now has to cope without the woman he had been married to for more than fifty years and we are trying to support him as much as we can.
When we, her family and friends say goodbye to her this afternoon, we will remember a woman who had a loving family and gave her love to them without expecting anything in return. A woman who had to cope with the loss of her elder son Roger in a terrible accident in Thailand, and a woman who found huge comfort in the company and love of our Jack Russell Gio. He is clearly missing her just as much as we are.
Enid was an avid reader of this blog - she reckoned it was the only way she knew what I was up to. She was also a great critic of my media appearances and always told me when she thought I was talking rubbish (not that often!). I miss her in so very many ways, but today I am thinking of John and Roland and what they must be feeling. Thoughts of the party conference are a very long way away indeed as we prepare to honour Enid's memory, her life and her love.