The sun shone, and in the fields, lambs frolicked, as we made our way back into Montgomeryshire. Indeed, for miles and miles, there was little else to be seen but green grass, rolling hills and a vast number of white, fuzzy bundles of generalised cuteness/potentially great meals (delete as appropriate). However, having driven for twenty-seven miles, the car reached Newtown, and it was time to experience campaigning Lembit Opik-style.
The plan was that there would be some canvassing, but it became apparent that, in order to get to the chosen location, we would have to walk through the centre of town. This was made somewhat more of a challenge by the fact that everybody appears to know Lembit. Indeed, so much so that car drivers stop and wave, little old ladies smile at him, and there is always someone who wants to chat.
It feels like a throwback to old-fashioned political campaigns, where the MP doesn't campaign, but simply does his or her job and, in doing so, secures the support of the electors. It is high profile, high energy and tremendously entertaining. Lembit will suddenly dart into a shop to talk to the manager, or buy something, or press a sticker onto the doll of a small child, making the idea of steering him in a particular direction an impossibility. Indeed, if you're not careful, he can disappear, which means that you have to go back and gently extricate him from whoever it is he's talking to.
I don't think that I have ever seen someone enjoy their campaigning as much as Lembit appears to. Everywhere we went, Lembit introduced Ros, explaining who she was with some pride, and the two of them talked to people going about their business, finding out what was worrying them, not reciting policy but just listening sympathetically and responding with ideas.
At one point, our party descended on the local branch of Corals, in an attempt to find out what odds you can get on Lembit retaining his seat and, whilst we were in there, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to place a bet on the Grand National. I'll draw a veil over the performances of Dream Alliance and Character Building but, if you're interested in making some easy money, Lembit is 11/4 on to retain Montgomeryshire.
And let me tell you, those look like very generous odds...