Last Wednesday I went into hospital for an operation. After five hours in surgery, a night in the high dependency unit, and three more in a general ward, all at Harrogate hospital, I got home on Sunday.
I mention all this for two reasons.
One, to put on public record my admiration and heartfelt thanks for the care I received from every single professional who played a part in sorting me out.
Because it is important to say thank you and recognise the help and support you have been given.
Two, to say that even though every movement is painful, I will still be going to vote today. Because the opportunity to have a say in the future of your own country is not a right that is shared the world over, and because it is shamefully irresponsible not to care enough to make the effort for the future shape of where you live.
So, to the extended team at Harrogate hospital, who I seem to recall included people from as far north as Scotland and Cumbria, as far south as Western Australia, and pretty much everywhere in between, thank you with all my heart. I would not be here without you.
And to the people who have volunteered to staff our local polling station, please be patient - it will take me a while to walk the length of the room, but I will get there!
To everyone else, how you vote, and whether you even bother, is up to you. In a free country that is how it should be.
Just please make sure you are happy in the way you choose to exercise your right. It would be dreadful shame if you weren’t.
Wheatland’s Road East,