I should have the laptop back tomorrow. Andrew's will hopefully work with the replacement part we bought for it, which turned up today. Stuart was kind enough to spend all Friday afternoon and evening trying to fix it. He even soldered the broken part together two or three different ways to see if we could avoid having to get a new one, but his valiant efforts were to no avail. We did get through several cycles of "it should be fine!"/"no, it's fucked!"/"no, wait, this might do it!" which honestly was exhausting even for me and I didn't so anything except make the tea and occasionally hold something still. But Stuart said he enjoyed the process.
So I'll take the new part over, where I left the rest of his laptop the other day, tomorrow. But most of the rest of this week I think I'll be helping Andrew be front-of-house at the local Lib Dem HQ.
What had been a by-election HQ staffed with actual staff (and volunteers) has now been handed back to the local party, just volunteers. I was sitting in a meeting this evening thinking I really enjoyed being a small cog in the big machine, who could just do things and not have to make decisions. Now I'm the same size cog and the machine is...not exactly smaller but moving more slowly.
But we're still just as ambitious. We're focusing on getting through the original May 4 elections first, particularly because there's a council by-election in our constituency (maybe John Leech will get some company as the opposition on the council!) as well as the Greater Manchester mayoral election that day. I'd really love Andy "I'm so convinced I'll win I'm not standing to defend my parliamentary seat a month later" Burnham not to win. Particularly since he seems to have affectations instead of a personality, and his affected northernness is to hate foreigners and call coffee posh.
So anyway, Andrew has said he'll be front-of-house, i.e. make sure there's a human there all day long so when people turn up to volunteer or ask questions or whatever, there's someone who can help them. He reckons that he can sit there with a laptop as easily as here, and is pleased that something he can do will be such a big help to the campaign (most of the obvious ways to help involve things he finds hard or impossible).
But this will inevitably involve some help from me: the one part of this he will struggle with is getting going in the mornings, so I'm actually going to open up and probably do the "until-lunchtime" shifts. Starting tomorrow! So while there's more to talk about, I should try to sleep.