Politics has always had a conundrum - whose duty is it to talk to whom? My Maui and Dad are of the tradition that saw it as a duty to always vote, who read a newspaper each day and who stayed up to watch election night. As a child I grew up with that vibe.

By the time I was in sixth form I was reading the politics pages of the paper myself and attending election hustings. When the 1987 election loomed I was handing out leaflets in Spalding market place and going with my Mum to watch her cast her vote. When Becky Bryan spoke at a public meeting I realised that I was liberal and so I joined and the rest followed.

So as I strode through Witney at a gentle jogging pace around a nice cluster of chiltern cottages, I was aware of previous deliverers who had been out ahead me. This awareness took several forms: laden recycling bins, tutting or positive greetings from folks at home at yet another delivery, or my leaflet landing on top of another from another party.

But as I went door to door I was aware of a leaflet that had been pushed through far enough that I could not retrieve or liberate a copy and so I had to watch and wait until I met a friendly voter or found an accessible recycling bin.

(This article first appeared on Lib Dem Voice http://www.libdemvoice.org/opinion-on-being-beaten-45953.html)

After hours of counting on the morning on Friday 7th May 2010 it was announced for the world to see that Glenda Jackson was re-elected elected as the Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kilburn.  Hidden beneath this was my own result where I lost by 842.  A close result, except that I was in third place – in 2010 the best placed third placed loser in Britain I’m told.

In most of the accounts of the 2010 General Election H&K as it was dubbed, is listed as the seat the LD’s hoped to win – Nick Clegg had launch his campaign there.  I was cited as a close friend (one paper even said I was his best man – I wasn’t!).

After a casual laid back semi-retirement from front line politics, I'm seeing if I can muster the energy to play again.  Let me explain.  For over 20 years politics drove me, amused me and dominated my time - it was a massive part of my life.

In 2010 it was finally declared after three recounts that I had managed to come third in the closest three-way election in mainland Britain.  The experience was amazing, exhilarating and in so many respects personally rewarding - but I was exhausted, disappointed and wanted a break.  Politics is all consuming and utterly unforgiving.  So I stepped back and have done little active street campaigning since then.