The best type of trips are those when you come away with a sore stomach from all of the hours spent laughing. This year’s Party Conference week was just that!
Spending the Conference with friends was the key ingredient to the five days of hilarity – some friends who I see every day, and some who I had not seen in months. What better way to share our mutual passion for politics than to spend five days drifting in and around the ICC in Birmingham, listening to speeches from the country’s political heavyweights, sipping our way through streams of free wine and of course plenty and plenty of dancing. So much dancing in fact, I came away from Birmingham with a shin full of bruises and a pulled knee.
The majority of our group were staying in the same hotel which inevitably meant that not one night passed when we all stayed in our own, individual rooms. As cute as it was that we all ended up crashing with one another from night to night, it meant that I in particular had a mad rush on the morning of check out when I had to run around everyone’s rooms collecting my various items of clothing which had been shed here and there.
As well as many fringe events and talks, Conference consists of enough receptions to mean that you need not pay for any food or drink for the entirety of the visit, as long as you are prepared to forego anything remotely nutritious. By the time I had returned home on Wednesday, my body was desperately screaming out for some hydration which was not alcoholic and a meal with at least one vegetable.
Malnourishment aside, one of my favourite receptions was in Hotel Indigo at which the development of HS2 was discussed. Hotel Indigo towers over Birmingham, boasting a panoramic view of the city from it’s rooftop bar. With Marco Pierre White’s famous Steak House sitting just inside from the terrace, the view could be enjoyed on even a windy, October evening.
Although it is bittersweet to wave the Conference goodbye for another year, I have no doubt that we will be reminiscing about the memorable speeches and blurry nights for months to come.