Diary - catch up with an island friend

Off to Portland first thing in blustery and rainy conditions. My first port of call was to meet Les and Jean Ames, two of the loveliest people you could care to meet. Les is now 99 and has served the island with dignity, courage and devotion for decades. Honest as the day is long, I first met Les back in 2006 as the then Conservative candidate for S Dorset. He asked to see me and I at once responded. Les' knowledge of the island is second to none and he briefed me on its history, problems and successes. At the end of our first meeting he told me he was an Independent, always had been, and always would be. With like minds on most issues, we became firm friends and I have listened to Les ever since. Now elderly, he has retired and lives quietly with his lovely wife, Jean, to whom he is devoted. We had a fun hour together, with Les recounting many stories about his fascinating life. A busy surgery at the council offices dragged me away, where there were some complicated cases to help with. Then across to Church Knowle for my quarterly get-together with my band of farmers. These are always fun, interesting and and illuminating sessions, which I follow up on with the minister. The meeting was in confidence, but the range of issues was broad, as you'd expect, and included Brexit.