Last Thursday I set off on a mini adventure to Newquay, we had agreed to campaign at the Newquay Fish Festival. But as Newquay is on the rugged and dangerous North Coast of Cornwall I had decided to stay over as travelling each day would have been impossible. I arrived at the Hotel California (yes true) and there on a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air. No stop I was there to get ready to help people to Be a Fisherman’s Friend! It was an important time as we now had a date to visit our MEP and a clear mandate from local people for radical reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, to support local sustainable fishermen, and the last chance to ensure a future for our fish, oceans and communities.
So on the Friday I was set up at the end of the pier early and ready, Clarence Cod has stayed overnight at the Festival Site and had a comfortable night and was ready for action. A school party was due to visit later in the day and I was rehearsing interesting facts about Greenpeace and the campaign but soon had to get to work in getting as many sign ups for our two petitions one to our local MEP and the other via the iPad to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon. When the school parties arrived I started to try and talk to them (ages ranged from 8-11), but they just ignored me. Luckily Helen stepped in and quickly gained the childrens attention and gave interesting and useful talks, she used to be a teacher, I was very grateful and glad I never chose teaching as a profession.
I has a visit from BBC Radio Cornwall later that afternoon where I gave another live radio interview, although I felt it was not my best, it did pull visitors to the stall to sign the petition. In fact the whole weekend was spent reuniting with existing Fisherman Friends, people we had met at other events around Cornwall. Many recognised Clarence Cod but some even recognised me and it was difficult to reply to the question "Do you remember Me?", when we have had thousands of people sign our petition. But it was really inspiring to hear that they were still very interested in how the campaign was going, and I was able to give them really good feedback and concrete dates.
So we had a great weekend, the weather was kind to us, people had areally good time, we managed to get 666 fish signed, the petition to the MEP and 110 sign ups on the iPad, the petition to the Fisheries Minister. So we made a lot of new friends as well as reuniting up with old ones. I would like to thank all those that came to help, who did a fantastic job, and welcome to Jo who was brilliant on her first outing campaigning for Greenpeace.
So I had to leave the hotel with regret after a wonderful weekend but at reception I was told we are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! I wonder what she meant?