More sun today. Instead of a day in the garden we've been in town on a march to protest against the proposed cuts to our local health service, namely the loss of 400 beds in the local hospital and smaller cottage hospitals and the closure of the accident and emergency, maternity, stroke and paediatric departments at our local hospital. Instead we will have regional centres of excellence at Plymouth, nearly 100 miles away or possibly Exeter, 50 miles away. Presumably the advice to the 30,000 people living in Barnstaple is not to have an accident, stroke or even a baby unless you can wait an hour or two to be seen by a specialist.
Although we are planning to eventually move out of Devon we felt it was our duty to support the march. Everyone had been asked to wear red to show anger at the proposals and as a demand for a 'red line' to drawn around vital services before financial cuts are considered. We were with a group of gig club members who along with Peter wore their red and black jackets and I borrowed a red fleece jacket of Peter's. Some of the shops had put red displays in their windows or tied red balloons to their doors.
We made our way slowly up the High Street taking a detour through the Pannier Market, which was almost deserted, back up Butchers' Row and ended up at the Square. There we were handed out post cards to send to the Prime Minister and various people spoke including a young girl I used to teach. She and her twin sister had been born 6 weeks early and owe their lives to the staff at our local hospital.
We stayed listening to the speakers for a bit then made our way back down the High Street and back to the car which was parked in Pilton. I felt surprisingly tired when we got home so refrained from gardening apart from sweeping up the leaves from the front patio.