You see all sorts when someone opens the door to you. Sometimes you see more than you probably ought to,
I used to think I was the only person who’d open the door to folk in her jammies, but no. At least I’m always covered neck to toe.
Poor Gillian Martin (@misssym), from Aberdeen, on her first ever canvassing venture for Yes, got a man totally starkers at the door. Funny, it didn’t put her off.
And then there’s the guy who kept me at his door for 20 minutes in a wee short terry towelling robe and bare legs, and kept crossing and uncrossing his legs trying to give me an eyeful. Bleugh.
Or the woman – who was clearly expecting someone else – who answered in only her pants. She could just have left it but no, heroically she keeked out from behind the door answering our deadpan, female canvasser’s questions as best she could. Our canvasser acted as if this was normal; sadly, her male companion just tried to pretend he wasn’t there. He was desperate to interject with some added points but unsure that the naked lady even knew he was there, he didn’t want to frighten the life out of her. If he could have been swallowed whole by the doorstep, he would.
Aside from Mr Perv, I’ve also had Mr Hunk. He came to the door, with a big fluffy towel wrapped round his waist, his hair moist, a few droplets from the shower still all over his torso. He was gorgeous with one of those perfectly buffed and honed bodies. I offered to go and come back another time. Apparently it was fine to chat – and boy was it fine. He was thinking of voting Yes and had some questions – did I mind? No, I simpered, what did he need to know? I did my best to maintain eye contact but I can’t say it was the worst fifteen minutes I’ve ever spent in my life. I’m tempted to book him for a session every week.
Naked, nearly naked, just showered, see through nighties, manky old Y fronts. Yep, we campaigners get to see it all. Often way more than we want or intend to.
But the highlight of my campaign trail experience so far has to be the Offer. Mr Rakish opened the door. Wearing jeans, a waistcoat and a natty wee kerchief knotted at his neck. He was a naw but then began to tell me a bit of his life story. His da would have been a yes – they had a conversation once, when he’d been chucked out by the missus for being naughty and was sleeping on his da’s floor. But naw, he was a naw. Though he could be persuaded… I was a bonnie wee thing, might I be interested? There could be a vote in it? I told him not to be ridiculous or he might find himself sleeping on his da’s floor again.
He was 82. And apparently, if we lose by one vote – so my fellow canvassers told me – it will be because I wouldn’t take one for the team.
How to get through the last three weeks
It’s all getting a bit tense and fractious. Be kind to each other, was the sage advice of one longtime campaigner I know. And she was right. The last few weeks of a campaign though – whichever side you are on – are always terse. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it all in. Tick tock.
But it should also be about having fun. Campaigns should be fun. And also about finding ways of letting off steam and coping. Here are my top tips (which I am probably, mostly, writing to remind myself). Do as I say not as I do…
1. Eat your five a day and at least one proper meal a day. Yesterday I had a baked potato, a banana and an apple. And then a packet of biscuits at 10pm because I was hungry and too tired to cook. It’s not good.
2. Take time off. No really, it is allowed. At least one evening or afternoon a week. The campaign will not collapse because you absented yourself. (They might not even notice you’re missing).
3. Sleep. Preferably without odd dreams. I’m doing a lot of running and searching in mine in the last wee while. Frantic it is. And James Naughtie appeared in one earlier this week. Shudder. I’ve prescribed myself lavender baths and camomile tea at bedtime.
4. Treat yourself. A bar of chocolate, a couple of pints, a movie. Whatever it is, a little of what you fancy does you good and helps you cope.
5. Campaign sex. There is no better way of releasing the tension and I have it on good authority that it can result in great sex. If you can, get yourself some. Preferably with someone you know of course. And definitely not with someone from the other side. Some things are just a no-no.
Things I am going to do after 18 September
the ironing that got done, we’d run out of clothes
the garden – the back is a jungle, I pretend it’s no longer mine
for Boy Wonder and I to stop wearing odd socks
read a book
learn how to make lentil soup again
buy some music