The good news is Market Harborough has won the internet poll to decide which town will be twinned with Aleksandr Orlov's home village of Meerkovo for a day.
The result was announced earlier today in The Meerkovian:
Whilst competition was fierce, Market Harborough emerged as the clear winner, receiving over 60% of the thousands of votes cast.The bad news is that, incredibly, that day will be tomorrow, Thursday 24 February.
Meerkovo is part of the most popular advertising campaign in the country, and associating Market Harborough with that campaign would surely be a good way of promoting the town.
But what chance does anyone in Harborough have to respond with only one day's notice? We should have T-shirts, balloons, fireworks, champagne, a special issue of the local paper... I can't see much of that happening now. This has to count as a major lost opportunity.
We were told that the date of the twinning day would be "agreed with the winner". Who, exactly, in Market Harborough agreed that it should be tomorrow and how do we get rid of them? And what is going to happen to the "donation of £5000 to be used for community purposes"? I think we should be told.
I had intended to take the twinning day off to report the bunting and frolics for this blog. But now I shall have to be at work and will miss whatever fun it is possible to arrange at such short notice.