Ipswich used to have an MP called Ken Weech, whom despite being a Labourite was generally held in some regard by the whole town. He was not ambitious, never aspired to the ministerial ladder, was happy on the back benches and was known as a fair-dealer without pronounced views. Every year on this weekend, after Parliament had risen, he'd spend two or three hours just standing about on Cornhill, outside the Town Hall, on his own, just shaking hands and making friendly small-talk with constituents. He was rarely unengaged - no-one was deterred from approaching him, he wasn't scary or pompous and he consequently generally had a constantly shifting audience of two or three around him.
He had a smooth way with the occassional pest who wanted a disputatious monopoly of his time - he'd just turn slickly to a passing shopper, smile, extend his hand and freeze the pest over his left shoulder. Likewise, he'd be gone before the customers of Mannings and the Golden Lion on the adjacent side of Cornhill spilled out after lunch, neatly avoiding the drunks.
We used to sit in the front window seats at Mannings and watch him at work. He was a pro - it was a joy to see. People were genuinely happy to meet and greet their MP, and the brief encounters enhanced a tedious pre-Christmas shopping scramble for many. It was one of those little social happenings from which everyone got something. All credit to him.
I'm sure he's not the only MP to have done this, or who will contemplating doing similar today. Except that many will be facing constituents for whom Brexit has been an enforced diet for months, and many, particularly from my own Party, will be facing constituents anxious to hear their MP's reasons for not supporting the constituency's Leave vote in the Commons (or, more rarely, Remain vote).
I suspect there's going to be a lot of Westminster flu about this weekend (like diplomatic flu, but the virus only becomes active outside of SW1). Which is a shame - as if there's a GE before next Christmas, it may have been their last opportunity to do so.