We patrolled for six hours, a wearing journey I can assure you, and whilst never blasé, you can also become a little un-attentive after a while. 50 yards behind me a soldier lost his legs a couple of weeks back, 600 yards to my left is a sniper, to the front is a compound with insurgents, we can see them watching us, and the same to our right, a compound chock full of people who rightly or wrongly wish us ill.
One of the perks of being an MP is access to a wonderful private library - the House of Commons Library. I know that MPs can ask for the Library to buy books they are interested in reading. So, curious to know which books MPs have been asking us, as taxpayers, to buy for them, I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request.
For a country like Tanzania, support for the improvement of healthcare systems and educational provision is crucial, but it is also crucial that we empower people and give them the power to build themselves a better standard of living.
The publication yesterday of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee Report on Libya is quite rightly very positive about the conduct and outcome of recent operations in that country.
Under pressure over his disastrous and unwanted NHS reorganisation at Prime Minister's Questions today - a reorganisation which is diverting billions away from the frontline and which risks 6,000 nurses being laid off - David Cameron repeatedly gave misleading answers about the NHS under the Tories.
The stakes are high, and the pitfalls great, as let's not forget - when it comes to decisions that affect children, any repercussions will not only be felt today, but potentially also for many years to come.
Over the past 18 months we've put a massive amount of effort and investment into strengthening apprenticeships in this country - and it shows. Last year more than 450,000 people started an apprenticeship, roughly the same number as those who started in higher education.
Nobody wants to cull badgers. But equally no country in the world where wildlife carries TB has been able to eradicate the disease in cattle without tackling it in wildlife too.
I will never forget seeing a very short but very powerful film featuring a young girl being assailed with hundreds of images of physical perfection. As she stands, overwhelmed by idealised bodies and perfectly constructed faces, the tag line appears on the screen: talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.
Metal theft in the UK has reached endemic levels. Barely a day goes by, it seems, without more news of the theft of lead from church roofs, railway line cables, and war memorials, amongst others.
It was difficult to be a Scot in London yesterday, because for once it felt like the real action was elsewhere. Alex Salmond's speech to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, in which he laid out the details of the SNP's constitutional position and plans felt like some kind of historic moment.
This year the government is making available an extra £650 million to help principal local authorities to freeze council tax. In the last 10 years council tax has almost doubled across the UK, yet many residents have not seen a corresponding increase in the services they receive.
Last July Rebekah Brooks told her assembled staff that "worse revelations are yet to come and you will understand in a year why we closed News Of The World". We haven't had to wait a year and the evidence from the Surrey Police published today by our House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee lays bare the scandal of phone hacking at the paper during the Milly Dowler case.
The long awaited consultation document on the promised statutory register of lobbyists has been published. This week, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is contacting individual members of our Public Affairs Group to seek their views on the questions it raises.
Last week, we learned that not only are vast swathes of the general public feeling nervous about the Conservative's Healthcare Reform Bill, but so are healthcare professionals. Several healthcare unions have started to sharpen their scalpels.
In October 2011, I closed down my world in a leafy provincial English town in and headed to Kabul, with the avowed intent to establish myself as an internationally recognised photojournalist. I decided to chronicle the experience of my day-to-day life in my online Kabul Diaries.