When I was a student I decided to have a cheap, adventurous, summer holiday trying to visit all the Liberal constituencies in the UK, on the basis that there weren't many of them, and that they were practically all in beautiful parts of the country. I started off in Ely, and after some mishaps and interesting encounters, gave up in a lay-by in the West Country.
It would be a pretty tough job now to visit all of our current constituencies in a fortnight's vacation. So although I know that it's been a very upsetting start to the year, we've had worse times. David Steel and Paddy Ashdown both took over at difficult moments in our history, and each time we recovered.
We are going to have a new leader soon, to follow in the footsteps of Charles, Paddy, David, Jeremy and Jo. I'm actually feeling more comfortable as the leadership campaign progresses that all three remaining candidates would, in their own way, be worthy leaders of our party.
But whom am I going to support? Chris Huhne has been the pleasant surprise package in the campaign. He has his disadvantages - he's only been in Westminster a short time, and with a perilously thin majority. His background of having been, amongst many other things, a Euro MP makes me rather cautious , because in Liberal Democrat terms I'm a Eurosceptic.
But he's left Brussels to be a Westminster MP. He's concentrating on the issues that I care most about - the environment of our planet, and on localism. He understands the big economics questions. He has the support of people such as Lynne Featherstone, whose opinion I value, and his victory would certainly quell any fears about any worthwhile members of our party switching to Cameron.
The clinching feature for me is that I think that the Liberal Democrat supporters that I see on the doorsteps - the readers of our local onlinefocus rather than this blog- will understand why I voted for him and be comfortable in supporting a party with him as leader.
Unless something dramatic and unexpected happens before I get my ballot paper, I will be giving my first preference to Chris Huhne.