So much going on today: barge races on the Thames; the start of Ramadan; Wimbledon; Glastonbury; North Lambeth Parish Fête.
We went to the unrolling of a carpet.
Not just any carpet, and although it wasn’t tufted Wilton, it drew crowds and photographers and had to be cordoned off to stop an over-enthusiastic public from walking on it before the appointed hour.
As luck would have it, we were early, and using detective skills honed by hours of watching Poirot, we worked out where it was to be, then went to buy coffee.
When we got back the carpet, neatly rolled, was being manhandled by two burly chaps in hi-viz jackets.
I took photos. Naturally.
A man on the pavement was in a bright pink t-shirt with matching shorts. I thought the t-shirt read ‘I was gay before I was trendy’ which made me laugh, as trendiness looked like a future event given his wardrobe. Then he moved his arm and I realised it said ‘…before it was trendy’.
A steward was in co-ordinated kilt, t-shirt, socks and even megaphone. I had to ask him about the megaphone. Had he really dressed to match it?
I must admit that until today I had not realised kilts were so popular with gay men.
Meanwhile the carpet was unrolled, straightened up, cordoned off and coned at each corner.
I was hoping it would be officially opened by a member of the Royal Family, Prince Edward perhaps. Buckingham Palace was conveniently close. I also hoped there would be an echo of the Abbey Road cover with people walking over it barefoot. Perhaps I should explain that it was a special rainbow pedestrian crossing that London Transport had commissioned for today. Hence the multi-coloured logo. Apparently there are very strict regulations about mucking about with the LT logo, so only insiders would have got permission. Who knew?
The official photographer heard my Abbey Road comment and laughed. However, I noticed that he used the Abbey Road and Beatles reference when he was asking the officials to walk and walk again across it. The officials were all men. It might have been an LGBTI event, but there was precious little of the L about it. I can’t comment on the BT or I part.
A woman in a frilly white dress was unimpressed by all the fuss. ‘You’d think it was the first rainbow carpet in the world,’ she sniffed. Everyone else seemed to to love it. One man posed on it repeatedly in front of his friends; families danced over it; little girls struck poses. We finished our coffee and wandered away to seek sandals.
Next time I think they should put a filter over the striding man at the crossing to make him rainbow coloured too.