Rainbow Days

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.

Burly Chaps

Burly Chaps

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’.

Trendily Pink

Trendily Pink

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?

 Co-ordinated Steward


Co-ordinated Steward

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.

Cordoned and Coned

Cordoned and Coned

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?

Logo

Logo


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.

 Almost Abbey Road


Almost Abbey Road

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.

Not So Stylish

Not So Stylish

Onlookers

Onlookers

Police Presence

Police Presence

Next time I think they should put a filter over the striding man at the crossing to make him rainbow coloured too.

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14 thoughts on “Rainbow Days

    • Not sure if it is Pride just today or all weekend. But I guess it will be rolled up again until next year. A first for London, but apparently a regular event elsewhere. Exeter maybe?

        • I know what you mean. If it isn’t something you attend you aren’t aware. When my friend told me about it last night, it made sense of all the rainbow flags i had seen in soho in the afternoon. Maybe an S should be added to the increasing list of letters LGBT+ so that straight joins too and we can all clebrate our sexual orientation, whatever it is, together.

  1. Great reporting – I think the BBC should recruit you. But then you would have to follow their rules. Love this post and your new header is delightful.

  2. I have to weigh in on the side of the woman in the frilly white dress. Was this the one crossing in all of London that got a rainbow treatment for Gay Pride? (Or as we prefer to remember the old days, Gay Freedom). That said, your reporting of the pomposity of the occasion was excellent and most amusing. The main drag of this gay city has been draped with bunting all month.

    We shall be viewing the parade tomorrow from the recesses of a friend’s semi-clear view of the street.

    I think you are currently covered under P for parents or F for friends in the PFLAG contingent. Once we have the entire alphabet included our work will be done.

    And just a wee thank you for noting that the gay not-quite Beatles are still all male.

    How’s the wrist?

    • I understand it was a first for London, but that other UK towns and cities have been rolling them out for a while. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
      I am delighted to find I have my own letter. Do us Ps and Fs get our own badge too?
      Your own array of letters seems remarkably restrained. Here, more and more of the alphabet is being co-opted. The + includes binary, which even after hearing the definition I am not sure I understand.
      Soho was awash with rainbows on Friday, but I didn’t make the connection until the evening when my friend asked if I should like to attend the unrolling event.
      Thanks for asking about the wrist. I seem to have plateaued, though the general direction is good. Tuesday sees the start of 1:1 therapy to try to increase range and rotation.
      Enjoy your day. Hope the Ls get a good showing.

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