Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My last cemetery

I woke up this morning with a terribly sore throat. It felt like I'd swallowed a hedgehog! As the day wore on, I felt less and less healthy. It's time to face facts. I officially have a cold, which officially irritates me, because it doesn't seem like long enough since my last official cold. All I've wanted to do today is sit under a duvet.

Nevertheless, I was up early pulling together data for this potential BBC film. The story that needs to be told seems very clear. Homo/trans-phobia still exists in the UK, and there are things that can be done to stop it. 

I went to a series of lectures this evening on this very subject. One focussed on education within schools. By all accounts there are serious issues developing within the  faith schools in Britain, which need to be explored.

Another lecture focussed on situations further afield. The newly "liberated" Iraq, for example, has seen a rapid rise in homophobic crime. 700 murders and counting, since the change of regime, and many gay Iraqis are now fleeing to the relative safety of Syria (where homosexuality is merely a prisonable offence). Of course, the worry is that a change of regime in Syria will lead to further problems. A life on the run. Horrible. Just horrible.

I visited my last two cemeteries this afternoon. I'm officially bored of wandering through rows and rows of gravestones. Nathan came with me. It's always more fun laughing at death when you're with someone. It's also wise to have someone with you if your tendency is to fall into graves! At one stage I twisted my ankle very badly. It still feels a little bruised. 

350 years ago, Pepys went to the Royal Exchange with Lieutenant Lambert. They went for dinner in an ordinary, where a bagpiper was playing. The clever musician could also whistle like a bird "exceeding well" and Pepys offered him an angell (an antiquated measure of currency) to teach him how to do it. Having got the music bug, Pepys returned home and spent the night singing with Elizabeth. Aww! 

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