Friday, 8 February 2013

A tonne of bricks

I've been troubled of late by adverts for pharmaceuticals with names which I consider to be slightly too graphic. I don’t know why we need our medicines and creams to be portmanteaus of words which instantly reveal the graphic truth of the patient’s condition. I’m talking about fixodent, anusol, normacol, vagisil. Going into the chemist and asking for one of these little tubes is surely tantamount to screaming; “I have terrible piles – please help!” And that's surely embarrassing for everyone. I don’t know why this sort of thing should bother me. I’ve not actually got piles, or anything that would need any of the above substances... but I might in the future.

It was a beautiful day in London today. The sky was powder blue and streaked with enormous fluffy vapour trails. The watery sun reminded me a little of the light you get in the East Village in New York. I felt very content as I strode towards the cafe, as I always do these days when it’s not raining. It’s so rare for it to stay dry for 24 hours however, and sure enough, the rain started pelting down just after dark.

I continue to eat healthily and go to the gym on a daily basis. My osteopath yesterday commented on my weight loss, which made me feel very happy indeed. My face looks tidier somehow, which is a great relief every time I look in a mirror. The true catalyst for this new regime came after seeing myself in an in-house BBC documentary about the 100 Faces project. My face looked like a hairy beach ball. I was bloated, old and weird-looking. I barely recognised the person staring back at me.

The rest of the day seems to have been spent filling in application forms and trying to pin down dates where all my choir are available to record the charity EP we’re going to be releasing in June. Trying to get 20 people all together in the same place is almost impossible, but it looks like we’ve nailed a date just before Eurovision this year. May seems such a long way off, however.

The Rebel Chorus are going to be recording Four Colours, which is the set of songs which was commissioned and then decommissioned by the Choir Invisible in Lincolnshire. It’s had a troubled past, much documented in this blog, which included a number of trips to Leicester Crown Court, so it feels wonderfully appropriate for it to be finally being used for the greater good; finally coming out, as it were. The charity we’re working with, appropriately enough, is the Kaleidoscope Trust, who are fighting homophobia on a global level. The more testimonies I read about the treatment of LGBT people, particularly in Commonwealth Countries, the more angry and helpless I feel. The president of The Gambia, for example, suggested that all gay men should be decapitated in 2008, and even in South Africa, where laws are actually very forward-thinking, lesbian women have been known to be raped by people who think they simply need to be shown what a proper man feels like. It’s barbaric and wholly unacceptable behaviour and we need it to change. Quite why black people don’t see homophobia as simply the other side of the racist coin, I’ve no idea. Until we understand that no one actually chooses to be gay, we’re simply treading water. The world came down like a tonne of bricks on South Africa in its apartheid days...

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