Thursday, 27 June 2013

Filibuster

This morning I found myself reading about the extraordinary actions of Democratic Texan Senator, Wendy Davis, who took filibustering to a whole new level yesterday. For those who can't remember what filibustering means, it's a last-ditched process, where a politician, knowing that a bill can only be debated for a finite period in whatever house he or she belongs to, effectively wrecks the debate by talking and talking... Basically for as long as he or she can. This takes full advantage of the gentlemen's agreement which says it's poor form to interrupt a fellow politician mid-flow. 

In this instance, Senator Davis, who was a single mother at the age of 19, was trying to prevent an amendment to a bill which makes abortion in Texas illegal after 20 weeks. And she filibustered like a good-un; finally stepping down after delivering an 11-hour speech!

Quite why I should find this so moving, I'm not sure. I assume it's because this passionate woman single-handedly stood up against a male-dominated, right-wing group of Christian bigots... And won the battle. Such extraordinary bravery needs to be applauded. 

I went to King's Place this evening, that's the new(ish) concert venue on York Way. I didn't go for the music, of course. I very rarely attend classical concerts these days, having yawned my way through way too much Handel and Mozart and commissions by lucky 21-year old female music college graduates in my time whilst waiting for the good stuff. 

I went to the venue instead for a cup of tea with a charming writer called Di Sherlock. I was, however,  hugely impressed by the venue. When they've stopped fiddling with the area behind King's Cross, I'm sure it's going to end up quite an interesting little cultural quarter; that is, of course, if they can keep the rents low enough to enable people to enjoy the facilities in a place which is, let's face it, never going to be the South Bank! 

Di has recently written a pierce about the First World War, based on a soldier from Salford, so we had a great deal to discuss and, I think, a lot of things in common. I think I've finally reached a time in my life where the concept of collaboration is exciting, so I'm keeping an eye open for kindred spirits. 

The rest of the day has been spent in the edit suite and I'm very much enjoying being in Shoreditch again. When you get away from the silly hair and the stupidly skinny jeans of Old Street and Hoxton, things start to feel very laid back. There are little cafes opening up all over the place and the graffiti art daubed on every empty wall is becoming a tourist industry in its own right. I saw a group of school children on Rivington Street yesterday who were plainly on a special tour. An older, rather respectable looking chap, had them all gathered around a particularly bold work underneath a railway bridge and was telling them about the artist who'd painted it. 

We have beigels for lunch every day. I always have two coated with poppy seeds and filled with cucumber and cream cheese. I avoid the temptation of the jam doughnuts - the best in London - only 40p each, big and fat, and filled with jam which oozes out on the first bite and drips down your chin. Perhaps I'll treat myself to one tomorrow to celebrate the end of the week. Frankly, anything to wake myself up a bit. Over-tiredness, and long hours staring at a monitor are making me a bit light-headed and dizzy. Bring on Saturday when I can have a lie-in. 

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