Monday, 25 January 2016

Equal Ever After

I woke up this morning with a cold rattling through my body like wind howling through an empty house. My nose is runny. My tummy's funny. I need lemon and honey, mummy!

Actually what I need is a bit of sunshine or a really intensely snowy period like they're having in New York at the moment. My friends Cindy and Jem over there are sending me photographs of the mayhem. Jem, who's up in Queens, sent me pictures of snow literally piled up against his windows like an old duvet. I would like a bit of weather like that, please. Instead, we're told this storm will bring us floods. Just what we need.

My back was really painful this morning as well, so I left it as late as I dared to head to rehearsals in an attempt to miss the rush hour crush and perhaps find a seat on the underground. No such luck. The tubes were jam-packed. #londonisbroken

I went to the first part of rehearsals before slipping away for an appointment with the osteopath via Somerset House, where Nathan and I met Michelle of the Turkie for lunch. She was, as always, a luminous ray of sunlight. We sat outside in the courtyard. The sun was stupidly hot for this time of year, but things got rather chilly when it vanished behind the clouds again. The little cafe we drink in serves freshly squeezed juice from blood oranges, which is a glorious shade of red and has a real kick to it. 

The osteopath said my lower back was incredibly knotted, but did a grand job of loosening things off. The route from Borough back to rehearsals in Pimlico ought to have been simple, but, instead of changing lines at Stockwell we managed to travel back the way we'd come. I hate the south of London!

This evening we went to the book launch of Lynne Featherstone's "Equal Ever After", which charts her almost single-handed quest to make same sex marriage legal in the UK. Lynne used to be our local MP, and I was incredibly sad when she was ousted last year, particularly as she'd done so much important work during her time in office. She was also a brilliant constituency MP. She's now in the House of Lords, and hopes one day to vote herself obsolete!

Lynne's book mentions our wedding, which she attended. In fact, she talks about it in great detail and quotes many of the lyrics from Changing Expectations, the song our mothers sang. Lynne was introduced tonight by Nick Clegg, and made a wonderful little speech during which she mentioned us again. It made me feel incredibly emotional, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards her. She also paid homage to the many LGBT people who suffered on the journey towards equality. I've always felt incredibly proud that Nathan and I were able to place the final cherry on the cake of British LGBT equality, and hugely grateful to the men like Peter Tatchell who regularly risked their lives to enable me to marry the man I love.

Oddly, as we arrived at the launch, a tweet arrived from a young lad who'd just seen our wedding for the first time and described it as "the most beautiful thing" he'd ever watched. It astonishes me that people are still discovering it two years on.

Paul Gambaccini was also there this evening. He and I hung out together a few times almost twenty years ago when my partner at the time was elected as an MP. I didn't expect him to remember me in the slightest, but he immediately beamed and said, "I remember you well. You were writing a musical weren't you?" He was talking about an angst-ridden show called Blast which never made it to the stage, but I was hugely impressed that he remembered. He was (and still is) a gracious and incredibly charming man and as we parted company he said, "it's always lovely to meet someone twenty years on..." And I started to wonder when it was that I became so old!

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