Monday, 30 July 2018


Wandering about in a suit and tie is not much fun in this weather. Instead of raining all day on Saturday, as promised, it decided to go all windy and weird. The plain trees in Holland Park were spewing out little bits of grit, seemingly specially designed to get into the eyes and cause misery.

We did a morning singing in synagogue, which went well, from my perspective at least. The more singing I do, the more robust my voice gets, and, because I’m a bass, the later I stay out and the more I shout, the more fruity my voice begins to sound! Thank God I’m not a tenor. They’re a much more fragile bunch.

One of the things which I find a little distressing is the level of security we need at our shul. Imagine going into a church on a Sunday morning and having someone say “what are you here for? Who do you know?” I find it incredibly sad that this is the way of things in the Jewish community.

Nathan was in Leeds teaching. His conquest of the world via knitting needles continues. He’s recently started an initiative called “diversknitty” to encourage under-represented people in the knitting community to talk about what it is that makes them tick and what it is that makes them different. It’s really taken off. I think he’s particularly heartened by the fact that, by using the hash tag, knitters from BAME backgrounds particularly, are finding each other. What I’ve found somewhat pleasing is how people are also using the hashtag to celebrate the true meaning of diversity. Celebrating diversity, to me, means celebrating everything which is different from the norm (whatever that is) and potentially under-represented or overlooked in the general scheme of things, whether that’s being of colour, having a disability, being vegetarian, having facial disfigurements, being state school educated, having mental health issues, surviving cancer, being LGBT, talking with a stammer, being under-confident, following a religion... Nathan heard from three identical triplets who wanted to talk about how different each of them were, despite sharing identical DNA. Diversity shouldn’t be an exclusive club based on a very narrow definition and I’m worried that this is exactly what it’s become. I suppose I first became aware of this fact when Our Gay Wedding: The Musical, nominated for 14 national and International awards, was entirely overlooked and not even shortlisted for just one award that we were entered for: namely the National Diversity Awards. That always struck me as something of an irony.

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