Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pride 2010

Here is the first of my catch up posts about what has been going on. I have just had a visitor (Hi Erica!), and so this is my first real chance to start posting. So, lets take a little journey back to July 2010. In the beginning of July, the 3rd to be precise, the pride parade and festival took place. Now, I have to be completely honest with you. These pictures are not very good. I just could not get it together enough and really take any good pictures of the parade. But here are a few I have picked out to show you.

The Gay Liberation Front led the parade. It has been 40 years since it began, and 40 years since the pride parade began. An interesting anecdote about this photo is that the white conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is here arm-in-arm with a transgender rapper of colour (who performed at the festival after the parade).

Here is Ellie with our friend Alex, who came with us to the parade. After the parade, and before the festival, we went to a pub to watch the World Cup.

I think this next picture sums up the parade in general in that it was all a bit chaotic. Not even the people in it knew what was going on. But it was good fun overall.

The festival after the parade was held in Trafalgar Square, which was packed full of people. There was a large stage set up for performers.

If you've ever been to Trafalgar Square, you might have noticed the fountains. I would not call them the most clean of all fountains. And especially during pride, for some reason, everyone was throwing rubbish into the fountains.... and swimming in them.

It was a different experience from Seattle pride. Not as many people dressed casually. Loads of groups from different sections of the city. I don't think I felt too connected to the groups I saw going by. I guess that is more about not having been very involved here. I am so glad I experienced it though.

Ok, that is all for now, I will be back for more catch up posts soon!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Well thats summer gone....

Hello dear readers (if you're still out there!),

I know I have been rubbish at posting. And that I have a lot to catch up on. But now I am officially done with my Masters! I turned in my dissertation today. So I have time to catch my breath and figure out what has been going on here.

Dissertation title:
"The Battle Continues!"
Queer Affect and Gay British Activism in the 1970s-1990s
(I will take requests for copies ;) )

Now that thats done, I will be able to post a bit more! Some highlights to come:
-End of Masters - where to now?
-3 weeks in France (Cagnes-sur-mer to be exact)
-London Pride (maybe that is too long ago now to post!?)
-Weekend in the countryside of England
-More knitting
-More baking too

Thursday, June 24, 2010

End of June happenings

I have come up with a dissertation topic! It has been a struggle for me to think of something I would be interested in writing about. But here it is:

I want to explore the idea of queer affect*, what are queer affects and how people mobilise on the basis of queer affects. And my case study will be UK LGBT activist groups from the 1970s-1990s (the dates could be revised). I specifically want to look at groups that work across multiple sites of gender (such as disability, race, and gender).

*Affect is a field of study/inquiry concerning emotions and how bodies move through the world. It began in psychoanalysis, but has been used in the social sciences to look at how people mobilise or arrange themselves around things like pride, fear, rage, shame, etc. A book to read to help understand this would be "The Cultural Politics of Emotion" by Sara Ahmed.

I am now going to spend my days in the archive room, looking at old newsletters, pamphlets, and posters.

One of my goals for the summer is to explore more of London. Yesterday I went to Kensington Gardens, which houses Kensington Palace - the place where Princess Diana lived. There is also a Diana Memorial Walk and a Memorial Playground.

Ellie and I are going to spend this weekend in Banbury, a village in Oxfordshire with my friend Alice and her parents. I am excited to see the countryside, and will try to take some pictures! Saturday is our 3 year anniversary, so it will be a nice relaxing way to spend the weekend.

Now, if you have been following the World Cup at all, you'll know that the USA won the top of the group and qualified for the next round along with England. Its quite exciting watching the World Cup in a place that loves football/soccer so much!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer begins

I am done with my exams! I think they went well. One of them was 3 hours, the other 2. I have not hand written so much in years.

Did anyone watch the England vs USA world cup match? It was a good match! The goal that the English goalkeeper let in was excruciating for the English fans (the second goal in the video). I am happy with the result because I don't know if the diplomatic relations between the US and the UK could have taken a win either way. :)

Ellie is working full time, and I am now going to work on my dissertation, which is due September 1st. I am not sure at all what I will write about - but I am meeting with my advisor tomorrow, so hopefully something will be illuminated.

The weather here has been off and on - sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny. I have spent a lot of time outside with friends. Last Saturday, I went to the beautiful Battersea Park to have some chips and wine in the park.

Yesterday I went to a knit crawl around the South Kensington area. Arranged by Stitch London. I won a book in the raffle!
It seems a bit advanced for me, but maybe I will work up to it.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Middle of exam season

Hello lovely people! I am sorry for not updating for so long, I have been quite busy. I have just taken a big exam and have one more on Monday. While revising for exams, it has also been so sunny and beautiful outside. Anyway, I don't have a lot of time for a real update, but here are some pictures I have taken over the past month. :) After my exams, I will update more!

A deer in Richmond Park, where Ellie, her mom, and I went for Ellie's birthday

Banana and Baileys Bread and Butter Pudding from Jaime Oliver

A part of the Parliament Building

hilarious/helpful sign near Downing Street (where the Prime Minister lives)


Horse crossing sign near Buckingham Palace

going to see the queen

Friday, May 07, 2010

Post election night

It is a hung parliament! That means that no party has a clear majority, so someone has to make a coalition (possibly Labour and Liberal Democrats?) or the Conservatives can try to have a minority government. What!? All of the constituencies haven't reported back yet, but even when they do, it does not look like any of the parties will have the majority (which means they have attained 326 seats). If you are interested in keeping up with the action, you can check here at the BBC.

Either way, an awesome bit of history was made with the election of the first Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas - she was elected in Brighton, this awesome hippy beach town.

All of the campaigning Ellie and I did in the end did not amount to much. The conservatives won in the Ealing Central and Acton constituency! :( The Lib Dems came 3rd, although it was kind of close. We even had a sign in our yard:

It is a sad day here in Ealing. But I am excited to see what happens with this hung parliament business. It is different than the United States. I mean, the Queen calls for the parties to form a government! Amazing!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Election night!

Tonight is the big UK election - will I wake up tomorrow in a conservative Britain? It hasn't been conservative since 1997. Labour has been in power since then. It does not look good for labour in this election however. Ellie and I did some campaigning for the Liberal Democrats in Ealing! We delivered letters and flyers for our local prospective MP - Jon Ball. He's a silly and tall man. We spent the last 2 evenings out around Ealing and Acton. I have a bit of a new sympathy for mail delivery people. Its hard to get things through some people's mail slots! I messed up a few by accident - because some of them have these brushes that don't move very easily and then the outside metal flap gets caught. Below is Ellie, holding the letters we delivered, ready to go out:
The Lib Dem prime minister candidate is Nick Clegg. If you remember anything about British history from high school - the liberal democrats were the wigs and the conservatives were the tories. This will be quite an interesting election. It seems like the conservatives will probably win, but the Lib Dems are putting up a fight. And it seems, at least from what I have seen in papers and on the news, that Labour are not going to have a good chance.

Ellie and I are going to watch the results coming in, and instead of the traditional BBC election coverage, we will be watching the alternative election night coverage on Channel 4. David Mitchell, of peep show fame, will be one of the presenters.

In other news, my old co-worker, Laura, and her husband, Matt are coming to visit soon and I have turned in my four papers! Lots of exciting things. In word count, the papers equal more than my dissertation! Now I am studying for exams and starting on my dissertation. Oof. I think this month is going to be very busy for me in terms of work.