Pride: We Were Not Ready

We’ve been meaning to go to Pride in London for ages, but never got round to it, usually because somehow it always seemed to be on either when I was working a weekend, or had a prior engagement. This year we determined was going to be different.

Was being part of a throuple part of this? Yes, a little I’ll admit, along with having started to go to munches and engage with the wider LGBTQ+ community rather than rolling relatively solo (so to speak). It’s brought us to know a more diverse and vibrant set of individuals and hear their stories.

From doing so, it became clearer that with so many more important problems in the world than who loves who, it is more imperative than ever for us to stand up and combine celebration with protest. To be a voice and representative for those unable to do so, or who would be at serious personal risk if they did.

So Pride it was, with some fellow cosplayers from Squad UK, and the promise of a glorious hot day. We thought we were ready. We had water, sunscreen, hats, and a rendezvous at Oxford Circus. We were there a little early, and got to see the crowds rapidly swell to fill streets normally thronged with shoppers and tourists.

Being the centre of London shopping, everywhere was decked out in rainbows. Tube stations, shops, buses, you name it, with many shops deploying extra staff to encourage people in out of the fierce sunshine. Somehow that just made everything seem more vibrant.

More and more families appeared, multiple generations to support and cheer on the parade, and everyone was just… relaxed. People of all shapes, sizes, ages and origins chatting, sharing jokes and observations, making room for each other, encouraging and supporting people. It was lovely, and heartwarming.

But it was very, very hot. I’d love to report that we managed to stay for the whole parade, let alone attend any after parties or shows, but the need for food, more drink, and shelter from the heat, let alone a break from the crowds, left us reeling away about halfway through.

We eventually ended up at The World’s End in Camden to meet some other people from Squad UK to celebrate some birthdays, and Lady M got to watch England beat Sweden before we made a break for home.

All in all, what a positive and extremely packed day. We will definitely go again, better prepared now that we have a better idea of what to expect. We were not ready!

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Oh I Can’t Do That With You

My weird and wonderful wanderings are proving fun for providing little insights and moments that make me pause to reflect – and this weekend has been no exception.

That’s not because it was the first weekend away I’ve spent over at Lady S’ without Lady M, or how I ended up at a social event on a naturist beach, but because of a brief conversation post-breakfast on Monday.

Lady S had flicked on the TV to have something on while we had caffeine, and food went down ahead of my journey home – and she saw that the series finale of Westworld was available.

We both looked at each other, and then I said “No, if I tell Jo I’ve seen that before she gets back from her conference I’ll never hear the end of it”

So we didn’t.

I watched the show with Lady M last night once she’d stopped spinning round the flat in excitement and glee at how inspiring and helpful her conference had been, and we’ve been sharing our gossip and theories and reactions to the show on our group chat ever since.

This amuses me perhaps far more than it warrants.

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Almost Silent Running

I’ve lost track of the times that I’ve made people jump in surprise when I’ve walked into a room and spoken to people who haven’t realised that I was there. Its been a source of constant amusement for me and the occasional scream by family, friends, and co-workers for years.

And so, after years of people threatening to put a bell on me, I’ve gone and put one on my keys. It started as an in-joke with Lady S, who I’ve been calling ‘kitten’ as a pet name – but then people started to be warned enough of my presence that they stopped jumping, so I kept it attached.

Last week my mischevious streak came out to play, so I removed the bell while I was at work. WIthin ten minutes I had one person audibly yelp, another jump, and another drop the books they were carrying. That was just the staff. So, I’ve started wearing the bell again – but it perhaps says a lot about me that I’ve now noticed myself walking even more softly and smoothly so as to reduce the chiming of the bell. I do wonder how long it will be before someone jumps when I appear despite the warning chimes.

I probably need to get out more.

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Sickness etc

There’s a lot of it going round, and perhaps one of the joys of being a throuple is that we do tend to share the germs from time to time. As a result one or more of us at any one time has been supporting or being supported by the others in between dealing with stomach bugs, the black dog, or migrainous irritations.

So blogging hasn’t been high on the priority list.

That said, since MCM, we ended up being invited to guest as part of Squad UK at the Port Solent Comiccon which was a first for each of us.

Rocking steampunk versions of my Harley, Lady M’s Ivy, and Lady S’ Katana we met and posed with children and fans last weekend.

We shared changing space with Star Wars Stormtroopers, assorted Judges from BritCit, and a handful of Deadpools; while Lady M found that some of the invited cosplayer guests already knew and followed her social media – so there was mutual squeeing and admiration of costumes at various points in the day.

It was great fun, and off the top of it we’ve also been invited to guest at Alton Con in August. Between that and LFCC at the end of July, that should keep us busy outside of work.

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MCM ComicCon May 2018

I’m exhausted. There’s no two ways about it. Across the blazing hot Bank Holiday weekend we just had, I’ve sweltered and socialised with fellow cosplayers, geeks, nerds, and friends at MCM ComicCon. It was brilliant.

Three days, three costumes, many photos, and best of all our first proper group cosplay as a triad, recreating the Black Sails partnership of Jack Rackham, Anne Bonney, and Max. We even managed to get in to see Jessica Parker Kennedy, who played Max in the show, for a photo opportunity.

We’d mildly squee’d when we saw her announced, and then I’d had a number of conversations around whether the three of us could see her at once. Negotiations and financial considerations sorted, we then waited until the Saturday to tell Lady S in case she got into a complete panic meltdown.

As it turned out, we were instantly recognised as our respective characters (more than a small relief), and then for the rest of the day found ourselves being approached by a surprising number of people who either loved the show or who themselves also cosplay characters from it.

I think it was a first for all three of us, to find ourselves being stopped by people so enthusiastically, and it’s just made the whole weekend that much more special.

Photos from various photographers are starting to filter through, and we made it into at least two videos that I’ll post links to as they get published.

I’m tired now. What a brilliant weekend.

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Little Victories

One of the things of which I am most proud this weekend has been how well Lady M has done with all the crowds at MCM. Its been a long hard struggle for her, and being able to engage and flourish in the heat and confusion of such a big and busy Con has been joyous to watch. It has also been a little bit scary as she dived in and organised photographers with verve, charm and a little cheek to maximise the day.

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Lord and Lady M in pirate garb with Kisasa Cosplay as Kaylee from Firefly

Its been a huge leap forward, even as she’s found it exhausting. What has been even more of a blessing has been how the people who have been along on this journey with us through posts here, on social media, and in keeping in touch let her know how pleased they were to see her there – without overloading her with excessive schmaltz. Thank you all, especially our friends in UKCC and Squad UK, for being amazing and supportive.

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Dealing with the “What Ifs”

Just like everyone else I have a critical voice that lurks at the back of my mind and picks apart every decision and choice that I make. Its sole function seems to be to remind me that I am not good enough by some unseen yardstick that keeps moving.

So how do I function? How do I keep from paralysis in the face of this clamour and self doubt? This was the question asked in last night’s counselling session.

My only marginally flippant reply was that whatever choice or decision I make will be seized on by my brain so I might as well keep choosing and making decisions and be a similarly moving target.

History tells me that by and large everything works out and that my gut instincts are generally good. So I keep moving forward, and occasionally I outpace the voice of “what if” and “should have”

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