This weekend (okay, a few weeks ago now!) we were incredibly fortunate to be able to head from Edinburgh down to London to attend World Pride in London. It was a busy and exciting weekend – and I think it’s fair to say that both Stacey and I are already making plans as to when we can next head down again!
After my return from Italy last week, I felt more than a little guilty that I got almost a full week away on holiday whilst Stacey was stuck at work in Edinburgh. I’d also hoped to be able to head down to London in July to see my family, and combining that with the weekend of Pride seemed to be a brilliant idea – especially as Stacey had never visited my mum’s home in Essex!
So, once again Stacey and I booked a half day off work on Friday and organised train tickets down to the big city. The East Coast mainline between Scotland and London King’s Cross is a familiar journey for me – one I took multiple times a year as a student, so being sat on the train on the way down was a reassuring adventure.
We got into London by about 7pm (having been delayed by flooding…) and into Essex by 8, when my mum picked us up from the station. We were then taken to dinner by my mum and stepdad, and accompanied by my 11 year old stepbrother. A few drinks at our local pub later, we headed home to have a very long and slightly awkward heart-to-heart (which I’m sure I’ll elaborate on in another post in the future). Let’s just say that when I woke up on Saturday morning, my head was a little bit fuzzy!
However, we managed to make it into London, and took ourselves straight to our pretty little hotel. We’d managed to get a great deal to stay at St Ermin’s hotel, which is pretty much half way between Westminster and Victoria, and just round the corner from New Scotland Yard. The hotel was lovely – the lobby was all white with a big y shaped staircase which could have come straight from Beauty and the Beast, I swear! We both changed (it was pretty humid in London, even though it rained on-and-off all day!) before heading out to Trafalgar Square to see the World Pride march!
The thing which made me most proud, watching the Pride march was the number of companies who were represented. Whilst it was brilliant to see NUS Scotland there, and of course Stonewall, it made me happy to see the big commercial companies standing up to say ‘we support equality’. It made me feel very warm inside. So to Microsoft, Nandos, Tesco, Google and every other company who had employees and representatives at World Pride, I want to say thank you – thank you for standing up for what is right, and for all the people who work for you and with you who know you won’t accept inequality. It means a lot.
After the parade (and a cheeky stop for Subway) Stacey and I organised to meet up with Laura and Sarah – bloggers from one of our favourite blogs, Sprezzatura (who also guest posted for us back here!). Meeting them for the first time was lovely, and it was also nice to meet Lauren and Sarah – they blog over at 2Bridesto2Mummies and it was so exciting to hear about their wedding plans! We all headed into Soho for Pizza Express (where we saw a girl puking into a bin in the loos as we left – some people can’t handle their Pride!) and then some drinks in a bar.
I cannot explain how happy it makes me that it’s possible to meet people and make friends via the internet. Whilst Stace and I are lucky in that we have a lot of gay friends, this blog is still a lifeline for me, in that I can write about my fears and frustrations and the things which make me happy without worry about what the people around me are going to say or think. Chatting to Laura and Sarah in Pizza Express was so easy and so much fun, and part of that is just because you know so many things about people from reading their blog. We all had a pretty in depth chat about food (particularly the foods and restaurants that we don’t get here in the UK!) and it felt like we’d known all the girls for ages. (It also made me quite sad that Stace and I can’t be in London more of the time…)
Anyway, having said a very rushed goodbye to Laura and Sarah and Sarah and Lauren on a packed underground train, Stacey and I enjoyed a nice night together (we were going to go back out into Soho, but actually, we ended up staying in the hotel with some tea and a movie – it was bliss!). We managed to drag ourselves to Covent Garden on Sunday to have breakfast, before heading back to Essex to have lunch with the family. It was a packed weekend – Stacey slept a fair amount of the train journey back to Edinburgh – but so worth doing, and so much fun.