Yesterday it was Marching Day. Over a thousand people met up at the Rec, collected balloons, whistles and banners and marched to the Guildhall to protest the design and call for a better one. I was at Uni in Winchester years ago and lived there for several years afterwards and I feel very connected to the City. I've seen the current council plans and I don't like them, so we went along to lend our support. Here is one of the stewards, kindly allowing me to photograph her sign which shows King Alfred, the 9th Century King Of Wessex, whose capital city Winchester was.
The last time M went on a political march was several hundred years ago and it was over student loans. Their chant was 'Maggie, Maggie, Maggie- OUT OUT OUT!' so he was looking forward with keen interest to what ours would be. It ended up as 'Save Our City- We Want Change!' which we all yelled out cheerfully as we walked along the streets while whistles blew and drums banged.
M (our resident chants-for-political-marches expert) thought this wasn't as good as it might have been, but we decided a good March Chant has to be short and punchy: you couldn't, for example, yell out: 'we want better plans that are more aesthetically pleasing, affordable and mean young people don't have to move out of Winchester as soon as they leave home because only bankers from London can afford to buy a house here.'
M was also hoping to be Kettled, but as the two policemen in attendance turned up on bicycles I told him I thought it was unlikely. He still kept a half-hopeful eye out for riot police with shields and batons, but I reminded him this was Winchester, the kind of place where you are more likely to be accosted by an old Major with a bristling moustache wearing a tweed jacket over a pair of canary yellow corduroy trousers than angry youths with attitude. As if to prove my point for me, at that exact moment a man strolled past playing a saxophone....
There were also lots of dogs protesting the plans and I rather regretted not having brought P and T....
|This is Snoopy. He was sitting listening to the speeches very attentively. Isn't he lovely?|
M once spent a night in police cells in Bristol after a mildly raucous student night out. It was a complete over-reaction by the local police who took exception to a group of young lads out enjoying themselves in DJs after a 21st birthday party, and so slung them in the cells. When he rang his dad the next morning after they'd been let out to tell him why he'd be late for Granny's 80th birthday bash, Bob said: 'have you really just spent the night in the cells? How exciting! Tell me all about it!'
Our boys think this is the coolest thing dad's ever done (or ever will do), and so L, who had come with us on the March, was hoping to get arrested. He tried his hardest to achieve this long-help ambition by waving his balloon frantically in front of every news camera we walked past, but alas no policemen were near enough at the time to consider it a Breach Of the Peace dangerous enough to warrant incarceration.
|South today interviewing Kim|
|Walking through the streets of Winchester|
There were a few heckles from people as we went along but broadly speaking everyone was good natured. I was keen for L to come along and see democracy in action and that you can make a point powerfully and peacefully. I think he rather enjoyed it; he asked me whether I thought kids might get into politics after being on a March and he's been telling his skype mates all about it ever since. He kept the balloon, but I put my foot down when the banner nearly came home with us too :o)
|A group of kids did a fantastic street dance outside the Guildhall before the speeches|
|There were news cameras everywhere and reporters darting in and out of the crowd doing interviews|
|This sign made us smile. Henderson is the name of the development company, it's also the surname of friends of ours, so I had to take a picture :o)|
|King Alf, standing guard over his city and the Protestors|
The March made the local news last night, which we recorded just in case we were on it and we were! For all of a millisecond. So of course when the Grannies and Grandpas came over for supper last night we all sat down to watch it and everyone roared with laughter and cheered when we came into view. I did warn them not to blink or they'd miss it. Ma had already seen the footage from the early evening news and hadn't noticed us at all :o)
L made his famous lemon tart for pudding, which went down well, and I made an Eton Mess with strawberries. Pop had a bath before everyone came because she was extremely smelly after her walk. She came out looking all white and fluffy and had more pick ups and cuddles as a result than she's had in ages.
I had a last minute panic about shoes just before everyone arrived (the women among you will understand this). I was going to remain comfy after a long day and wear boot slippers but decided this would be just too scruffy, so I had to borrow a pair of L's slightly-damp-because-not-long-out-of-the-washing-machine black socks because I couldn't be bothered to put tights on and my thermal socks would have looked ridiculous. I think I got away with it.
We had a lovely evening but I was Rather Sleepy by the end, so while M took Ted out for a wee Pop and I fell asleep illegally on the sofa.....
|Is that a DOG on the sofa?|
Hope everyone is well?