OK, now I am home and almost unpacked, I feel that I just might be also be able to unpack a little of my head-space.
Going to the Lambeth Conference was undoubtedly an unexpected pleasure. I would never in a million of years have expected to be able to go, not least because in many ways it didn’t interest me in the slightest. However, having decided to tag along with Peterson (I was even asked by someone if I was his minder!! Do I look that butch?) I was curious to see what it was like. As a member of the public it is possible to wander around the campus with any students who are left, to watch the Bishops and their spouses coming and going, and to look around the Market Place tent. There were stands selling gorgeous outfits for the clergy right next to stands promoting right for LGBT folks. It was an interesting mix to say the least.
Peterson performed shows in Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The one on Thursday was particularly interesting as BBC Wales were filming a documentary or something about Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales. Peterson’s performance was fab, but what was especially moving was that at the end of the show the archbishop gave the most wonderfully affirming comments to Peterson. It was very moving to hear him talk about how he was surprised that Peterson had maintained any kind of faith after going through such difficult things, and to hear him congratulate him and encourage him in his work.
It seems to me that having hung around and watched the comings and goings at Lambeth there was so much expectation on it being a big deal and that there were going to be fireworks happening all over the place. The sense I got from the people I spoke to is that there has been a lot of relationship building going on and much of this has happened through spending time talking and in what they called the Indaba groups. Apparently Indaba is “a Zulu word for a gathering for purposeful discussion. It is both a process and method of engagement as we listen to one another concerning challenges that face our community and by extension the Anglican Communion.
Whilst I am not sure that any resolution was reached there was a definite sense of hope floating around. Of course, that may be my wishful thinking, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.
(The picture is actually Peterson with the Archbishop of Canterbury Christmas tree ornament, but I thought it was kind of funny!!)
Well, I thought I would take a brief interlude away from the Dame of Sark, and tell you about happenings in Lambeth.
I travelled down here with Peterson on Tuesday. A journey which was both straightforward and eventful. On the way down he decided to phone in Jeni Barnett at LBC radio station. She loved him of course. He is such a media whore.
Anyway, whilst down here I am staying with Tractor Girl and Third Party which is lovely.
OK, I can officially say, the Lambeth Conference is a bit weird. Admittedly I am not important enough to go anywhere useful, but there is something strange about seeing so many purple-shirted people wandering about in the same place. They seem very nice, but they look like purple butterflies fluttering around. It’s like being in a butterfly-world type of thing. You know these rare creatures exist, but to see them all together in one place is quite strange.
The other thing that amused me was that there is almost like a bishoply shopping centre here and one of the things that excited me is the beautiful textiles that you can buy. I am such an anorak when it comes to it. I even asked if I could take photos because I thought the colours were so pretty. I am terribly shallow you see!
Anyway, I am very tired at the moment but having fun. Meeting lots of lovely new people, like the lovely William Crawley. We entertained ourselves for a while yesterday, along with Tractor Girl, and Peterson, drinking wine, sharing stories, and in William and my case, a little spot of shopping!!
Anyway, I must rush on. I have to go and collect His Ladyship before he engages in a little more media-whoring.
Ps) For full reports of Peterson’s shows, follow the links to his blog and enjoy 🙂
Well, we arrived in Guernsey on Tuesday and since then we have had pretty much wall-to-wall sunshine. It has been absolutely gorgeous, even if I have managed to get sunburnt. Yesterday we met my aunts and cousin and various children at the beach for a swim and then we went for a wander around town, before cruising around the island in my Mum’s sporty little car. In the evening we went to the open-air cinema by the beach to watch a truly crap film, but it was nice to be outside and relaxing.
Today we took a boat ride to Herm which was absolutely lovely and we sat in the beach and chillded out. The island is beautiful, sunny and relatively quiet as there are no cars. The sea though is bitterly cold, but we did manage a quick swim.
This is one of my favourite photos so far this week. This guy was on the boat to Herm and I noticed that he had a bottle of Coca Cola attached to one of the bottle holders on one side of his bag, but when he turned around I noticed he had a bottle of Bacardi the other side. Kind of perfect planning I reckon!!
As we are staying at my Gran’s house we have some amazing views, and in particular the sunsets are just fabulous. We are truly spolit indeed.
Hurray!!! My holiday has finally arrived. I am off to Guernsey with Peterson tomorrow and I intend to show him the wonders of the rock on which I was born. It will be lovely to have some time off and I intend to chill out, sleep, read and drink copious amounts of wine – in fact I might go and raid Mum and Dad’s wine cupboard. I bet they wouldn’t notice a few bottles going missing!! 😉 It might be slightly strange though as we are going to be staying at Gran’s house because Mum and Dad are on holiday and they have people staying in their house. I am looking forward to it, but it will be weird to be there without her.
Anyway, I might get a chance to blog, but I might only be able to do it if I can pick up someone else’s wi-fi… if not I will have to take a little trip to Mum and Dad’s and use theirs! So, see you soon everyone. Behave yourselves whilst I am away.
Yesterday I went down to Reading to see Peterson perform The Re-Education of George W Bush – No President Left Behind. As usual it was very funny, but as I have now seen it several times I tend to make a bit of a tit of myself and start laughing *before* the funny bits as I know what is coming up. I stayed overnight with Peterson and his friend (well, my friend too now I suppose) Es and we went out with a few other people for something to eat after the show.
I discovered that red wine, white wine, Baileys and a late night do not make me feel particularly perky in the morning. I even had to go and do a rehab visit this morning.
Fact: drinking on a school night is a BAD idea. I would like to say never again but I probably wouldn’t manage to stick to it so I won’t bother. Also, I would love to blame Peterson but he was the very model of self-control last night. Pah!!
Ps. Here is a picture of me and my lovely friend Simon.
What a gorgeous day today!!! Peterson and I went into London and wandered around for quite a considerable portion of the day. We started off in Soho and went to a fab vegan restaurant for lunch and then we went down by Charing Cross Station for coffee where Peterson proceeded to fall asleep in Starbucks. I left him to it for a while. He was very tired. Must be his age I think. After that we had a little wander through the gardens and I took arty photos of things.
Then we wandered back up to St Martin in the Field Church in Trafalgar Square which has recently been refurbished. It has the most beautiful window – very simple but so striking.
The weather was lovely, hot and sunny for most of the day and on the way to our next engagement we stopped off at the National Portrait Gallery for a quick culture fix. Our next stop was to the BBC radio studios for Peterson to do an interview for BBC Ulster. I am just hoping (and praying) that the interviewer didn’t hear us talking too much before the interview – there was some rather interesting comments going on.
After this we made our way to Courage for their monthly meeting and Peterson was presenting. Once again I found the evening quite emotional, although I am still processing the exact reasons for that. Maybe I will come back to that sometime soon when I have thought things through a little more.
We finally got home at 12.45am. Tired, but it was a fab day.
Just a quick blog before I head to bed. Another fabulous day. I bunked this morning’s sessions and went to the gym instead, but this afternoon we all got a coach into St Albans for a little bit of sightseeing and then we went to St Albans Cathedral for Evensong.
Next we got back onto the coach and went to Windsor where we got on a boat for a meal and disco. I have had just the most fun evening ever. So, here is the tale in pictures…
Peterson and Auntie Doris looking fairly sensible…..
It all starts to deteriorate on the coach…
And a small pointer for all those of you who read Mr Toscano’s blog. When he says he doesn’t dance (except for in one of his shows) he lies… like a cheap whore. Here is the evidence…
I do have photos of the end of the night, but they are just too embarrassing to show. I spent the evening dirty dancing with some very beautiful men, being flung about and having a lovely time. I believe there is photographic evidence, but there are no photos on my camera so as far as I am concerned they don’t exist!
It would appear that my evenings spent at gay parties and in clubs were far from misspent. I seemed to know an awful lot of the tunes, and very sadly many of the words.
Today has been a very interesting day. Lots of talks which have given me plenty to think about, but the highlight for me tonight was seeing Peterson Toscano perform his new play Transfigurations – Transgressing Gender in the Bible.
Peterson took us on a very interesting journey, exploring a variety of different characters in the bible who may have been transgender, or who sat outside of gender-normative behaviours. Amongst them we looked at Joseph and his princess dress, Deborah and her big sword, Queen Esther’s eunuch and the part he played in her fulfilling her role in history and the man who was seen carrying water at the Passover.
It was undoubtedly a difficult audience. A mixture of lesbian women, gay men, transgender folk and a couple of straight people thrown in for good measure. Many people did not speak English as a first language and yet I sat and watched people processing what they were seeing and hearing. It seems to me that we are becoming used to hearing gay and lesbian stories told by people who have a variety of different experiences, both positive and negative. However, the stories of transgender people seem to be more invisible. What Peterson managed to do tonight was to bring some of these out, flesh out the people of the bible and provide them with a real and valid voice. Where history seeks to dull the colours of the picture, Transfigurations made everything more vivid for me.
Whilst I had heard snippets of this play, or precursors to it, the whole thing sent shivers up my spine. It is very different to Peterson’s other works, the humour is more subtle although it is still there, but the pace of the story is totally different. It reminded me of the first time I heard him read out Low-Carb Jesus at a meeting. It made me stop in my tracks, made me think and it even made me weep.
This play was beautiful. Centered. Quiet. Honest. Thoughtful. Challenging. Hopeful.
If you get the chance to see it please do. You will undoubtedly leave a changed person.