Sunday, September 08, 2019

Slime On My Boots

Should I, or shouldn't I? On Friday night I decided not to go. I'm a bit of a coward about these things and I don't like to go to marches/rallies on my own. And it looked like it would be a messy sort of day because the Rally for Choice was taking to the streets at around the same time as the March for Their Lives. Two opposing groups marching in Belfast city centre on the same afternoon.

Saturday morning found me in the polytunnel taking cuttings. I checked my phone, something I do often these days. A message from Leitrim Sister. You going to Belfast? I'm just leaving. Into the house, dirty trainers off, boots on, clean top, grab purse, bag, coat, call Bert,

Can you leave me to the station? I'm meeting Dede.

Twenty minutes later I'm on the train. A glance at my boots and they are covered in slime, not the washing off kind, the kind that's made from PVC glue, food colourings and borax. Thanks, Martha and Evie.

Sometimes I wonder if there is any point in rallies and marches. But there is, even if it's just the feeling of solidarity. As usual, I was one of the oldest people there. If I'd been on the other march I'd have fitted right in with the age demographic. We caught glimpses of the others, they were an older crowd, far more men than on our march, no dogs. One man stood on the pavement, beads in his hand, watching us, saying a rosary.

Just as our march completed we passed a heavily policed street, not the regular police either, the mobile support unit, armed and ready for action. At the interface. It was just in case for there was no action, just cheers and jeers from our side and stony-faced glares from the other lot.

We spent about an hour in Writer's square listening to speakers, then headed for a drink in the John Hewitt after which we parted, Dede heading back to Leitrim and me to Great Victoria Street via TK Maxx.

Every day has its highlights, sometimes more than one. Yesterday it was time spent with Leitrim Sister and hearing Bernadette Devlin McAliskey speak. And today it was Jazzer baking me a birthday cake and me rescuing a tiny yellow ladybug from a watery end.

Photo of the cake tomorrow on my actual birthday. There will also be the traditional shot of the birthday girl blowing out the candles. Really wish I'd got round to having my hair cut. I'm sporting that badgery look again, Rhonda.

No comments: