It’s been a week and a half, this week. I think I may be coming round, but I can never be sure.
Disability Pride was a glorious, fun filled, smiley celebration in Belfast on a sunny Saturday. Hundreds of people paraded, danced, sang and wheeled their way up the main street and gathered in front of City Hall. Hundreds more joined in the concert, the singing and dancing. and the smiling. All the smiling. People who don’t often make it to the city centre. People who aren’t often encouraged to be there, or to use public space to celebrate who they are. It was a wonderful event, and I’m delighted to have been part of it.
Several of us had to run away early though. No tidying up of leaflets for us, or untying banners. We had glad rags to find and faces to draw on. Accidents of timing and geography meant that we had been invited to the Lord Mayor’s Installation Dinner celebrating the Best of Belfast, the unsung heroes and the forgotten citizens. I felt a little guilty being in that company, but also, I was honoured. A vast, swanky hall, 400 people in finery, beautiful food. Like Disability Pride, it wasn’t simply inclusive, it was embracing. And the Lord Mayor’s daddy made me cry.
I’ve been in bed a lot since then. Apart from the very long meeting to prepare for a presentation, ticking names off a list at a research event, spending some time on my online course, and arranging a spot at another conference (on the same day as the presentation). Spurs Fan is rolling his eyes in well experienced despair. Less pacing; more boom and bust. The booms make the bust bearable.