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Pride and Joy

This Saturday I was at London Pride 2016. It was my first Pride and I was a little nervous leading up to it, not knowing what to expect. What I got was an incredible day of music, community and joy. My highlights are below, but the whole day was amazing, except for some of the weather.

1. Proliferation of flags

As a country, Britain tends to only be inundated with flags when football is on and then there are English and British flags everywhere. But flags are a symbol of pride in something, of a sense of belonging, and the amount of rainbow flags at Pride was a wonder to behold.

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We were well and truly rainbowed.

2. Sadiq Khan

London Pride is sponsored by the Mayor of London, so Sadiq Khan walked in the parade and then addressed thousands of people in Trafalgar Square. I was lucky enough to be one of them and hear him talk about how he would fight homophobia and transphobia during his tenure as mayor.

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So many people. Even for London. So many people in one place.

3. Atmosphere

Good grief, it was crackling. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that felt quite like it. The energy, the community, the sheer loveliness of everyone we talked to was incredible. And with various stages, family activities and a huge space to fill, it’s no wonder that it was so popular.

4. Danny Beard

We ended up at the Cabaret stage, watching singers and comedians. We were about to leave in search of drinks and food and maybe some chairs, when Danny Beard came on as the next host. They were incredible at reading the crowd, getting everyone involved and had a hell of a voice. Seriously, I would go and see them again.

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Dat skirt though. So great.

5. Accessibility

The main stage had a BSL interpreter for the duration of Pride, signing the speeches, songs and introductions. The screens set up were split into three, with one section on main stage, one of the sign interpreter and one section for subtitles. In the special access section there were at least another two sign interpreters. The thought given to making Pride accessible was so great.

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So the 1st section doesn’t have the sign interpreter in it in this photo, but that’s because he’s in the main section, signing & dancing with Alisha Dixon.

Pride was such a great experience, and I don’t think I’ve quite washed the glitter out of my hair yet. Roll on next year.

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A Few Favourite Places: Nottingham

So, as you probably know, I go places, I see things. And I thought, in addition to those long long posts about every single thing I did, I could start a series on my favourite places. They will mostly be about food, I cannot lie to you.

I’m going to start with Nottingham – home to Robin Hood, more hipster establishments than you can shake a stick at and me for three years while I did the uni thing.

White Rabbit Teahouse

White Rabbit has two charming locations in Nottingham, both of which are super adorable. With delicately patterned china, cake stands piled high and beautiful tea, White Rabbit is a great place to stop for a break while wandering the busy streets of Nottingham. I’ve had tea and cake though never had the pleasure of afternoon tea there, it looks delicious.

Annie’s

Annie’s claims to bring the Rhode Island to Nottingham. I don’t know how true that is, having never been to New England, but with over 30 burgers to choose from, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Annie’s. All of them can be served vegan, veggie or meaty, and come with either fries, curly fries, or wedges, and boy, do they fill a plate.

Pit and Pendulum

Oh Pit and Pendulum. Always dressed for Halloween, Pit and Pendulum caters for the drinker in search of something a little less than heavenly. Their house cocktails are the Seven Deadly Sins (drink all seven in a night and win a t-shirt) and I can vouch for every single one as being fantastic. With a suitably goth interior including a secret passageway to the toilets, it’s a great night out.

Bunker

Beer pong, cocktails and the best DJ I think I’ve ever encountered. Bunker is a great place to be, with an excellent vibe and the friendliest bar tenders I’ve ever experienced in a bar that’s also a club. As the name suggests, it’s underground and I can confirm, it’s a hell of a party.

Rock City

Rock City is a gig venue and club. With three different rooms, all of them big, there’s usually a room for everyone (as long as you’re at least vaguely happy with rock). My favourite night is a Saturday, where I used to dance the night away to the rock, pop punk and emo that characterised my music taste as a teenager.

Have I missed out your favourite place in Nottingham? Let me know – I love to hear about new places to discover.