Yesterday, Friday, I went to the Harley Davidson store in Southwest London, Warr’s, to get my Dad a T-shirt. It was a pretty store! Big shiny bikes- even glittery ones (want!)- and awesome leather attire (want!). The store has been open since 1924 and is the oldest dealership in Europe! They had two models of old motorcycles, one from 1915. They were really cool looking. They look more like bicycles than the bulkier, brassier motorcycles of today.
Irina came with me and wrote about it here (her blog is in Russian, but most browsers should offer to translate it for you).
In the evening, I went to a workshop called “Decolonizing Sexualities,” the idea behind which is to work critically on sexuality, particularly by thinking about it in a frame work of colonisation and teasing it out from that. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured there would be lecturers from my school presenting different ideas- mini-lectures. When I got there I was very pleasantly surprised… The workshop focused on the (awesome) radical queer group Against Equality and the newly published book The Queer African Reader. One of Against Equalities founders was there- a young man from rural Maine-, another presented a short lecture via a recorded video, and one of the groups main members gave a little talk as well. It was all very cool. I couldn’t believe the people living and breathing this inspiring, idealistic group that I have studied in awe were at my school talking right in front of me! So exciting! Naturally, I bought The Trilogy of their three recently published anthologies.
They have a website that functions as an archive where they publish radical queer writings and make it accessible for free. I warn you, they have radical ideas that may blow your mind and make you question what you think you know or have heard about gay or queer rights. And then The Queer African Reader. Everybody go buy it here and please get me a copy for Xmas 😀 I was only able to purchase so many books with my limited cash. It’s an amazing new book that engages with voices of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersex) people from all over Africa, from varied experiences and backgrounds. It has personal stories, prose, poetry, and visual art. One contributor, Diriye Osman, did a reading of his story. He is a brilliant storyteller and it was incredible to see him perform his own story. I was moved. That said, I highly recommend his book of short stories, Fairytales for Lost Children. He loves being gay and has had some rough life experiences- he was born during a civil war in Somalia. He is hosting a storytelling event in London in February that I’m hoping to go to 🙂 Overall, the workshop was inspirational, reaffirming, and informative. I learned about a bunch of other groups whose work I should look into and am excited to do so.
This morning I made another trip to Borough Market. It is such a nice market! It’s hard not to spend all of your money there though…especially around lunch time when all of the delicious smells from all sorts of enticing vendors fill the market air. I managed to resist buying lunch there, and instead spent my money of treats and staples for the coming weeks. Here’s what I got:
Today I had Thanksgiving with my friends! Mostly Americans, but we successfully hosted the first Thanksgiving for two Brits and one Russian. They loved it. It’s hard not to love Thanksgiving, as long as you decontextualise it from its history. “Let’s take time to appreciate what we have, spend time with friends and family, and eat a lot of great food!” Yes.