Some photos from Amsterdam – Anne Frank and the Homomonument

July 4, 2009

A few weeks ago Paul and I spent a week in Amsterdam. Below are some photos from Anne Frank House and the Homomonument.
The front of Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Above, the front of Anne Frank House. This housed a business with Anne Frank and her family hiding out in the annex at the back. Below, a nearby statue of Anne Frank.
A statue of Anne Frank, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
The sign above says: “Homomonument Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality.
Supports the International Lesbian and Gay Movement in their struggle against contempt, discrimination and oppression.
Demonstrates that we are not alone.
Calls for permanent vigilance.

Past, present and future are represented by the 3 triangles on this square. Designed by Karin Daan, 1987.”
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
Homomonument, Amsterdam
You can read more about why they have this monument here.

Some recent books

March 25, 2009

I recently read and really enjoyed the graphic memoir Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (of comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For fame). Subtitled A Family Tragicomic, Fun Home covers Bechdels childhood growing up in a funeral home, her coming out to her family as a lesbian at the age of 19, leading to the revelation of her father’s closeted life as a married gay man and his death shortly after. Bechdel looks back over her childhood and adolescence, coloured by her new knowledge of her father’s sexuality and his death at 44 which she believes was suicide. One of the things I loved about this book was the many literary references. Both her parents were interested in the arts and reading, especially her father, and the book is littered with classics and what their stories may have meant to her father, her mother and their lives.
The cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I want to read more London-based and London-themed books while living here: Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair, Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd and Mother London by Michael Moorcock. I wonder if I should read a Charles Dickens novel or two while I’m at it. Has anyone got any recommendations? Yesterday I took a bus to Greenford library to borrow Lights Out for the Territory. The book is full of tales of wandering around London. I’m excited about reading it. When I left the library and went to Greenford tube station I was quite excited to find they have wooden escalators!
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Wooden escalator, Greenford Underground Station, London
Greenford Underground Station, London
I had never heard of them until reading about the tragic fire at King’s Cross Underground Station in 1987 that killed a number of people and one of the changes made afterward was to replace all the wooden escalators with metal ones! I had never seen any until yesterday. Greenford tube is not underground so I guess they get to keep their wooden escalators!

I wanted to read A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, set in 1665 when the plague swept through London (and written in the 1720s). But after starting it, I think this may end up like Robinson Crusoe – I got less than halfway through and stopped because it was really long-winded and boring. Oh well.

London Literature Festival

August 12, 2008

I just realised that I didn’t blog about the London Literature Festival.
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Book Clubs

July 21, 2008

A week ago, Paul and I hosted our second bookclub. This month’s book was Spud by the South African John van der Ruit. It was a funny, very easy-to-read book set in an elite boys boarding school in South Africa in 1990 – the year that Nelson Mandela was let out of jail and that apartheid was ended. It wasn’t very political or deep but it made me laugh a lot and I even cried. Next month we’re reading Y: the Last Man, a comic set on Earth where all the male humans and mammals have died except for one man (and his male pet monkey). I have read the first two volumes and wasn’t that impressed – it was interesting but I got the feeling that the writers thought they were being feminist but I wasn’t all that convinced that they knew what they were doing.
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London Pride 2008

July 6, 2008

Helen and Jess: still excited after the parade has finished.
Yesterday Paul and I went into town for London Pride. We met up with Jess and Helen (above) who were very excited about it! Below are some of the photos I took but there are more on Flickr. Paul took photos too which you can see on his Flickr page (including one of the newly elected mayor of London, Boris Johnson, leading the parade.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Marching Unions. ‘Unite, the Union, Campaigning against homophobic bullying and harassment’.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Unison Union members.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
More unionists.
Unions at London Pride 2008.
Unite Union. Campainging for Equality with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.
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I Love Queer Anarchist Punks

May 4, 2007

Needlework, 2007.
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Brighton Pride

August 31, 2006

I forgot to post that after getting my photo taken a couple of times at Brighton Queer Pride, one of the photos made it onto the Real Brighton website (they take photos at lots of queer events in Brighton). The photo is (left to right) me, Beth and Beth’s boyf, Grant. They were really lovely people.