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Today was my first job at the Castle! It was for a wedding, and was me and a friend (who also got the job hoorah) and our boss setting up everything.

It was really good fun, and totally utterly exhausting!

What I liked about it was the way our boss didn’t treat us any differently to the way he treated everyone else – there were no allowances made for ‘the ladies’, we could carry boxes and chairs just as well as anyone else. Which was mostly true…but it took two of us for a table, I must confess.

Anyway, it went well with that attitude until right at the end, when we were packing up the tables. So we have a table between us, he has one of his own, and we’re putting down the legs but my friend and I are struggling. Getting there, but struggling. So he tells us to put it flat on the floor, stand on it and kind of nudge the legs with your heel.

Of course, he’s wearing big smart shoes, we’re wearing flats. Not much power behind them. No joy.

He looks over and says ‘oh honestly, you two are such big girls

I kneel. I push, in one swift movement, the legs down and into place. My friend follows suit.

I stand. “Yes, yes we are. Two big girls with big strong hands

Heh. How fun =] He didn’t comment on it after that! Hell, we worked our big-girl-socks off, so he had nothing to complain about!

It’s quite nice having some human contact. Being trapped in my room revising is slowly driving me insane. Means that I have less experiences of dipshits who argue with me, but also less experiences of the greatness of people – working at a wedding makes you realise how happy people can be, I guess. I’d never been to a wedding before, and I can’t say I’m all that enthusiastic about the traditionalist elements to it (giving away your daughter, anyone?) but there’s something about a wedding that seems to leave everyone with a smile on their face.

It wasn’t the Pimms, I swear 😉

I expect most of y’all will have heard of this. Maybe. I hadn’t until today, and I am now really eager to go and do it. Maybe after college one day? In Churchill Square? Or the Lanes?

This, by the way, is the Free Hugs Campaign.

It’s amazing. So inspirational. And hey, hugs are important things. They can change a life. This small act of kindness and generosity is really quite incredible.

Thought I’d share that, and this poem, with you. Enjoy.

The Hug– Tess Gallagher

A woman is reading a poem on the street

and another woman stops to listen. We stop too,

with our arms around each other. The poem

is being read and listened out here

in the open. Behind us

no one is entering or leaving the houses.

Suddenly a hug comes over me and I’m

giving it to you, like a variable star shooting light

off to make itself comfortable, then

subsiding. I finish but keep holding

you. A man walks up to us and we know he hasn’t

come out of nowhere, but if he could, he

would have. He looks homeless because of how

he needs. “Can I have one of those?” he asks you,

and I feel you nod. I’m surprised,

surprised you don’t tell him how

it is – that I’m yours, only

yours, etc., exclusive as a nose to

its face. Love – that’s what we’re talking about, love

that nabs you with ‘for me

only’ and holds on.

So I walk over to him and put my

arms around him and try to

hug him like I mean it. He’s got an overcoat on

so thick I can’t feel

him past it. I’m starting the hug

and thinking, ‘How big a hug is this supposed to be?

How long shall I hold this hug?’ Already

we could be eternal, his arms falling over my

shoulders, my hands not

meeting behind his back, he is so big!

I put my head into his chest and snuggle

in. I lean into him. I lean my blood and my wishes

into him. He stands for it. This is his

and he’s starting to give it back so well I know he’s

getting it. This hug. So truly, so tenderly

we stop having arms and I don’t know if

my lover has walked away or what, or

if the woman is still reading the poem, or the houses –

what about them? – the houses.

Clearly a little permission is a dangerous thing.

But when you hug someone you want it

to be a masterpiece of connection, the way the button

on his coat will leave the imprint of

a planet in my cheek

when I walk away. When I try to find some place

to go back to.




And on that note – adieu!

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