Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pride, London 2012 - Saturday

Saturday morning - and the day of the parade. After only 4 hours of sleep, both Man and hound were just a little sleep-deprived - but we pulled on our leathers and prepared to meet our public all the same.

The weather threatened to be wet, so we took a brolly with us (the pup riding with it tucked under his arm - imagining he was a lancer riding into war ;) ). We were lucky to have it with us too, since the heavens opened just as we got into Baker Street - so the pup hopped off the bike as soon as Sir found a suitable parking spot, then stood holding the umbrella over both us and the bike until after the shower passed.

We were both ravenous, but found a really nice place to eat at The Canteen - were we had an amazingly tasty Welsh rarebit whilst Sir texted Roy and the guys from BLUF to see where they were. Sir was trying to give directions to Roy on the phone when the pup spotted our MSC buddy, Vic walking by - so Sir nipped out to drag him into the warm and dry whilst we finished up eating, then walk down together to find the were the BLUF group was gathering.

Rather incongruously, we'd been placed between a transgendered group, and the Cambridge University Student Union; I'm not sure which was the most nervous of having a group of leather-clad, whip-wielding Muscle-men (one pup and a dog called Hector) suddenly appearing beside them...! But Sir and Roy both did their full charm offensive, and soon had everyone smiling and laughing like we were all old friends (I think the sight of Ade stripping down to change his t-shirt might have also had something to do with it - at least for the SU lads. Talk about wide-eyed... ;) )

We had to wait for ages for the parade to start - but that just gave us a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new ones (especially the incredibly charming Kilker). Roy and Sir also had fun chatting up a nice bunch of german's over from Munich, and posing with a variety of the guys in amazingly creative drag (my favourite being when they both made 'use' of the polystyrene urinals on 'Ms WC' - if anyone has pics...?)

As I've already blogged, the Parade itself had been downgraded to a March with no vehicles or floats. The Council had also decided not to close the road, so there was a chaos of cars, busses and slightly-damp queens all jostling for road-space. At least we gave the bus passengers something to look at whilst they sat steaming in the traffic jams we caused...

Finally, the drums started, and we got to move off. 

I would have loved to do the route as Sir's puppy, but it was very nice being able to be 'in person' and so able to chat and laugh as we walked (there was a puppy-group on the parade who we would have joined, if not for wanting to meet so many old friends in BLUF. Still, I don't envy their tales of bruised paws and aching knees after trying to walk the 4 mile route on all fours...!)

Interestingly, the lack of floats and vehicles made the parade flow a lot easier (it was also a pleasure not to walk the route facing the back of a fumes-spewing bus, as we had the year before). The lack of crow-barriers between us and the crowds meant that it was a lot more intimate and friendly too - and gave both Sir and Roy lots of chances to mingle with their public and to get access to the many cute bearded men who lined the route. It also gave me lots of opportunities to see the startled, fearful look that those hapless victims as the realised that they were being 'stalked' - then their blushing grins when Roy fondled their chest, or Sir nuzzled their necks... 

We also got to flash-mob a couple of policemen - including one rather sexy biker-cop who even let Sir take a photo of His dog over his saddle (although I think he had thought Sir meant *sitting* on the bike, rather than sprawled ready for a fucking...!)

Unfortunately it started to rain part the way through the parade - but leather is both warm and waterproof, and we did have our brolly with us - with plenty of room for three or more (especially when one is a miniature pup). The same can't be said for some of the other groups: a feather boa, some body-paint and a pair of lame shorts is all well and good when the sun shines, but not so much fun once the temperature drops...

The rain also gave us one of the most surreal images of the day: an almost naked guy in a head-dress and stilts with a bunch of muscle-boys on chains, coming out of a high-doored shop on Regent Street, clutching a just-bought umbrella (goodness knows how he paid for it - or where he kept his wallet...! :) ).

The guys all put on a wonderful show - and made for some fantastically sexy images (not least Roy and Garry kissing for the cameras - and Kilker and Garry holding hands like teenage sweethearts...)  

But, all too soon, we were being herded towards the embankment, and the end of the parade - and one last chance to pose for a group photo.

Unfortunately, Sir and I then got dragged off to pose for some woman and her art project - when we turned around, everyone had already dissipated, and so we never really got a chance to say proper thanks and goodbyes - so I will say it now: 

Thank you guys, it was an incredible event, and an honour to share it with you all

Special thanks must go to Nigel for organising and paying for our slot in the first place - but it wouldn't have been half as much fun without the friendly camaraderie and acceptance of every single one of you. 

You all have a lot to be proud of.

Everyone else seemed to head for Soho, but Sir needed a tea so we decided to head for the cafe in the park outside Embankment tube (were we were treated to a nice slice of cake left over from a wedding party by the leather-loving owner - and nice visit from our friends polish cycling friend, on his way to the Oasis).

The it was on to the Tube (with lots of side-long glances from the other passengers at our leather-clad resplendence) back up to Baker street to pick up the bike and head 'home' for a nap.



We *were* supposed to go to the BLUF party at the Backstreet that night - but the excitement of the day, coupled with a lack of sleep and the late night before, meant Sir awoke from our nap with a building migraine. We both felt really guilty to miss the fun, but in all honesty, we were both so pooped that we would have only been a downer to the party. 

Instead, the dog let His Man medicate and then rest for a bit - then opted to chauffeur Him down into Datchet, were we had a nice little stroll and then a beautifully quiet, intimate little dinner at a charming little Italian restaurant. 

I know - hardly 'Sex and the City', but it was a perfect end to an amazing day.

Pride London, 2012
Thursday: mule-train and arrival 
Friday: Acton and play-time at the Hoist
Saturday: Parade!
Sunday: Shoreditch and home

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