Mr Singh Goes to Pride
"Are you sure they'll want us?" Doreen Ball gripped tightly onto Harry Singh's hand as he strode purposefully towards the multi-coloured masses ahead of them.
"Of course they will. Ruby invited us both when she got civilly partnered to Melanie."
"She did that." And a very civil event it had been too: not like Tracy and Simon's wedding, when there'd nearly been a fight over the profiteroles.
"So what's the problem? You've got your knitting bag, haven't you?"
Doreen glanced down automatically, even though she could feel the bag's weight as it swung by her side. No needles in there today: just a great mass of rainbow and pink-and-purple scarves that the pair of them had been working on for weeks now.
"Look. There's our Ruby."
And there she was indeed, decked out in all her traditional finery, one arm around her partner Melanie -- dressed far more soberly in jeans and a 'Lesbian Librarians Do It By The Book' T-shirt -- and with her other hand holding aloft one end of a big, rainbow 'LGBT Multifaith' banner.
"Well," Doreen said. "It looks like everyone brought enough colour already."
"The people are colourful enough," Harry said. "But what about the trees and the lamp-posts?"
So they got out the scarves, and decorated the surroundings instead of the marchers, after which it seemed that sustenance was required. So Mr Singh handed out Kendal Mint Cake to everyone -- even the three rather dour types who had turned up to protest the March -- and the two big, friendly police horses who had very little to do in the way of crowd control that day.
All in all, Doreen thought as she and Harry slotted in at the centre of a big 'Parents and Supporters' group, it was turning into a Grand Day Out in spite of her earlier worries.
Off Up North today. Do try to behave...