This weekend the women were out in force on the South bank, for the WOW weekend celebrating International Women's day on March 8th. Now, if you're a man reading this don't be afraid, I'm not about to tell you that we are the Superior force and one to be reckoned with, gee, did I just actually just say that in so many words?
Sat in my house at 12.30 wondering where to go this weekend, it was actually my boyfriend who stumbled upon Sinead O'Connor's gig listing. You see, Men do have their benefits! I scoured through the events listings of the days activities on line and when my eyes stumbled over the Big Sing listing at 1:30 ( home made instruments welcome), there really was only one place for my colander and I ( and my boyfriend) and that was right on the South bank.
In all truth, stick in a needle in my eye, Women don't shoot me, I'm only being strong and speaking my mind. I am a bit a bit of a girly girl and do like men to do the plumbing and change a light bulb and get rid of spiders and so I'm not your typical Women's institute kinda girl. However, after The Big Sing march I was ready to change a lighthouse's light bulb.
We met in the Clore Ballroom and on the stage stood our song leader with the song words by Ethel Smyth "The March of the Women" projected on big screens behind her. We learnt the song and then she told us that we were ready to "march right up to the South bank market and march right back to the ballroom". So, off we went as an army of women, my colander and spoon. Marching past the Nelson Mandela statue seemed to invigorate us, one and all and seeing the pathway that formed through the market gave me a real sense of pride, the type you get when you cross the marathon line. I was well on my way to singing out "Girl Power" Oh, where was my union Jack dress?
My Jenni's Journey was taken to a whole new level as I stepped in to the Speakers Corner car. Artist Shabnam Shabazi sat in the drivers seat with all of he possessions laid out and the radio turned high, blaring out words of freedom and liberation, telling her story. I stayed in the car for about 5 Minutes and when I came out, I half expected the car to have pulled up to another country, but no I was still on the south bank, The WOW market sign told me that.
I mooched around the stalls and found Safari, a Women's boxing stall. Before I knew it, I was wearing a boxing glove and punching like I was about to win my Gold Belt. I then fell in love with "Who Made Your Pants?" and that's not just because they have special ethically made St Davids ones!
With so many powerful, vibrant ladies out, I thought it would be fun to stop and talk to some and find out who their Wow Lady would be. Mine, would be Kylie and my reason? Well, that's a whole other blog! I felt incredibly lucky to talk with Camila Batmanghelidjh who had just given her "Cycle of Violence" talk and find out who her "Wow Lady" was. ( watch below video to find out)
The Icing on my cake was managing to get Sinead O'Connor tickets, after queueing for return tickets at her sell out gig. Singing songs from "Nothing Compares" to her new album "Theology". Now that's a "WOW" Woman. Dedicating a song to PC Rathbone really chilled me and brought it home that as fabulous us women really are, we do need our men to be the hero's, in services abroad and at home, keeping us safe and helping create a better world.