N’owt as queer as folk…

“N’owt as queer as folk…..” A Yorkshire saying frequently used by my fabulous Grandfather.

On my way to Panama I flew from Geneva to Madrid. Sitting on the plane next to a man who asked for a bottle of Rioja at 0750h and promptly enjoyed his beverage of choice as well as hiding away two further bottles which had been out into airplane waste bags, into his briefcase. Perhaps his body clock was in a different time zone or it was simply “wine o’clock” and perhaps he simply loved the on board beverage choice. I felt myself making some kind of judgement, at which point I gently nudged myself and suggested firmly that it was none of my business.

I then arrive in the lounge in Madrid. I’m in the queue for the coffee machine and find myself shadowed, nay, dwarfed. A huge, Hagrid sized presence next to me. As I look down I see black pointy shoes and heels about three inches high. I then realise that in order to see this person’s face I actually have to crane my neck. Large hooped silver earrings along with equally large pearl like studs in the ears. Short, cropped, white grey hair. An A line dog tooth checked skirt just to the knee with a white polo like top. Sitting next to me were an American couple. The American gentleman’s eyes opened like saucers. He turned to his female companion and asked, in not too quiet a voice, “hey, you think that’s male or female?”

“That” is a human being who is also making a choice. Whether it be red wine at 0750h or dressing as a woman when you’re a man.

And these two moments in less than a 180 minute moment of my morning reminded me of life back on board in particular. In the cramped, confines of our boat, let alone in day to day life on land, there’s the need for tolerance and understanding of people’s differences. Not to mention the choice as to whether we make a comment, or just park a thought quietly in the “best not vocalised” car park in our brain.

An interesting start to my journey back on board.


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