Dining across the divide: ‘As I get older, I’m more militant. I just think: let’s all glue ourselves to something’

1 year ago 122

David, 63, Portsmouth


Occupation Semi-retired superior schoolhouse teacher
Voting grounds Labour – years agone due to the fact that helium thought it was indispensable to bash so, present due to the fact that there’s nary 1 other to ballot for
Amuse bouche When helium was 10, helium won a southbound London creation contention with a coating of a flamenco bar, adjacent though he’d ne'er been to Spain, oregon a bar, oregon immoderate flamenco

Emma, 52, Portsmouth


Occupation Secondary schoolhouse teacher
Voting record Labour, but erstwhile once she formed a tactical ballot for the Lib Dems
Amuse bouche Emma erstwhile fell implicit Prince Charles’s feet erstwhile helium came to the Royal Show successful Warwickshire

For starters

David I arrived first, and mistook the lensman for the idiosyncratic I was meeting. I don’t cognize why, he’s a antithetic gender. I deliberation it mightiness person been a spot of nerves.

Emma We did not gully enactment for the full clip we were together.

David She came walking successful with her large grin and I thought: “She’s going to beryllium nice.”

Emma I had this delicious starter – lamb belly with immoderate cockles connected the side. And a portion of hake.

David I ordered the oysters, and past I had the oversea kelp gnocchi.

Emma and David

The large beef

Emma We disagreed astir statues. As I get older, I’m a spot much militant alternatively than less. I conscionable think: let’s each glue ourselves to thing to accidental however transverse we are. If we’re going to enactment up statues, let’s enactment up statues to truly large people, large allies, large pioneers, large scientists. Let’s not ever marque them achromatic radical with objectionable parts of their history, which are someway forgiven due to the fact that it’s specified a agelong clip ago.

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David I’d similar to spot a existent statement enactment connected the basal of these statues, of what the idiosyncratic did and however they got their money. I interest that we’re erasing what happened if we teardrop them down. Like a batch of middle-aged cheery people, my spouse and I person fixed up bondage and joined the National Trust. Now I privation to perceive the stories of however that wealth was made, however these houses were built. One of the things I’d similar to spot is simply a statue of Aneurin Bevan successful beforehand of each NHS hospital. Emma’s absorption was, “Ooh, that’d beryllium nice” but she astir apt thought: “He’s connected a rant now.”

Emma I bash recognize his spot of feeling for the NHS and wherefore it’s precious. But erstwhile it’s being systematically ruined, I’m not definite a statue of Nye Bevan volition alert radical to the dangers of that.

Emma and David

Sharing plate

Emma We started talking astir queer fluidity and agreed consecutive distant – we’re some truly committed to the thought that the fluidity kids person present is large and necessary. We’re unfastened and inclusive astir our trans pupils astatine schoolhouse – they consciousness safe, they consciousness supported and they consciousness loved. He’d grown up successful a clip erstwhile helium couldn’t experimentation with immoderate broadside of himself astatine all.

David I got into my idiosyncratic beingness rather fast. It was 1 of those things wherever you speech to a alien who’s rather affable and you unfastened up. I’ve been joined and had a family, and it was successful my precocious 30s that I decided I needed to beryllium braver and much honorable with myself. I met my existent spouse successful my mid-50s. It was execution coming retired to immoderate of my adjacent friends.

Emma and David

For afters

David Emma’s lived successful Portsmouth longer than I have, and she besides lived successful London for a while. We talked astir that, and however we’d ne'er determination backmost there. I miss the diverseness of London but I was up successful the centre a mates of weeks agone for the archetypal clip since lockdown and I deliberation it’s go a overmuch much unequal city, for radical with money. All the quirky small shops person gone. It’s not the metropolis I grew up in.

Emma He goes backmost and notices the stark differences betwixt affluent and poor. Whereas for me, it was conscionable the sound and the hubbub. I got connected the conduit the different time and thought: “Urgh, people, however did I ever unrecorded here?”

Emma and David


David You can’t combat with Emma, she’s excessively nice.

Emma It was a truly warm, truly engaging conversation. Then we decided to person a cocktail pudding.

Emma and David

Additional reporting: Naomi Larsson

David and Emma ate astatine The Briny, Southsea

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