Solidarity For Everyone - Even Lamp-Posts

It’s 6am, early morning light is creeping in under my pale blue blind, and through the gap I get a glimpse of the garden outside.

I know the lamp-post’s out there too, but it went off about an hour ago and I can’t get a clear view of it when it’s not showing its illuminated orange head.

I’ve had a difficult night’s sleep. The acute pain of my recent pacemaker battery change, combined with the chronic back and pelvis pain I’ve had for the last few months, has led to an uncomfortable and disrupted night.

Normally I’d find this distressing, but three things have taken the edge off my frustration a bit :

1) It’s a bank holiday – International Workers’ Day to be precise
2) I’m recovering from an operation, so there’s no expectation that I ought to be doing anything today
3) My tics have been serenading objects in and around the garden with songs of solidarity:

“Solidarity for trestle,
solidarity for trestle,
solidarity for trestle,
keeping roses in the air all day long.”

“Solidarity for lamp-posts,
solidarity for lamp-posts,
solidarity for lamp-posts,
for your orange light turns us on.”

“Solidarity for brickwork,
solidarity for brickwork,
solidarity for brickwork,
for together with skilled labour, cement, and health and safety regulations, you’re strong”

“Solidarity for pigeons,
solidarity for pigeons,
solidarity for pigeons,
forever hope that you’ll poo in Boris’s hair.”

“Solidarity for soil,
solidarity for soil,
solidarity for soil
for together you make strong alliteration in a song

And then my tics turned universal:

“Solidarity for solids,
solidarity for solids,
solidarity for solids,
for together with liquids and gas you make up the world.”

All of this was to the tune of the union anthem Solidarity Forever. I heard this most recently last month at Mark Thomas’s brilliant show Red Shed. My brain had obviously filed it away for a rainy day – or as it turns out, for a painful May Day.

Needless to say my singing has carried on as I’ve been writing this post, with the garden staying quiet except for a few birds that I’m pretty sure were joining in.

I feel very grateful to my tics this morning, for spontaneous songs, for helping me notice the world outside my window in a new way, and for reminding me, in a moment when I could have felt very isolated, that together, in union, we are strong.

With love and solidarity to anyone kept awake by pain, or worry or fear, or just kept awake by their neighbours’ singing.

Have a great Bank Holiday.

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