Votes for Women

Lol-taire's picture

Writing at my parents' house, in my narrow little childhood bed.

It turns out democracy smells like sweaty plimsoles and varnished floors. This is the second time I've voted, but the first time I've voted in a general election. The polling station is at a local primary school. As I waited in the queue I looked at the paintings of 'Famous People' up on the colourful display board. Most of them were Harry Potter, the other's unidentifiable. One looked like Hitler, if Hitler was a cat, and one was probably a screaming Michael Jackson. Difficult to tell. Children aren't good at photorealism it turns out.

I'm still registered at my parents' address- one of the safest Tory seats in the country. But still, you have to vote or else it's even safer, right?

My granny called to make sure we- my sister and I- had voted. She told my mother (again) about her great-grandmother saying that now women had the vote, she could die happy. She had been a deaconess in the non-conformist tradition of the Welsh chapels; she's the one who would preach for an hour at a time in English or Welsh.

It's strange that Granny Hall would of course not only barely recognise feminism of the second-wave and later, but would obviously disapprove (she is also the one who rode sidesaddle all day to warn off the batchelor farmer for whom her daughter had been sent to keep house, after she found out about the illegitimate children the last housekeeper had left behind by him). She would of course, barely be able to comprehend me and my feminism.

But I have an affinity for her; in the photo I have seen of her- formidable matriarch- she wears the same expression I used to have in photos from when I was a child (before I was self-concious about my ugliness). We have the same eyes. It's an expression I would like to find again.

Anyway, outside the polling station I passed a meeting of the West M-* Scaletrix society. Also, the sky looked as it it were the colour of a copper cauldron covered by shredded cloud. A magpie swooped across my path; we have an uneasy truce, me and these luckless birds. But the strange familiar loveliness of this boring suburb- ugly little 1930s villas, '60s council houses, Edwardian terraces, dull surburban sprawl- is nice when I come home.

Anyway, I tided the flat today and tried to revise for my end of year exams. The flat at least is very tidy...

I have ordered lots of books- lovely fiction to read.

*I've decided on the Jane Austen approach to location.