So yesterday was the first day of non-black. Struggled a bit with the concept of “navy” tights. I ended up wearing a lovely camel skirt that’s been stuck at the back of my wardrobe for years and a red jumper.
Quite poignant in fact as I wore the skirt for my “going away outfit” after our wedding and yesterday was our nine-year wedding anniversary.
Today I’m reverting to grey I’m afraid (is that cheating?) Charity-shop trousers that fit perfectly, and a pair of Camper shoes that I forgot I had and are the most comfortable shoes ever – why don’t I wear them more often?
Red makes another appearance on top half – think this could become a habit, is red the new black? I’m not looking forward to a weekend of socialising with no LBD (little black dress).
Well, must dash as need to pop out for some pink pants!
One of the most important experiences during my visit to East Timor came on 30th August, the actual anniversary of the referendum, when the main ceremonies were due to take place.
The solidarity activists had not received official invitations to these ceremonies. But they had a meeting with the President, and weren’t happy to learn that, in his 10th anniversary speech, he was opposing the setting up of an international tribunal to investigate war crimes alleged to have been perpetrated in East Timor by the Indonesian military.
Accordingly an international student demonstration was organised in front of the Timor Hotel where many top-level invitees were staying. Sadly, this peaceful demonstration was stopped by police, and three of the students taken into custody.
This kind of thing is happening so often nowadays, all round the world, but it was ironic that it should have happened in East Timor on the very day the winning of national freedom was being celebrated.
I have always felt very personally involved with the suffering of the East Timorese people when, after a UN-sponsored referendum in August 1999 had resulted in a massive 78% vote for independence, a terrible wave of violence engulfed the country.
I shared their rejoicing when, following international intervention, East Timor was recognised by the UN as a sovereign state, and so returning to the country for celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the referendum felt very special.
It was my fifth visit since independence, and I had been specially invited to take part in a three-day solidarity conference, as well as bring material for a commemorative exhibition.
Looking back over my week in Copenhagen, before I start the long journey back home tomorrow, I’ve been struck by the diversity of people I’ve met and the different stories they’ve had to tell.
This week, Copenhagen has been home to some 50,000 extra people, all committed to impressing upon world leaders the significance of getting a fair, ambitious and binding deal on climate change.
They are all passionate and all verging on the desperate this evening. But they are also still hopeful that time remains for us to make a difference, and all resolute in their determination to carrying on campaigning, no matter how long it takes.
First of all, it was brilliant meeting all the volunteers from the UK last weekend – all 30 of them. Then there was the march last Saturday. I had never been on a big march before and now I’ve been on two huge marches in ten days – first The Wave in London and then The Global Day of Climate Action here in Copenhagen.
The coach speeds through the night, taking us through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany before finally arriving in Denmark in the early hours of this morning. Bleary-eyed, we pile out for breakfast and make a dash for the steaming pot of coffee at the motorway services.
Slowly it dawns on us all that Copenhagen is only around the corner, and the animated and excited chatter of last night resumes. What will these talks mean for our children, our grandchildren? Will we be able to look them in the eye and say we were there, we were part of a historic moment when the world was united under a common cause?