“I Do” or How I spent my Sunday

Caitlin and I headed in to the city this morning to meet up with friends from the Hoyden About Town blog community. We met in the Queen Victoria Building at about 11am and settled down for a couple of hours of coffee, chatting and comestibles. This on its own was an entirely satisfactory use of a rainy Sunday but there was more to come.

We said farewells to those who had to leave and Caitlin, Chally, my mum (who had joined us towards the end of our brunch) and I took ourselves off to the Sydney Town Hall for an event, I Do, organised by Australian Marriage Equality and GetUp!.

All we knew was that there would be filming for a YouTube video and that we were to wear jeans, sneakers and either a red or white shirt and that by coming along we would be showing our support for marriage equality.

We were arranged in a big circle, placement going by colours, first with red and white alternating and then all red for the 3rd last and all white for the outer 2 layers. Apparently people own lots more white shirts than red.

Building the circle
Building the circle

Mum, Caitlin and I ended up in the ring of all red shirts. (There’s something ominous about that sentence isn’t there?)

My mum
My mum

There followed a bit of experimentation while trying to work out how best to make this circle of people look like a pie chart, we raised and lowered arms, heads, and eventually entire bodies. Of course it was the whole bodies option that gave the best results and it was settled that those showing the percentage being represented would remain standing and raise their arms in front of them to shoulder height while the rest of the group dropped to a crouch on the floor.

Then we stood in formation, feet together, arms by our sides, looking straight ahead, for an eternity being a backdrop for the filming of the various guests (Geoff Field, Mia Freedman, Dave Graham, Carl Katter, Natalie Tran, Geoff Thomas, Julie McCrossin) who had come along to read out the stats we, as the pie chart, were going to illustrate.

From inside the pie chart
View from inside the pie chart

There was plenty of time to admire the gorgeous interior of the Town Hall but I didn’t get any outdoor photos today on account of the torrential rain.

The organ in Sydney Town Hall
The Sydney Town Hall organ

In the breaks between filming people broke formation and bemoaned the slowly growing pain in their feet and legs. Little did we know what was ahead of us.

I spy a Chally!
I spy a Chally!

Proof that I was there! Three generations in support of marriage equality.

Three generations in support of marriage equality
My mum, me and Caitlin in a break from filming

The kids in the group were fabulous, they did a great job of following directions and keeping quiet when the guests were speaking. Games on an iPad helped of course 🙂

Keeping the kids amused
Keeping the kids amused

Chally managed to snap a pic of Geoff Thomas and his son Nathan doing their filming bit. Geoff made a big impression last year when he spoke up on the ABC TV show Q&A telling opposition leader Tony Abbott about his gay son, and challenging Abbott on his homophobia.

Geoff Thomas and his son Nathan
Geoff Thomas and his son Nathan

Once all the guests’ bits were done it was our turn. First up there was practicing the various percentages – 38, 62, 60, 53, 72, 75 – over and over with barely a moment between bobbing down and popping up in preparation for the next number. And where were mum, Caitlin and I? In the section that represented from 75% to 100%. We had to crouch and bounce back up again for every single figure. OMG people, I can get down quick enough, though not without some cost to the knee on which I was landing, but I CANNOT get back up again with anything approaching dignity or speed. By the end of the practice session I was in some no small degree of distress.

I will be eternally grateful to the lovely woman whose partner (who was standing in front of us) volunteered her to swap with me so that for the actual filming I could be in the first 30% who only had to stand in one spot and raise and lower their arms every so often.

The pie chart filming took many, many, many takes with the crouch and pop back up sections of the group delivering a masterful performance. I winced for them at every bob down and up, especially my mum who is still slightly tender from a cracked rib she scored by falling over when bushwalking on a recent holiday.

My amazing mum with my aforementioned saviour, who, because it’s a small world don’t you know, was actually taught history by my mum in high school!

My mum and an ex-student of hers
My mum and my hero, her ex-student

Despite the somewhat painful nature of our endeavours it was a fun day, the atmosphere was great, everyone was so good humoured and friendly and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! I’ll certainly be linking to the YouTube video when it goes up online.

[ETA: the video is up on YouTube]

Our day finished up with my family descending on my mum’s place for a roast lamb dinner and apple pie for dessert. Yeah, I don’t know how she did it either, there’s reasons I say she’s amazing.

Click on over to Unknown Mami’s place to see how other people all round the world spent their Sundays.

Unknown Mami

12 thoughts on ““I Do” or How I spent my Sunday

  1. People think modeling is easy, but as you learned, it’s not always. I once spent five hours in the infamous “stirrups,” modeling for a medical supply company (Don’t worry–I was wearing a leotard!haha) All I had to do was lie there, for all that time. When it was over, I could barely walk, and I was sore for days!

    Getting back to your post–This is awesome. What a great experience. I look forward to viewing the video!

  2. It was wonderful catching up with you for brunch, Mim! I’m wincing in sympathy for the aching limbs and joints though – I’m glad I decided not to participate because I couldn’t have managed at all.

    I think you should take a book to the bath for a while, with some fragrant salts, and let the kids look after themselves for an hour or two.

  3. Thankyou for being part of that clip. It means a lot to me as a person who support gay marriage and also to my brother (who is gay and want to get married to his partner).

  4. First of all: Awesome fight to stand up for! Second: Beautiful town hall and Third: What the heck do you think they need the organ for? I wonder if it used to be a church. I bet that thing is loud. Your mum sounds amazing.

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