9.59am Sat. I’m striding up the hill that is Westwick Street with Daisy jogging beside me to keep up. My tardiness angers me. Why can’t I just leave enough time so we don’t have to rush everywhere?
“It’s International Women’s Day tomorrow,” I say. Daisy stops to get her breath. “Are you making that up?” “No,” I laugh and we set off again.
“You’ve got Mother’s Day next weekend. Why d’you need another day? Is it so you can have another rest?”
We get to the theatre just as they’re finishing the register. After her class we go for a secret hot chocolate and continue our discussion on feminism. She sits on my lap and I explain how it’s about believing men and women should be treated equally and have the same opportunities. She looks at me like I’m mad, “Well they are equal, we all know that!”
When I give her examples of how this isn’t always true, (girls who can’t go to school; women who aren’t allowed to drive or have their own bank accounts, or leave the house without a male chaperone), I can’t help getting emotional. It always happens. When she asked me about the Berlin Wall, I ended up with tears in my eyes explaining about families who’d been separated, including Daisy’s own great grandmother’s.
And when she was in reception, and asked me about the First World War over breakfast, I went in a split second, from nagging her, to sitting on the spare-room floor with her pouring over a book on the causes of the First World War. We covered Archduke Ferdinand; trench warfare; and when it got to the first day of the Somme when 32,000 died, my voice started to break, especially as my great grandfather was there.
Daisy can see we’re heading the same way now. My voice is becoming too loud and I’m throwing my arms round a lot. She appeases me by agreeing we should make a cake to celebrate tomorrow. I tell her it’ll have to be purple, white and green: the official colours of Women’s Day. She pulls a face:
“Purple and white are ok, but green is NOT a girl’s colour. You’ll have to change that to turquoise.”
We go on to Loose’s Cook Shop and throw money around, buying expensive food dyes, and marzipan, and tins. Our aim is to make a coloured Battenburg. As I have never made one before, and I’m not known for my precision, I can see this being an utter disaster, but at least the thought will be there……
Watch this space tomorrow……