Feeling rather chuffed with myself as I left the Broxton ‘Circle’ at Perth I accelerated towards Glasgow. Everything was in place. Belting out the 12 days of Christmas on Classic FM by some fancy philharmonic orchestra I remembered that Daisy had a ‘tea date’ at her friends. Of course using hands free and speaker phone I checked in with Mama D. Turns out that everything was not in place. I actually had no idea what day it was or what was really happening to be honest. I was informed it was Tuesday! Ballet day and more importantly ballet recital day! I had failed to pack the leotard, the shoes and the wee pink socks. EVEN bigger failure I wouldn’t be there to see my little girl skip around the room to ‘Jingle Bell Rock‘. My stomach flipped and a wee clammy covering of sweat covered my entire body.
Today I met one of the women on the project. It wasn’t easy for her to meet us. In fact it seemed like she wasn’t going to show at all. Linda gently encouraged her to come along with carefully worded texts and a phone call to her key worker. Our fingers were crossed really tightly that she would show. During our wait for her, Linda and I delved into the kind of chat only suitable for a cold, damp and grey Tuesday morning in the Gorbals. I’m always like a famished wolf after my drive to Glasgow. So I tucked into the goodies Linda brought, always delighted by the scones and homemade jam. Merrily I slopped the jam onto the scone with a letter opener. Neither of us are still quite sure how a letter opener was masquerading as a knife. That’s when the crying started on Tuesday. Tears of joy…
By 2 o’clock we’d all but given up hope. So in my wisdom and as a self proclaimed social media whizz I would take it upon myself to set up the Instagram. With my pigeon chest and my addiction to Instagram, my self importance would see the Inside Outside social media platform grow. I tapped Linda on the shoulder to demonstrate my winnings. Only to discover that I had immediately forgotten the password that I had JUST made for the new account. It was gone! No memory of it at all. Humoured by the chaos Linda set the whole shebang up again! More big loud laughs and a feeling of hysteria.
Now, for your FYI there are two Inside Outside Instagram accounts but only one is being used. Follow us here on our second Instagram account (this one is the better one)
That’s when the phone rang. She had arrived….. Relief washed over us!
She met us in the corridor. She was cold and unequivocally apologetic about being late. We all hugged and said hi. I made tea and Linda and her sat down together. Neither of us really cared that she was late. We were just so delighted to see her. Her body language and her downward gaze said it all. This was hard for her her. Gut wrenchingly hard.
Linda sets a rhythm very quickly. Like a conductor with her philharmonic orchestra. She keeps everyone together. She invites the right sounds at the right time. There’s a beat and a pattern. It’s incredible being whipped up into it.
Watching how this woman relaxed and open up and flourish with in 15 minutes was extraordinary. Without warning artistic ideas were pouring out her. She is naturally eloquent. Her use of language is poetic. She is a visual person. In her mind she already knows what she wants to capture on her camera phone.
Again the ‘mask’ appeared.
She has not worked in prostitution for about 18 months. But the effects of it are still very raw. Her accounts are fresh and though extremely difficult, she is honest, open and truthful. My heart was in my throat. Watching her and listening to her. I wanted to hug her. I imagined the Vanilla Sky…
There is a trend that appears with the women. Although every story is different. Every account unique. There’s an interchangeable relationship between them all. Many woman have a weapon of choice, for example. Some punters that visit them in their homes or in a brothel or pick them up from the street are very very dangerous. There are accounts in the transcripts from the women of attempted murder, rape, coercion and abuse. Many punters hurt the girls, FACT!
She remembers her weapon of choice. A beautiful paperweight. She knew EXACTLY where it was posed and exactly how she would use it to protect herself if she had to. Take your time to digest this. How does this make you feel?
This meeting left me feeling really positive. I think her images will be beautiful and will tell her story or at least will tell us just how much she wants to reveal. I’m excited to see her photographs. But more importantly, I’m excited to see her!
Driving out of Glasgow was pure chaos. I spent 15 minutes chanting ‘Oh my God, oh my God!” I drove home listening to Steve Lamacq and joined in on the Christmas Ska Party and thought about all the people I love….
The Seine At Argenteuil – Vanilla Sky by Claude Monet
This dreamy painting by Monet can be used as a metaphor for a life. One which is free from pain or difficulty, trouble and complication. It’s perhaps dreamlike and celestial. It’s a warming hug an embrace and a place of safety under the soft palate of a peaceful summer’s sky.
I have one wish. I wish for the Vanilla Sky!