Wednesday, 1 August 2012

When do we take our clothes off?

Attend the sort of bizarre event that makes me proud to be British.

Godiva. Making her way from Coventry to London propelled by a hundred cyclists. Not naked.

(I mean she's not naked, and neither are the cyclists. Not me, either. I'm wearing sensible woolly coat, thick trousers and a fluffy jumper. Suitable attire for a British summer.)

Better not naked.

I think, if someone took a decision not to have a 10-metre woman cycling down to London in the nude, that was right. Nakedness would have turned the meaning of the event. It would no longer mean a homage to um, er, Godiva? Yes! That's it! The event would no longer be a homage to Godiva and the heroism of her message. Decent treatment for all, fair taxation, and feeling so strongly about something, you get your keks off, but not in a sexy way. It's a hard message to sell these days. And I can see that if they had chosen a 10-metre woman cycling to London in the nude, sadly in these warped days it would have looked like a huge dodgy ad for a Page Three Stunna. Then it would have ruined everything.

But they did give her a horse.

There was some undignified unscrewing, fumbling business with an Ikea allen key, and some furtive spanner work under her frock. The combined effort from several gentlemen in this industrious department then brought her legs to bend backwards to strap her into the horse. I didn't photograph all that. I didn't think it would create the proper story for Lady Godiva and her noble ambitions.

So here's her horse.

I think one of the other messages the organisers want from this not-nude 10-metre high Godiva cycling to London, is that she can represent the engineering wit of Coventry.

Yes, it does that, I'm sure it does. I liked the school desk, pulleys, iron wheels and wires. Very steampunk. Looked like Coventry was going backward to go forward, if you see what I mean. I'm not sure I do, but I like the look.

Definitely made me proud to be part of this British cultural landscape; the one including scantily-clad ladies, old spanners, eccentric Victorian engineering, off-beat inscrutable puppetry, and belief in a fair taxation system for all. Now is it time to take our keks off?

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