Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snowed in of Highgate

I woke up this morning to find the blizzards had followed me all the way down to London. It has snowed ever since, and Highgate is now languishing under about 10cms of snow. Very exciting. The place looks beautiful; like the Swiss Alps (with a motorway running through them). That said, it became something of a dangerous mission to get me to a hospital appointment in the arse end of Haringey. I've just returned and put my feet up because the lovely lady informed me that I have plantar fasciitis; which accounts for my being in absolute agony as I take my first steps in the morning. She prescribed rolling a can of frozen coke underneath my tragically flat feet and then told me my calf muscles were over-developed. "Doesn't that make me look like a footballer?" I asked. "Yes" she said, kindly, stifling a laugh, "but it's why your feet hurt". Hmm. I'm not altogether sure frozen coke can possibly be the answer to my prayers, but I'll try anything once. Well, almost...  (picture shows Nathan at the end of our street in the snow)

It is Twelfth Night and I'm off to the cinema to celebrate by donning a pair of 3D glasses and watching the most expensive film ever made. Pepys celebrated 1660's epiphany with his family. They had the traditional Kingscake and his sister Pall was the Queen. Oddly, this tradition of having cake on the 6th January was something I'd never heard of until Nat's party on Sunday. A cake came round, which had been stuffed with two tiny porcelain figures; a King and a Queen. I ended up with the King, which apparently, amongst other things, makes me responsible for buying the cake next year. Sadly the Queen was never found; presumed swallowed by a stoner who sat in the corner systematically eating everyone's leftovers. That's what you get for celebrating a tradition three days early! Punished by the baby Jesus. For more information on King Cake, click here. (Check out the freaky cake in the picture. Less cake, more patchwork quilt!) (Picture shows Nat with her version of the King Cake.)

I've been busily writing music all morning. I'm currently working on a commission for a group in Lincolnshire. The Choir Invisible performed on A1: The Road Musical and have subsequently become Desmond Tutu's official Choir of Peace. I like to think it was working with me that brought them this huge honour, but I think their amazing conductor, Sally may be more responsible, alongside their incredible repertoire of African music! It's a joy to write for them as they sing entirely from their hearts. Choirs can often be rather stilted creatures; performing only what's written on a page, and not imbuing musical dots with any form of emotion. Not this bunch. They swoop up to notes, and most of the women sing in their chest voices, which gives an exciting, emotional gospel-like sound. Opera singers reading this blog will want to shoot me for saying that!

Off now to the gym. The fitness regime needs to continue, especially in the light of my eating ten chocolate coins last night after the Wimpy meal. I went large. So did my stomach!

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