I felt just like Pepys today, trudging around London in the snow to various meetings. Unfortunately, I didn't randomly bump into any friends, but I did find myself walking up and down the Strand, which was one of Pepys' main stomping grounds. I was looking for a mysterious Court "tucked behind a Starbucks" where I was meeting a man about funding. This is beginning to sound like a Joe Orton play. What I didn't realise was how many Starbucks there were on the Strand! The meeting went well, and we've thrown a few ideas around about how we might find some more money for the project. I am feeling positive.
I also got a chance to walk past St Clement Danes church on the Aldwych, which is pretty likely to be one of the churches where the Pepys Motet is performed. Its church bells feature in Oranges and Lemons, and it brought back happy memories of near death experiences. It was here that I came within an inch of falling 40 feet onto concrete from the bell tower. Those were the days... And if you feel like listening to Oranges and Lemons, you can do so here.
I've been exhausted all day. I stayed up so late last night working on the Arts Council application that I thought I was going to be sick. I woke up early this morning and continued with the process. I think it's close to being ready, although last-minute references are still coming through, and I've lost all sense of objectivity!
Had lunch with my God daughter, her mother and her mother's mother in Holloway. A very pleasant lunch. Deia (goddaughter) was particularly amusing, using her little trolley to charge at every cabinet and table leg in sight. She seemed particularly angry that the walls weren't giving way.
350 years ago, Pepys was his usual busy self. In fact, he had a particularly sociable day, mentioning eleven friends and colleagues by name. He also had a minor spat with his wife, Elizabeth, which ends badly with her being frog-marched home, then sneaking out to see a Gentleman behind his back. Jealousies on both sides tore through their relationship. There were fights and rows. Pepys gave Elizabeth a black eye on one occasion, and on another became so jealous of her dance teacher that he would regularly check the beds for evidence of her infidelity. The lengths a guilty mind will go to!
In the midst of the argy-bargy, Pepys, with a typical lack of subtlety, goes to visit Mrs Jem, who had been, for some days, in quite a state, believing she was ridden with small pox. He found her "up and merry" however, having discovered she was actually suffering from the much less troublesome swine pox, which sounds rather too much like swine 'flu to be taken seriously.