Monday, 22 February 2010

Anatomical malformations

I’m writing this whilst cooking a meal because there's nothing more interesting to write about. I’m going to make a delicious pasta dish, with some Quorn pieces, a dash of white wine, a few peas and some Linda Mcartney sausages...

I joked with Philippa earlier that if something more interesting didn’t happen, I’d have to write about our 'phone conversation. So here goes... She was shopping. She was looking for a pre-cooked lasagne. She told me all about Hilary’s wonderful hen do in Lewes and then berated me for not visiting my goddaughter more regularly. That seems to have been the high point of my day.

The rest of my time, aside from a jaunt to the gym, has been spent writing the motet. I’m going incredibly slowly, not through laziness, but because it’s just so ridiculously hard to write. At the moment I’m working on a 20-voice fugue as the basis for a sequence about the plague. It’s a whole new level of madness! My ears are bleeding, my computer keeps crashing sympathetically and at the end of the day, Nathan has to scrape my brain off the floor!

Looking to the diary for some inspiration for this blog, I find very little. Alas, it’s not one of Pepys’ better entries, or indeed a particularly interesting day. He ate pease porridge for lunch “and nothing else”. Do you get a sense of the material I'm working with, here?! He then drifted around London. There seems to be some kind of business going on with soldiers demanding pay; a whiff of mutiny is in the air, but Pepys is not specific.

Later on he visits Mrs Jem, and is told that the thing being prepared for her neck will be ready this week. Finally we find out why the young Mrs Jem is in London without her parents. She’s got neck problems. In fact, a bit of further research reveals the poor love had some kind of awful anatomical malformation, which meant she couldn’t hold her neck up properly. I do hope the poor lamb wasn’t also a dribbler. I'm not sure Pepys would have been able to keep a straight face! Whether this “thing” for her neck was some kind of brace or a charming little piece of jewellery to draw the eye from the hideousness of the vision, we can only guess. Whatever the case, Pepys was in a charitable mood, because he later sent some bedding to Mrs Ann, (who you’ll remember was the stroppy cow who was meant to be looking after Mrs Jem, but got the “ague” and then needed to get a life because she never stopped moaning!) Pepys then made a dash for Will’s bar “and staid like a fool there and played cards till 9 o’clock”. Perhaps I should have a game of cards. That might make sense of the day! Anyone for Canasta(n)?

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