Poor Nathan. After taking a look at his head today, I discovered yesterday's incident with the freezer had actually drawn blood and left a scar. To make matters worse, a few minutes later, whilst eating a consolatory toffee, his tooth fell out! Well, more fell apart. For about half an hour he was spitting out little pieces of decayed enamel. Charming.
I had a wonderful time with Hilary last night. We watched a bit of telly and talked about her forthcoming wedding. We then sat around the piano and sung through Beauty Retire for the first time. It felt like quite an important and magical moment. Pepys knew how to write a tune and one of his phrases, the one that accompanies the line "I break the hearts of half the world and she breaks mine" is particularly charming. I suppose it's not altogether surprising that these words would have resonated with and inspired the great lothario Pepys!
Later in the evening, I read out my entire short list of potential texts for the Motet. I wanted to know how Nathan and Hilary would respond, and futher more how I'd feel when I read them out loud for the first time. They all fly off the page, but some felt more repetitious and less colourful than others. There were also sections I felt a great desire to skip over. Bizarrely, and most controversially, the whole sequence about the Dutch invasion in 1667, felt like the dampest squib; particularly when compared with the breath-taking vividness of other sequences. It's astonishing to think that within a ten year period Pepys lived through and wrote about so many events that are still remembered today.
Talking of which, on this day in 1660, Britain took one step closer to the Restoration. General Monk was still lording it in town, and today Pepys clapped eyes on him for the first time. He was swishing into Parliament, flanked by soldiers and judges, engulfed in a haze of pomp and circumstance. Pepys feasted with his father on a turkey from Zealand (Denmark) and had another row with Mrs Ann – the housekeeper of the daughter of Montagu - who seemed to be a rather tricky fish. She is regularly mentioned at this time, usually ill in bed with an "ague", or shouting viciously at Pepys for not helping her to get better. Pepys obviously felt indebted to the family of his great patron, but quite why this seemed to include putting up with the hysterical whingings of one of their servants, I'm not sure.