I continue to write little bits and bobs for the motet. Today I was working on a charming, rather simple passage from the diary where Pepys witnesses a rainbow at dawn over the Thames. The first rainbow he’d ever seen in the morning. This got me wondering whether I've ever seen a rainbow in the morning. Maybe there’s a scientific reason why they might occur less frequently first thing in the day. Anyone got any thoughts on that?
My cold continues. It seems to be heading towards my chest, which is a great improvement on the everlasting sneeze that became the focal point of yesterday. Other than this, I'm not a very interesting person today.
February 12th 1660, was unseasonably warm and sunny; “a most pleasant day as ever I saw” says Pepys, who spent the morning walking in a park and the afternoon in the city with his cousin Roger searching for General Monck like a pair of teenage autograph hunters. London was still celebrating and apparently Monck had been greeted with cheers and cries at St Paul’s Cathedral earlier in the day.
Later on, Pepys met and walked for a while with a little hunchbacked man; the apprentice of a local bookseller, whom he describes with a wonderful lack of political correctness as “the crooked fellow.” They try to find a pub, but none are open. Pepys also discovers that people have been smashing the windows of the wonderfully named Praise-God Barebone’s dwellings. Barebones was one of Cromwell’s puritan cronies. He even gave his name to a short-lived, rather unsucessful unelected parliament, so in the light of current developments was being viewed as the devil incarnate. A quirky fact about this man is that he was supposedly christened; Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone. Talulah Does the Hula in Hawaii, eat your heart out!
The day ends, as all fun days must, with a row about Elizabeth’s new dog (which arrived on 8th February care of her brother, Balty)
"So to bed, where my wife and I had some high words upon my telling her that I would fling the dog which her brother gave her out of window if he pissed the house any more."