I’m still feeling rather peculiar, with the sense that whatever I had before could well be developing into some form of cold. My head’s been spinning all morning and I've woken up with mouth ulcers. I had very strange and graphic dreams last night. In one of them I survived a plane crash and in another I was looking at the aftermath of a bizarre multi car/ train pile up underneath a New York style overpass. The doctor who was walking by my side was pronouncing people dead at the scene. In the middle dream I was having a lovely chat with my friend Kevin, who died last November. I was aware that that he was a ghost, but this didn’t seem to bother me. It was good to see him again and he seemed very happy. I miss him.
All this surreality probably follows the sheer horror of the Eurovision selection programme last night. What a waste of space, time, energy and frankly, vocal chords. Pete Waterman’s song is average. I can't think of a nicer way to describe it. The arrangement isn’t dynamic enough for the competition and it’s firmly planted in the late 80s without a nod to the tacky nostalgia many of us feel for that era of pop. There’s no key change, no drama and no gimmick. My prediction is that it will come 3rd from last; in front of France and Germany.
The grotesque parade of “singers” who we were asked to select from was even more pointless than the song itself. Not a single one of them was over 21 and therefore had the balls, the panache or the experience to pull off performing in a live TV studio, let alone in a stadium filled with 60,000 people. One of the girls, who reached the final stage, dried up, forgot all her words and apologised in a moment of proper road crash telly. The boy who won looked a little bit like he was doing karaoke down the Queen’s Head, or performing Danny in a school production of Grease. He was self-conscious, awkward and unaware of himself. I have woked with kids who are fifty times more talented. If he wants to come third from last, he’s going to need to do a lot of work. Arleen Phillips is going to need to wave an enormous magical wand or he’ll not even bag us the 7 points from Ireland and 3 from Malta that we’ll need to beat France.
I’m currently sitting in the land of Pepys, on the Strand, waiting for the wonderful Debbie and Becky to emerge from the matinee of Dirty Dancing. I sang in the Northamptonshire Youth Choir with them both and they recently performed in Watford Gap: The Musical. Debbie was at my 18th Birthday party, which happened in a flotilla of punts in Cambridge. We were looking at the photographs earlier. What children we were... Just had an interval text from them saying Johnny was very disappointing, but there were plenty of lovely bums to look at instead! Outrageous.
It rained all day on March 13th 1660 and Pepys didn’t have a lot to say for himself. He called in on Montagu to discover that his principal rival, John Creed, had been given a slightly more influential position on their forthcoming trip to sea, which put his nose very firmly out of joint. He wouldn't need to worry for long, however. Creed may have won this particular battle, but Pepys won the war, and eventually advanced a great deal faster than his rival; many claim due to Creed’s rather sanctimonious puritan views, which Montagu, it seemed, very quickly grew weary of.