Thursday, 18 March 2010

A haze of smoky nostalgia

I’m still feeling miserable. The rash is exactly as it was. I wake up every morning hoping to find it gone, but there it remains, smiling up at me. It makes me itch when I get hot and I’m remarkably fed up. It took me until midday today to crank myself into action. I daren’t eat for fear of more stomach issues, so I’m tired, and headachey and just want to feel better!

I’ve spent the past 8 hours continuing with the motet sequence about the Great Fire. I hope I’m writing something as exciting as the text. At the moment it’s sort of petering out, but then again, so did the fire itself, so I might need to accept that, along with all the other structural eccentricities that are thrown up by working with a text that was never designed to be set to music.

I’m currently watching a television programme where scientists are attempting to lure worms out of the ground by a variety of methods including fork twanging (bouncing on a fork), grunting (rubbing sticks together), and playing glockenspiels. Only the British would be unconventional enough to do this, although, and perhaps because I'm British, I'm finding it compelling viewing. For the record, by far the most successful approach is fork twanging, so if anyone’s looking for some worms to feed a pet budgie, you know what to do.

That’s about as fascinating as my life gets at the moment! That, and watching the documentary about Ann Widdecomb which has replaced the thing about worms.

A slightly more interesting day for Pepys who rose early on the 18th March 1660 and went to Jervas the barber to have his hair trimmed, and afterwards, a few cups of beer. After church, he headed to an alehouse in Drury Lane with one Mr Woodfine, and there the two men drank and ate toasted cakes, which Pepys thought extremely fine. He enjoyed the company and seemed particularly taken, perhaps unsurprisingly, with the mistress of the house. His wife was, afterall, safely tucked away in Buckinghamshire. Later on, he collected a lute from a porn broker in Westminster before returning to Mrs Crisp’s house; that’s the old lady who plays the harpsichon in a sort of haze of smoky nostalgia!


  1. A pawnbroker, I rather think, Benjamin. Not sure they had porn in Pepys's day, but then again...
    All the best (and hope the rash vanishes soon) - Phil

  2. You see, normally I would immediately change a typo like that - but I think it's so funny that I might just leave it in!

    Pepys' porn was music... well theatre, really, but music came a close second. You ever seen lute porn?!