Friday, 19 March 2010

Ribena and Peppermint tea

I’m stationed in my little corner of Cafe Nero in Highgate, feeling very pleased with the work I’ve just done on the motet. Without wishing to sound too much like Pepys, it might just be that I’ve written the most exciting music of my career! It's certainly the most exciting music I've written today!

The rashes continue, although I wonder today if the heat has gone out of them a little. I certainly don’t feel as washed out as I did yesterday. I continue with the doctor’s advice to eat nothing but boring food. Yesterday I had toast, a banana, and a plate of potatoes and peas. I am drinking nothing but water, Ribena and Peppermint tea. God, this blog is scintillating. Roll on the weekend, where I might actually find myself with something a bit more interesting to write about.

I read Pepys’ Diary for March 17th 1660, quite expecting him to be leaving for sea today, but having dispatched his wife to Buckinghamshire, and found himself a very comfortable bed in Mrs Crisp’s rather fine abode, there didn’t seem any particular hurry! Perhaps they were waiting for favourable weather before setting sail.

Pepys went to Montagu’s and found an “infinity of business to do” which made his head almost explode. He chatted and gossiped with various Admiralty bods and later heard that Montagu’s “negro” footman, Jasper, had got drunk over lunch and embarrassed his master. In those days it was all the rage in high society to have an exotic little black man in your service. Pepys himself in later life employed a couple.

He spent the rest of the day drinking, eating and worrying about his wife. I’m sure he was missing her, and was probably frightened that she might be having a bit too much fun marooned in her rural retreat.

By this stage it was clear to Pepys that the desire of everyone was that the King should return, and return quickly, and we get the first hint that the imminent trip abroad might include a visit to Holland to pick up the King and bring him home.

At the end of the day, Pepys retired to Mrs Crisp’s house where he met Dr Clodius, who was pissed. They played cards and went to bed.


  1. As soon as you're well (please get well, by the way), you need to take the next step into Pepys-dom: you should begin eating precisely what Sam' describes himself to have eaten each day (OK, you can have the day off when he doesn't get around to describing it). It could be very inspirational ... well, inspirational for us watching you do so ...

    Congrats on your writing! I hope it becomes your "Beauty Retire..."

  2. You see, ordinarily I'd be well up for a challenge like that... but being a card carrying vegetarian, I think I could end up in serious trouble within seconds. Dear Samuel never mentions anything but meat meat meat... Well, he had some cake yesterday, and Elizabeth ate cabbage... Have you tried the Pepys diet?

  3. OH no! Well, maybe the Pepys liquid diet from time to time, but I can't hold it at all well. No, Sam's food falls into the "double-dare-you" category.

    Perhaps this has something to do with your illness--you may be imagining the Pepys diet a bit too vividly and you're getting a system backlash.