Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Flocking like flies

Arriving back in the big smoke this afternoon felt like something of an anti-climax. I’ve suddenly realised how knackered I am, and as a result have decided to take tomorrow off. We’re going to have a picnic to take advantage of the last day of this tropical weather. From Thursday, it's all down hill again. Back to the rain and misery...


There’s all sorts of niggling nastiness going on in the background at the moment. Hilary, whose wedding I went to a month ago, returned from her honeymoon, and on her first night back in her riverboat home, was burgled. Perplexingly, the incident happened whilst she was asleep and was made utterly shocking when she discovered the little bastards had not only taken a camera with all their honeymoon snaps, but also shat all over the boat. Absolutely disgusting. It’s one thing to be so poor that you feel you have to take what’s not yours, but quite something else to defile a person’s home. What kind of hatred and disregard must these people have for the world if this is something they’re prepared to do? It’s a level of primitivism that astonishes me. Isn’t it gorillas that fling poo? Are we not more sophisticated than that, nowadays? I'm almost tempted to suggest that these people should be kept in cages, or sent to jungles, where they can smear shit wherever they want. And I refuse to be called a fascist for saying it!

Nathan is really hard up at the moment. Sadly, Nunsense (one of the shows he does in the West End) has been given its notice, which means he’s down to three shows of Naked Boys a week; and that won’t keep him in tap shoes! The life of an actor has to be one of the most insecure existences on the planet. Actors live their lives without being able to take any control of what they do. They can’t put themselves up for auditions, they can’t predict whether they’re right for a role. They get treated like cattle in auditions and when they finally get a part, if a producer decides to pull the plug on their show, it’s all over. No notice. No severance pay. It’s barbaric. And their union is getting progressively weaker which means more and more so-called producers are taking more and more actors for granted. If I’m out of work, I can pitch ideas to people. I can write music. An actor merely waits for the phone to ring...

April 27th 1660, and yet again, Pepys’ clerk Burr had gone AWOL! He’s beginning to remind me of an assistant I had when I was making films for HSBC. I emailed her one Monday morning with a list of jobs to do in the first half of the week and received an “I’m away for the next seven days, if it’s urgent, please contact Benjamin Till” response. I'd no idea she was going on holiday...

Pepys spent the morning in his cabin with Pym the Tailor, who was “putting a great many ribbons to a suit”. This statement is a fascinating insight into mid-17th Century fashions, which were moving speedily from Puritan simplicity towards the flamboyant nonsense of powdered wigs, black patches and such. I love the thought that people were simply adding frills and fancy bits to whatever clothes they had...

More gentlemen came on board the ship en route to Holland. It seems over the last few days there'd been something of a steady stream, with all of them claiming to be off to the city of Flushing for no particular reason. Pepys was no fool, however and knew they’ were flocking like flies to the King, who’d stationed himself at Breda in early April.

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