Monday, 3 May 2010

The declaration of Breda

There’s a beautiful light outside the window which is making the trees opposite look a colour which Wikipedia describes as “electric green”. It’s been a slightly odd bank holiday Monday. I decided to work, but ended up having a lie-in, and only managed to do a few hours in the afternoon. I definitely needed a lot of sleep, however. The sound of rain smashing against our bedroom window the night before led to a very disturbed night, peppered with surreal and highly vivid dreams. Besides, when everyone else is off work, it’s almost impossible to find the motivation to be motivated! Tomorrow, my work on the symphony begins in earnest.

Nathan spent the afternoon with Philippa’s Mum, Kate, doing some gardening at her house in Holloway. I pottered down to meet them afterwards and found them drinking champagne and eating coffee cake, which I thought incredibly civilised. We had a very interesting conversation about the future of the world. Kate feels that a seismic shift is occurring or about to occur and predicts big and difficult changes in financial, political and environmental arenas. She believes that we're moving towards a place where communmity and self-sufficiency are going to become a great deal more important and I hope in a way that she's right. I certainly believe that this recession is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Big changes are surely afoot; certainly within my industry. Countless producers, directors and practitioners simply can’t afford to do their thing anymore, primarily because they’ve greedily priced themselves out of the market and got used to doing things a certain way whilst living an opulent lifestyle. There has to be an upside to having been consistently too poor to get on the property ladder, and too gay to have children or one of those expensive wives that most cameramen get lumbered with! It means I can continue to be competitive and exist on next to nothing; which is a salary all creative people are going to have to get used to if they want to continue.

350 years ago, Montagu showed Pepys a copy of Charles II’s letter to Parliament; a document which would become known as the Declaration of Breda and would lay out the terms of the English Restoration and bring a definitive end to the era of the Commonwealth.

Parliament had voted to support the King, but the Navy needed to work out if it was going to do the same thing. Councils of war and various votes took place on the Nazeby before Pepys was asked to make a tour of all the other boats in the fleet to read the declaration and inform all the sailors that the Navy would henceforth be supporting the King. The news was greeted with great cheers whilst guns and canons were fired. Pepys writes that it was hugely exciting to feel the bullets hissing and whizzing just above his head. It’s a wonder no one was killed.

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