Monday, 24 May 2010


I’m stressed out of my tiny mind! I’ve been formatting music for the Yorkshire Symphony all day, and have absolutely no idea how much longer it’s going to take. With so many ensembles and musicians and instruments playing in the most ridiculous keys, I could feasibly still be doing this in a years’ time! To make matters worse, the temperatures outside can best be described as searing, we have visitors who are keen to be entertained next door, and I have just had the mother of all rows with an extremely close friend via text message! I feel frantic.

Fiona whisked me off for an evening stroll and I frog-marched her at top speed around North London. Our whistle-stop tour took in Muswell Hill, Hornsey and Crouch End and we did it all in a record-breaking time. I talked and talked and talked at her, but as my flat feet pounded the pavement, I could feel myself getting slightly calmer. I’m now back at home, listening enviously to our guests laughing their heads off whilst wondering when I last sweated this profusely! They say the temperatures reached 30 degrees in London today, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Pepys got up early 350 years ago, and dressed himself as finely as he could. He was incredibly excited to be in the midst of such greatness and bounded like a puppy dog from one conversation to another. He gossiped and talked about science and philosophy and politics with the finest minds in the country as The Charles skimmed and bounced across the North Sea. As evening fell, those on board caught sight of England for the first time. I can't quite imagine how that must have felt, not just for Pepys, but for King Charles and Montagu and everyone who dared to hope that the Restoration was the answer to their prayers.

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