Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Yodelling in circles

Dull dull dull. More problems with my music writing software today meant more phone calls to robots in America. “Thank you for calling Finale, the Premier family of music notation software. How can I help you today? The sinister calm voice I’ve adopted is designed to make you want to kill me... or failing that, yourself. You will not know if you are talking to a person or a recording. Remember, we are a US-based company, so will not understand the meaning of the word minim or bar or stave or Jesus Christ when used as an expletive. Jesus Christ cannot help you today, but I can.”

On the bright-side, I wrote a lovely fanfare to start the fourth movement of the symphony. It's just a shame that when I came to play it back, it sounded like I’d written it for spoons, which is, perhaps the one instrument that I haven’t had to score for!

The cafe was a soothing environment today, and I over-heard lots of snippets of rather fascinating conversations. It seems that most people are talking about the election tomorrow and I have a horrible feeling we’re going to be engulfed by a sea of blue and will have to watch David Cameron’s smug, rosey-red face waving from the window of some important buiding. Worst still, I worry there’ll be enough of a majority for him to withdraw any interest in electoral reform, and the dull cycle of British politics will begin again.

What I can guarantee is that there won’t be crowds of people standing outside Number Ten waving flags and cheering, well apart from little clusters of the party faithful, that is. We all learnt our lesson in that respect back in 1997. We learnt not to hope, and that whatever happens and whoever drives triumphantly into Downing Street, nothing will change in any meaningful sense. Unless there’s a terrorist attack. Blimey, that rant’s got my eye twitching.

Saturday 5th May 1660, and Pepys spent the morning writing letters to London, and sending a parcel to Mr Downing, who still seemed to be his boss. It was Montagu’s suggestion and Montagu knew how to keep everyone sweet.

A morning’s hard work, obviously meant an afternoon of R and R and Pepys, true to form, played nine-pins obsessively, before retiring to his cabin to make sweet music long into the night.

The general feeling of celebration continued in the streets. Heaven knows what they were expecting from the King. Heaven knows what we’re expecting from Nick Clegg. People were laying down herbs on the roads of Deal to greet the dignitaries passing through on their way to see the King in Holland. Pepys claimed rather boldly; “never was there so general a content as there is now” and then reported that the nightly prayer from the ship’s chaplain called for the long life and happiness of the King, “that may last as long as the sun and moon endureth.” So, either the sun and moon would cease to endure, or the world would learn the hard way that King Charles II was nothing but skin and bones.

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