Sunday, 6 June 2010

An injection of cash, status and pride

I'm on a train to Leeds at the start of a two month adventure. By the time I return to London, The Yorkshire Symphony will have been made and I'll have moved on to the next project.

I suspect because it’s Sunday there are a lot of children on the train. I’m already becoming deeply irritated by the woman behind me who seems to be talking in a stupidly high-pitched voice to the child sitting next to her. To make matters worse, she’s systematically talking about herself in the 3rd person, which is obviously setting her child up for a lifetime of grammatical confusion, and frankly, if I hear about Teddy one more time, I’m going to flush him down the toilet. Some mother’s need to learn that the world does not revolve around their children. “Is Teddy going to sit on your lap? Is Teddy excited to be on the train? Look at Mummy waving bye bye to London, is Teddy waving bye-bye?” This child will obviously grow up thinking it’s natural to speak in a silly, ineffectual head-voice, and be terrified of men with low voices like mine. No doubt some kind of tantrum is on its way... and if that child starts to scream, Teddy really will go bye bye... all the way out of the window, followed by Mummy

This afternoon I have to meet the landlord of the shoebox I’m going to be living in for the next few weeks. I’m told it’s so small that it has a pull down bed, but I don’t mind. As long as it has a door that I can shut on the world – and a television set – I’m happy. I would have added a bath to my list of demands, but sadly I think I’d be on to a losing battle.

After meeting the landlord I’ll be doing my first rehearsal, which I believe is with the rock band, Luva Gunk, who will be providing the dark, thrusting motor for the third movement. They are the first of a bewildering number of sessions I’ve been booked into during the coming week. I believe tomorrow’s schedule starts with lunch with a harpist in Harworth and then I’m sure my feet will barely touch the ground until all the music is recorded. It will be as exciting as it is manic, but I could do with this cold clearing out of my system before the mayhem begins.

06.06.1660, and Montagu was dangling a very juicy carrot in front of Pepys in the form of a new job; more specifically the role of Clerk of the Signet; “which he did most lovingly tell me that I should execute, in case he could not get a better employment for me at the end of the year”. They also discussed Pepys’ Uncle Robert’s estate. Rich Old Bob was plainly on his way out and Montagu was going to pull some family strings to make sure the estate to found its way in Pepys’ direction. It really does seem that Montagu had Pepys’ best interests at heart and had started to pay him back for a life time of loyalty.

More news came from London. The King was busily selecting toads and sycophants for his court and the two Dukes were decadently gallivanting around town; “haunting” St James’ Park and paying numerous visits to the theatre; an industry which was flourishing in Restoration London... And even more excitingly, women had started appearing on stages for the first time.

Pepys expected to be called back to the capital at any moment and wrote to his father asking for a coat to be made that befitted a man who'd had injection of cash, status and pride!

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