Sunday, 18 July 2010

Old bags

Leeds has been battered by high winds for the last few days. Perhaps the taller buildings here are funnelling it somehow, but every time I’ve been out recently, I’ve really noticed it. Today's was a sort of hot wind, which confused me because it’s been very overcast. The weather we’ve had up here this week certainly makes me feel extremely relieved to have shot our film last week.

I went to Tesco earlier on and was served by a very strange man who looked at my full basket of shopping and asked if I wanted a bag. “Yes please” I said, and his hands disappeared for a moment before a single bag appeared. I picked up my extra large packet of Shreddies and put it inside. “I think I might need another one” I said. There was a confused paused, and rustling underneath the counter before a second bag appeared. I filled it with shopping within seconds and then stopped and looked at the check-out man. He stopped and looked at me. His eyes flicked down at my shopping. “Can I have another bag please?” I asked, and he obliged. One more bag was handed to me. This happened on two more occasions. Never once did he take the initiative and hand me a whole set of bags. It was one at a time, but only when I asked for one. Now, do you suppose this is the new Tesco policy? Employees are allowed to ask if you require a bag, but from then on will only provide them if you ask, and then only on a bag by bag basis? Or did I just encounter a freak who wanted to punish me for threatening the world’s resources?

Tomorrow is my 200th blog, and I am still very keen for some of the people who read it to tell me what’s going on in their lives on this date. It doesn’t have to be many words, but if you’re happy to share your day’s activities with the rest of us, all you need to do is jot down a few words and email them to me by 10pm tomorrow. If tomorrow turns out to be really dull for you, then perhaps you can tell me what you were doing over the weekend. My email address is I suggest you might start by introducing yourself and saying what you do, before saying what you’ve done! I'm very much looking forward to hearing from you all...

350 years ago, Pepys’ carpenter finished work on the door he'd commissioned to lead out onto the roof, which strikes me as very speedy work. Later in the day, Pepys met up with Mr Pierce the surgeon, who had a porter with him, who delivered Pepys a barrel of lemons from John Burr; ho you'll remember was Pepys’ troublesome former clerk, who’d obviously remained at sea when Pepys left the Nazeby.

Later in the day, he visited the New Exchange, a bazaar on The Strand, where the current Adelphi stands, which specialised in fancy goods like fans, gloves and perfumes. It was a place that the great and the good went to gossip and be seen.

Pepys then went to see Montagu, who palmed off an old bit of venison on him, which “smelt a little strong”. Pepys, in turn decided to palm it off on his parents, who he’d not seen for a little time because his father had been pestering him to put in a good word for him to have a position in Montagu’s Wardrobe. He went to sleep, slightly worried about the debts he’d accrued in the process of getting his new job.

Pepys’ household found itself a new member in the shape of Will Hewer on this date. Hewer had been employed as one of Pepys’ clerks, but also as a domestic servant. He became an astonishingly important figure in Pepys’ life, and in fact Pepys was living with Hewer in his Clapham residence when he died in 1703.

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