Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Reality check

Just when you think you’re in the home straight, another problem comes along and smacks you across the face. This morning it became clear that we’re going to have to re-shoot at least two sequences from the Symphony for Yorkshire. Predictably one of these was the shoot with the youth orchestra that caused all the problems on Hessle foreshore and led to me snivelling on a pebble beach whilst eating a Macdonald’s veggie burger. The footage from this particular occasion is just awful; dark clouds, musicians looking disengaged, confusing camera work... The only decent shot was wrecked by the “making of” crew who suddenly appeared on one side of the picture. No doubt they got better shots than we did!


The other problem I’m having at the moment is that I'm suddenly being forced to face the realities of life. When you’re filming you live in something a little bubble. Not only do you eat rubbish, but you wear the same clothes day after day, you let your flat get messy and all your vegetables go rancid. I've just scraped a liquid mass out of a cupboard which I think must have been a potato at some point. It looked a bit like a undercooked omlette.

There’s not been hot water in my flat now for two weeks and the man has just come round to fix it, which is a relief because I HAVE to wash my towels. I washed them in cold water a few days ago, they took forever to dry and when I tried to use them, I couldn’t believe how horrible they smelt. I might as well have tried to dry myself with a block of parmesan cheese.

I also need rather desperately to do another draft of the Pepys motet so that I can start the search for singers in earnest. I think I’m going to have to dedicate an hour to this each day. There really is no rest for the wicked.

Friday 13th July 1660 was a lucky day for Pepys, bordering on momentous, for it was the day which saw the patent for his new position finally sealed and granted. There were nevertheless still many hurdles to be leapt over before the moment finally arrived. At one point Pepys was even forced to pay a bribe to an angry man, adding archly in his diary; “I did give him two pieces, after which it was strange how civil and tractable he was to me”.

As soon as the patent arrived, the good news started to tumble in. Pepys had his choice of house okay’d by the powers that were at the Navy Office and his various requests for home “improvements” were granted, which included the addition of a door up onto the leads of the house, so that he could go up there to walk, sing and star gaze. Filled with joy, Pepys took the signed patent to Elizabeth, who was unsurprisingly thrilled, and the two of them went to look at their new house, which pleased them both enormously.

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