Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Lovely Anne

My rancid finger is feeling slightly better this evening, thank you very much for asking, but the sitting room now smells of TCP because I had an unfortunate little accident this morning. I think I thought my finger was larger than it actually is; and some TCP might have dripped down the side of the sofa towards Nathan's computer.  I thought I'd managed to clear it all up, but Nathan, who has the senses of a wolf, spotted the smell immediately and now can't walk into the room without gagging. It is a horrible smell. You'd think they could invent something with a similar purpose which smelt of lavender or mushrooms or...

The Tyndarids continue to amuse. They’re naughty boys and seem to spend all of their time adventuring and trying to find ways out of their cage. Even though they’re brothers, I’m not altogether sure they actually like each other, which is a tragedy! They sleep at opposite ends of the cage, and spend quite a lot of time play-fighting. Perhaps they’re just bickering to establish a ratty pecking order. All I want them to do is cuddle up and look cute. They’ve already developed rather strong personalities. Castor is the slightly skittish and cautious one, whereas Pollux seems properly fearless. That said, Castor just knocked the remote control off the side of the sofa and the two of them ran back to the safety of their cage at the speed of light.

I went to the Job Centre this morning and met a lovely lady there called Anne. I couldn't understand a word she was saying and I’m not really sure she knew herself what words were babbling out of her very friendly mouth. What I did manage to establish was that I wasn't managing to tick any of her boxes, which made her quite unhappy. I think she signed me up for all sorts of professional networks which were horribly inappropriate for my line of work, but I just said yes in the end, because I could suddenly smell TCP and was starting to feel ashamed. The whole self-employed thing causes all sorts of problems, seemingly because I’m not a fisherman and don’t own a factory. Still, I mustn’t complain. The world doesn’t owe me a living, and I’m extremely lucky to live in a country where signing on is an option at all. I just wish I knew what Anne was saying...

I worked the rest of the morning at the cafe, making sure, now that I’m watching the pennies, my pot of tea lasted all the way until lunch. We went to the gym in the afternoon (the first time in ages I was able to run without pain) and then I worked all afternoon and evening and really got stuck into the fourth movement of the motet. That's the one about the Great Fire of London.

It’s now raining like you wouldn’t believe. Fiona called me from Brussels earlier, and it seems they’re having similarly awful weather over there, which begs the question: Summer? What summer?

August 17th 1660 was a Friday and the Pepyses dined with Elizabeth’s tailor, John Unthank on “nothing but a dish of sheep’s trotters”. In the afternoon, Pepys headed off to Whitehall and to the Privy Seal where there was a great deal of work to be done. The evening came and Pepys and his bitter rival, Creed went to see Mr Pim the tailor, who took them both to the Half Moon on the Strand and gave them good wine and anchovies and paid for the lot. Good old Mr Pim. But Pepys, never one for letting one of his rivals escape without a good tongue-lashing, or pen-thrashing adds;

This night I saw Mr. Creed show many the strangest emotions to shift off his drink I ever saw in my life

Sometimes you just can't win...

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