Monday, 23 August 2010

A Musk Melon

I very nearly forgot to write this blog today. I think I must have spent most of the evening in something of a coma, for it was 7pm when I finished writing, and suddenly it’s 11, and all I feel I’ve done is eat some pasta!

I had something of a rude awakening this morning when I suddenly realised the car I’d borrowed from my parents was parked on single yellow lines. I therefore had to rush out to park it somewhere more appropriate in a pair of pyjamas and a smelly t-shirt. I got back into bed, fell asleep and immediately woke up again when I realised today was my signing on day. So up I got, my cold intensifying and dragged myself through the rain to the dole office, only to be served by a lady who seemed more interested in discussing her anti-depressants than talking to me. I was in and out in seconds...

The afternoon was spent in Costa listening to a group of girls talking about going to university. They were all incredibly excited and I enjoyed trying to work out from what they were saying, which universities they were going to be attending. One was going to Edinburgh, the other to Leeds. I have to admit to having had a little flush of excitement myself when I thought about what amazing experiences they'd have in the coming years and how they'd change and grow as people. Edinburgh, I’m sure, would be a lovely place to study, baring the rain. I was, however, horrified to hear them talking about one of their sister’s boyfriends; “OMG, he’s 30" one of them shrieked, showing them a photograph on her i-phone, "he’s an old man!” What on earth does that make me?!

Pepys started his day 350 years ago at Doctors’ Commons; which was a society of lawyers practising civil law, who lived and worked in a group of buildings on the present day Victoria Street.

There was much business to be done in White Hall at the Admiralty office, including a discussion about what needed to happen to a master ship-builder who had apparently called the King a bastard and described his mother as a whore. Oops.

There were drinks and a “dish or two” of meat for lunch at the Leg in King Street and then a visit to the office of the Privy Seal, where there wasn’t much work going on, on account of the King having been out of town for the last few days.

In the late afternoon, Pepys was back in a pub, eating a musk melon (a cantaloupe) in one of the only references to food in the diary that actually made my mouth water. It was, Pepys said, the first melon that he’d eaten that year. I wonder where it was imported from. The quote reminds us that Pepys very rarely seemed to eat anything that wasn’t meat!

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