Monday, 9 August 2010


I spent the morning in the A and E department at the Whittington Hospital. Nathan has not been very well for the last few days and woke up with a terrible headache which simply wouldn’t go away. We got there at about 10am and it was 1pm before he was given any pain killers, which struck me as appalling. And really, he only received them after we’d both nagged the nurses a ridiculous number of times. The official diagnosis is that he's had some kind of nasty virus, which is now affecting his sinuses; hence the headaches. He’s been told to dose up on painkillers and get on with life, which can’t be easy when you’re opening in a show!

We went to see Toy Story 3 last night, which was a charming little film, which I confess made me bawl my eyes out. There’s a scene in it when a teenage boy hands his childhood toys over to a little girl, which obviously symbolises the loss of innocence and all that. I guess it just played right into the hands of my subconscious, which seems to want to take me on a nostalgia fest at the moment. Is there any reason why a 36 year-old would be hankering after the safety of his childhood, I wonder? Is it because I'm steaming along towards the big 40? Perhaps it's because many of my friends are now having children and I’m finally having to face the fact that this might not be a journey I’m destined to go on? Who will I give my toys to?

We returned from the cinema and watched the last two episodes of Rev. on i-player. If any of you have missed this little gem of a series, I wholeheartedly recommend it. All the episodes are still available, and it’s a fabulous little format which brims over with love. It’s about a reverend in an East London church and it’s shot almost entirely in Columbia Road and St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, which happens to be an Oranges and Lemons Church. When the bells ring in the programme, I always think about the grand belfry in that church, which houses an extraordinary Victorian wrought iron structure on which the bells hang.

I was thrilled to receive a 1904 edition of the complete Pepys diary from my parents for my birthday this year. They now sit very proudly on our Blue Peter shelves in the sitting room; a sort of book case-cum-display cabinet where we keep all of our special things including a chess board which Nathan made at school and a cigarette box which I inherited from my Grandmother. There’s a picture of Matt Lucas dressed as Orville, a version of Guess Who, which features all of my best friends instead of the normal characters, a tiny copy of the Liberty bell, a picture of Philippa in front of giant spring onion and a tin box with an image of ABBA on it.

August 9th 1660 seemed to be a day of non-stop drinking for Pepys. Heaven knows how he managed to do any work. There was heavy drinking at the Rhenish winehouse at lunch time and then even more with his wife at Mrs Blackburne’s in the afternoon. On top of this, Pepys was fed a fine collation of collar of beef, so it was hardly surprising that the last line of his diary reads; “and so to bed, not well, and very ill all night.”

My birthday yesterday: lawn darts on the heath

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