Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Pauline Fowler

Stay with me. There's been a power cut and all of my batteries have run out!! Hope to post by midnight if I can fix the fuse!!


Well, that was a disaster...

So there I was, sitting in front of the television, about to write my blog, when all the lights suddenly went out. I was slightly confused because the street lights outside didn't seem to have been affected, so assumed the problem was internal. Unfortunately I tend to turn into an imbecile when it comes to anything practical like finding and changing fuses, and it seems my new neighbour downstairs, who I discover is an accountant, is similarly useless. I therefore decided to light several candles and wait for Nathan to come home. Nathan, as usual, would save the day...

Unfortunately Nathan couldn't save the day, so we phoned EDF and were told that they were aware of the problem and were working on it. I'm highly suspicious, however, that the power finally came on, a full twelve hours later, just after the start of office hours this morning.

Poor Nathan (Pathan) took himself off to watch Into the Woods at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre last night, but unfortunately rain stopped play, so he ended up in Marylebone eating pizzas with his friends, Hannah Waddingham and Jenna Russel, who both play lead roles in the show. I don't know why anyone would bother to try and arrange anything outdoorsy in August these days. It used to be that you could rely on the month to bring unadulterated sunshine, but nowadays you'd be better off relying on December.

I did a favour for a friend yesterday and sang in an ad hoc choir that had been assembled to perform the soundtrack for a feature film about Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. As you'd imagine, it wasn't exactly uplifting stuff, but it was very interesting music, which was a lot of fun to sing. I’m sure the organisers were fairly relieved that I’d turned up, cold or no cold, because I was the only bass there! I love doing this sort of thing and try to do as much of it as I can. Frankly, in order to keep the Arts alive in this dreadful financial climate, we need creative people to continue to think big, and it is our duty as performers of whatever kind to help out wherever we can. Perversely, whilst no one’s earning any money, now is probably the moment for people to get together and do the most audacious pieces of art. People should all be thinking about spectacle. Frankly, if there was ever a time to cram 60 people and 17 dancing ponies into a Fringe theatre to perform Aida, it’s now. These are very exciting times, as long as we all keep going, and don’t expect to earn a great deal. I’ve said it countless times before, but the one positive thing about this recession is that it wipes the fat cats in our industry off the face of the earth. People who charge hundreds of thousands of pounds to make low-quality documentaries, for example, will no longer be able to afford to work. Everyone has got to be more inventive and creative but above all, supportive. This is probably the best time to be graduating in the arts. There are no expectations. So get out there and change the world!

August 25th 1660 was business as usual for Pepys, who was getting rather used to splitting his time between the Navy office and the Privy Seal. There was more drinking at the Leg in King Street and the Sun Tavern (both in Westminster) and Pepys was handed a book of lute lessons by Mr Fowler the Apothecary. The book came courtesy of Mr Fowler senior (I’ll call him Arthur), who had used it regularly in the days when he played his lute, which were in the days before he lost the use of his hand. We’re not told how he lost the use of his hand. Maybe was struck with a saucepan by his wife, Pauline.

Later on, Pepys called in at Westminster Hall to buy a “half shirt” from his mistress, Mrs Lane. Having made the shirt, she would no doubt relish the opportunity to whip it off him!

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