Friday, 17 September 2010

But can Wonder Woman sing?

I had THE most terrible night’s sleep last night. At about 1am, when we went bed, I was still feeling absolutely wired and ended up tossing and turning until about 4 in the morning. At that point I got up and watched an episode of Mock the Week on i-player. All sorts of nonsense was going through my mind; ideas for future projects and things I needed to do rather urgently on the Pepys Motet. I eventually got back into bed and must have been close to hallucinating because suddenly I became aware of a ghost staring down at me from high up on the bedroom wall. I think I simply dreamt it was there, and within my dream, I’d woken up, opened my eyes and seen the same face staring down, incredibly life-like and more than a little surprising. It was very strange face; a bald-headed, rosy-cheeked man, beautifully lit and highly-colourful against the darkened wall. I must have yelled out, because Nathan woke up and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want to scare him. I suffered in silence!

I woke up this morning, and felt something strange in my mouth, and realised either a piece of tooth, or most of my one filling had come loose. I called the dentist to discover that they couldn’t see me before Tuesday. Fortunately I'm not in any great discomfort... yet.

We talked about our very different childhoods last night. Nathan still finds it hysterically funny that, at the age of 4 or 5, we were taken to countless CND marches and rallies. I feel very proud that my parents thought to take us. I still remember the “die-in”, where hundreds of people lay down on a street in London to show the authorities what it would look like to see a city’s worth of people killed by nuclear attack. Sadly, I was never taken to Greenham Common, probably because I was a boy. My childhood friend, Ruth from the commune, had been many times, and obviously witnessed far too many ladies lying down in front of vehicles carrying nuclear bombs because one day, during the school sports day, she broke through the barriers of spectators and lay down in front of the sack race! I still remember the look of defiance in her eyes. Nathan also finds it near hysterical that we had a soft toy, a sort of enormous sheep, that we called “Sexy”. He can’t believe we were allowed to call a soft toy by that name. I think we’d just heard the word and thought it sounded nice.

Nathan can’t talk, however, because he grew up in a house with a grass green shag pile carpet! I think this is far more shocking, particularly when you discover that he had to RAKE it as a child. Yes, there was such a thing in the early 1980s as a carpet rake, which allowed you to fluff up your carpet, ridding it of vaccum tracks and furni-dents. Sometimes, when visitors were coming, Nathan’s mother would be known to actually rake herself out of the room! No one was allowed back in until the visitors arrived! Celia, I'm horrified!

Today, I finally finished writing the Pepys motet. Hurrah! All that now remains is the fiddly task of creating individual parts. I’ve done about half of them, but my head hurts.

Tonight we’re going to see Linda Carter (yes that’s right – Wonderwoman) doing a cabaret in town. I can’t wait to see if the turquoise-eyed freedom fighter can also sing!

Pepys woke up on this date 350 years ago, and gave Elizabeth 15l with which to buy “mourning things” for them both. Later in the day, there were drinks in Whitehall, and a visit to see the Prince de Ligne, the new Spanish ambassador who was officially welcomed to the country in “very great state.”

After the ceremony, our hero, and a whole host of people went to Axe Yard, and Pepys officially handed over the property to its new tenant, Mr Dalton. Pepys was sad to say goodbye to his “poor little house” and got even sadder upon arriving at his new one. Elizabeth presented him with the things that she'd bought and he was distinctly unimpressed, “they costing too much.” He went to bed feeling “discontent.”


Today's blog asks a question. Can Wonder Woman sing? The answer is yes. Incredibly well. She is a consummate jazzer and brought with her a field of astonishingly talented musicians. Who'd have thought it?!!

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