Monday, 20 September 2010

In priase of Holland

I sat on the kitchen table today and worked my way through great piles of admin, most of which related to my seemingly fruitless search for trebles for the motet. I’m now using a sort of splatter-gun approach, having realised that schools are usually way too busy (and dare I say too rude) to respond quickly, if at all. I’m still feeling slightly resentful about St Paul’s School, who kept me waiting for 5 months, merely to inform me they had their own concert on the night of our performance. I think the likelihood now of my finding any trebles at all is next to zero. Frankly, I feel I'm more likely to give birth to a set of singing quintuplets before I hear anything from a certain school in Kent! So I have to start to thinking about what I might do instead. Should I form a choir of counter tenors, for example? Or teenage girls? Or women who sound like recorders when they sing? How would I advertise for that, I wonder?

The gospel singers – or lack of them - are similarly still causing me nightmares. I’m now sure I’ve contacted every gospel choir with an on-line presence but still only two people have expressed an interest in getting involved and one of them is white! Aggggghhhh!

A rather ominous looking letter was sitting on the doormat this morning. It was a response to my court papers, informing me that not only is the lady defending herself, but she is also counterclaiming for the half payment I received when I started work on the commission. I wish I could write more about what’s going on, but fear at this stage, anything I might mention could be viewed as incendiary. Suffice to say that the Musicians’ Union continues to guide me through the process and that lawyers in Lincolnshire continue to advise her. No doubt justice will prevail. The idea of going to court for anything makes me feel sick in the stomach, but forward we must go...

I took myself into central London late this afternoon. The letter arrived and made me feel so angry that I simply paced my way around the kitchen for 20 minutes and knew I had to get out. My plan was to have my hair cut, but they were crammed into the barbers like sardines, so I wandered around Soho in the late afternoon sunlight, before taking myself to Hummingbird on Wardour Street. Hummingbird sells cupcakes, which, I’m told are as good as the ones in Magnolia or is it Wisteria that they go on about in Sex and the City. I wouldn’t know how the Hummingbird cupcakes taste, however, because I bought a chocolatey mound instead that I thought was a cupcake but it turned out to be a sort of heavenly swirling mass of chocolate, marshmallows, dried fruit and malteesers, which sort of melted in my mouth when consumed with a lovely cup of tea. If any one reading this blog is a chocoholic and happens to be passing by, I suggest you pop in. I think it’s called a Rocky Road! I’ve returned home feeling much satisfied yet slightly sickened by the man on the tube who was eating chips and a burger right next to me like some kind of pig in a trough.

Pepys spent the morning with the two Sir Williams walking around in the garden of the Navy Office complex. In the afternoon, he headed to Whitehall and called in on Mr Dalton, who was now installed in his former house in Axe Yard. Pepys collected a number of papers that had been left in a cupboard there, writing; “and so I have now nothing more in the house or to do with it.” He visited his former boss Sir George Downing (of Downing Street fame) who had summons him to moan about Montagu’s conduct at sea. Pepys asked him to jot his complaint down in a letter (which sounds a little too much like Harringey Council for my liking), and while he was doing so, Pepys chatted to Downing’s wife; “a great deal of discourse in praise of Holland.”

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