Things feel like they're moving forward slowly but surely. If I squint, I reckon I can see the proverbial chink of light at the end of the tunnel. The accumulation of two steps forward and one step back definitely means I’m a great deal further forward than I was last week. We may have some trebles. We may have four out of five gospel singers.
I still dread emails, in case they harbour bad news, but fewer and fewer do. I'm reminded at this point of something one of the sagacious contestants on the X-Factor uttered when asked how he’d feel if Danniiiii didn’t put him through to the next round; “I think it would be easier to hear a no” he said, flicking his hair and pouting, “I’m so used to bad news that I don't know how I'd respond to anything else.” His comment hit me like an iron bar, because I suddenly realised that it's exactly what I do. I constantly prepare for the worst because when something inevitably goes wrong, I can move on, without sinking into a pool of depression.
Today was a day of admin. I wrote various lengthy lists and sent a emails to a bewildering assortment of people. I also had to format a full score of the motet to print out and give to our conductor, who I can now reveal to be the wonderful Jeremy Haneman. With so many individual lines, the full score will need to be enormous! Initially I’d thought it might even be wise to print it on A2 paper, but when I phoned the printers, they told me each page would cost £20 at that size. We worked out that one full score printed this way would cost £1,500... and I need three! So we decided to opt for A3 scores instead, which still cost £100, but we’re having it printed on lovely quality paper, so at least it's going to be a thing of great beauty!
This evening we had a rehearsal with the musical theatre choir in our loft. It was really exciting. They’re beginning to gel as a unit and sounding extraordinary. They flew through sequences I thought they'd take forever to learn. Our final rehearsal next week will be about really finessing the music, which is brilliant news. I feel very honoured that so many fine, fine singers are taking part in this project, and thrilled that everyone seems to be enjoying the process.
Sunday 14th October was a rainy day in London, and Pepys called in on his parents but found his father at church and his mother asleep in bed. He went to White Hall Chapel, to hear an “indifferent” sermon made by one Dr Crofts and an anthem sung so badly it made the King laugh. It was here that Pepys saw the sickly Princess Royal for the first time since she’d been in England. He’d visited her in The Hague and found the experience pretty depressing. Pepys observed the Duke of York talking “very wantonly” with Mrs Palmer (“My Lady Castlemaine”), who became the mistress of Charles II, and the object of many of Pepys' fantasies. Elizabeth and Samuel dined with Jemima, wife of Sandwich, and even though they'd borrowed coats for the boat journey home, they arrived in Hart Street “wet and dirty”.