Sometimes I can’t believe the way that life works. Having spent yesterday feeling almost calm and quite happy about the way that things are developing, I now find myself with a stomach riddled with knots. One of our rats seems to have developed a tumour, which is growing ridiculously quickly and a letter arrived through the post this morning telling me that my small claims court case was probably going to be escalated. The judge thinks she might need to call in expert opinions and therefore has called a preliminary hearing. I have no doubt that the court costs are just going to rise and rise. Not only this, but I now have to face the woman who’s caused all this heart ache not once, but twice.
When I consider how little I earned last year, her refusing to pay me just rubs salt into the wounds.
They say it never rains but it pours, and right now, nothing could be closer to the truth - except for that fact that outside, the most beautiful wintry sunlight is glinting in all the trees! I shouldn’t have to go to court to prove that the tonal music I wrote, so carefully and so very specifically to be performed by an amateur choir, is too difficult! It’s just madness.
It was a busy day for Pepys on this date 350 years ago, which started with a rather unpleasant episode in his cellar. He went down there to source the location for a new window and immediately trod on a massive pile of human excrement, or, as Pepys himself wrote, a “great heap of turds.” It immediately became clear that Pepys’ neighbour in the Navy office complex had some kind of unfortunate leakage problem. At this stage, the sewerage needs of London were met by “night soil workers” who would discretely appear to collect the stuff under the cover of darkness. What they collected was then taken into the countryside and dumped in rivers or sold to farmers or tanners.
Pepys had lunch with the Sandwiches, who were both very merry, and talking the highest of high talk. Sandwich wanted a French cook. He wanted a master of his horse. He wanted his wife to wear black patches and his daughter to marry a fine, fine Gentleman. Pepys added that he'd become “a perfect courtier.” I'd describe him, rather less favourably, as a nouveau-riche turncoat.
Meanwhile, Sandwich’s former comrades’ limbs were hanging upon Aldersgate. Pepys added; “it was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn and quartered”.