Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Ng Ng Patel de Cruz Lima Smith von Hausen

I’m currently in the recording studio mixing the motet. I think I’m going to spend this entire process wishing we’d had more time with the choirs to really finesse the work – or perhaps that we’d simply chosen two of the movements to work on and make them sound really special. It is an extremely complicated piece of writing, that’s for sure. I don’t know whether I should apologise for writing something this hard. I suppose you wouldn’t get Schonberg worrying about the practicalities of his performers playing 12 tone music.

It’s going to take much longer to mix the music than we’d initially thought, which means more money that I don’t have flying out of my bank account, but having heard Movement 4 shaping up today, I think it’s probably worth it. That said, if I lose my court case, I shall really be in trouble! At a certain point you just have to take a deep breath and assume things will be okay, for no other reason than that they always have been.

I’ve been having terrible problems with the London Mayor’s office over the past few weeks. I shouldn’t complain, because they’ve very generously offered to pay our conductor, Jeremy for the live performances. Unfortunately, for them to actually relinquish the funds they’ve promised, I’ve had to wade through a bewildering amount of red tape, which, like most things recently, has driven me to the point of madness. I’ve filled in countless forms and contracts, all of which have needed to be sent through the post, and most recently I was asked to fill in a 21 page online form, which is designed specifically for companies... and not individuals. Just logging in required four calls to an advice line and all of the questions I was required to answer were dripping with management jargon, which I think anyone would have struggled to understand. When I raised an eyebrow, the Mayor’s Office told me just to fill it in “as well as I could”. Now, I’m not an imbecile by any means, but the questionnaire had me absolutely stumped. After spending two hours trying to fathom what most of the questions meant, I sent an email to my contacts at the Mayor’s Office, which might give an indication of quite how ridiculous things had become. It went something like this:

“Dear Nateisha and Matthew,

What is a factoring company? What is an ethical procurement policy? And what is CIS? What is a commercial contact? The woman on the helpline told me this meant "commercial contact", which obviously didn't help a great deal...

Forgive me, but because I’m an individual and not a company, I’ve had to make up names for the people who are in charge of my "company's" ethical, green and harassment policies. These people are all figments of my imagination. I like to think they’re the people I would employ if I was a company. I don’t actually have a manager responsible for equal opportunities but if I did, I like to think he'd be called Ng Ng Patel de Cruz Lima Smith von Hausen.

I assume my organisation's parent company is my mother and father, so I’ve put that. And I hope you're okay for me to claim that it was founded in 1974, the year of my birth?

I’ve written that there are more than 10 shareholders in my company... For no other reason than that I felt it was a nice number.

I would love to know what my "position of workforce information" was. I know what all the words mean in isolation but together they make me feel hot-faced and sweaty palmed.

In the meantime, I shall print all 21 pages of this form off... but where do I send it?

I do hope you'll take a look at this system and introduce something that's a little less complicated and little more suitable for individuals... particularly those in the creative industry."

A few hours later I received a reply from Matthew, saying;

"I have spoken to the CSR team and they have updated your profile for you so it is now ready to be activated. The final step is that you submit your bank account details on company headed paper to their office..."

I’m not sure they’ve still quite understood the concept that that I’m not a company, and therefore that company headed note paper is not something that I can provide. I think my mother has little stickers with her name and address on them. Perhaps I can borrow one of them?

But I mustn't forget, that these people are giving the Pepys project some money and I am very grateful. It’s more than I ever got when Red Ken was in office. I do wish they'd learn to call it the Peeps Motet, however, rather than the Peppies motet and that when written down, it doesn't need an apostrophe after the y. All my contracts refer to the Pepy's Motet.

Midlake played incredibly well last night at the Roundhouse, and their support act, John Grant, had the most stunning voice. Unfortunately when we came out, there was a parking ticket on my windscreen. Apparently you can’t park on a single yellow line in some Camden streets until after 11pm (even when there's a tube strike) A license to print money, me thinks. There should be a law that brings in London-wide regulations on such things. I genuinely thought that yellow lines were up for grabs for anyone after 6.30pm.

Saturday 3rd of November 1660, and Pepys called in on Sandwich to find that he’d gone with his wife, Jemima to “kiss the hand” of the Queen. So, instead, he went to Westminster Hall and took his soon-to-be mistress Betty Lane for a drink. He made her very unhappy by telling her that her new sweetheart was “too good for her”, which strikes me as incredibly unkind particularly as he seemed to be amused by her rushing away in floods of tears... It’s amazing how unkind you can be to someone you fancy!

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