Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A semi-tamed beast

So there's to be another Royal wedding, and today's front pages are daubed with images of Princess Diana's ring glistening on top of a curiously gnarled finger. Am I the only person to wonder if Kate Middleton might be one of those vaguely neurotic women with scaly hands who spends her life applying E45 cream? I'm certainly not the only person to notice the frightening fact that dear William is becoming more and more the spitting image of his Uncle Edward! It's astonishing how inbreeding can wreck the appearance of a lad who had so much promise in his younger years!

I find myself wondering if I really care about the possibility of a lovely, shiny Royal wedding and come to the conclusion that I don't, although I am mindful of Nathan's plea for me not to spoil it for him. 

Do I hope people will have parties? Absolutely. Anything that brings communities together is fine by me. I've already been invited to a street party in Yorkshire to celebrate the death of Thatcher (when she dies, obviously), and that's what I call a TRUE occasion to be marked with jollity and ice cream. But if a wedding has the same effect, and puts smiles on a few troubled faces, I'm happy enough.
As I get older, I find my staunchly anti-monarchy stance beginning to wane. Obviously the notion of birth right still sits uncomfortably within the democracy that I'm  proud to call my home, but at the same time, the idea of a US style president fills me with a sense of horror.

They say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. In this instance, it plainly IS broke, but kind of irreparably so! 

...And you've got to have a modicum of respect for the Queen. She is an almost painfully dignified woman and I must confess to being rather excited by the notion of her becoming the longest running monarch of all time. That WOULD be an excuse for the mother of all parties! 

Today saw me finishing off the recordings of The Pepys Motet. Sure, they're a bit ragged in places, but I feel astonishingly proud of our achievements. There's some heartbreakingly beautiful singing going on, and having been furious with many of my singers at various points along the way, I'm now beginning to see them all as wonderful people, whom I must protect at all costs. Call me fickle! The great director, Joan Littlewood, used to refer to her actors as fragile eggs in a nest and I know how she feels. 

So as I head home on the tube, via Chalk Farm, because I forgot to change at Camden, I feel exhausted but radiantky happy. The Pepys Motet is a troublesome beast, but it's also a very wonderful beast. Like the most aggressive dog, it fights and fights, but tonight I know it will be trained! Maybe not fully by Thursday, but at least I now know he's not going to wee all over the carpet! We'll not need to lock him in the cellar just yet!

Speaking of which, Pepys was his usual busy self on this date 350 years ago. He didn't do anything particularly exciting; a few forms here, a bit of money there. Add a sprinkle of gossip, a  quick scrape on a viol and a drink in The Devil Inn and you have a fairly typical day in the world of our hero!! 

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