Highgate seems to be bedecked in an incredibly spooky and damp fog tonight. Street lamps are hovering like UFOs in the sky. The mist is so intense that you can't see their posts. I always wonder whether this part of town has officially opted to become the 21st Century's embodiment of Dickensian London. I thought the same in the snow. When the rest of the capital had thawed, Highgate remained like a picture on the top of a chocolate box dusted in icing sugar.
I'm easing myself back into work after the Christmas hiatus and spent the afternoon in Costa Coffee, working on the Metro musical, which is probably already a third longer than it should be. It occurs to me that I might be suffering from end of year blues, because I’m obsessing that I’ve not got any work lined up later than March this year. I'm also worried that there's very little in my bank account to protect me during a period of unemployment. These projects don’t just materialise out of nowhere and they take a great deal of time and a lot of planning before coming to fruition.
Last night’s party went splendidly well. I didn’t think it was going to, as the afternoon was plagued by phonecalls and texts from people, most of whom had bugs and colds, some of whom had decided to stay up North, or with family miles away from London for another day.
By 8pm, only my brother, Sascha and Meriel had arrived and I was beginning to think the whole thing was going to be a disaster, to the extent that I texted Nathan secretly to tell him not to rush home. Fortunately at about 8.15, people started to arrive – and by 10 there were 16 of us, which was exactly the number I'd hoped for. We played games, and chatted, and danced and got drunk, and it was only at 3am that the last people left, which I think is the sign of a very good party. I went to bed feeling rather relieved and slept soundly.
Pepys was a busy bloke 350 years ago on this day. There were various meetings, and various visits to various people to brownnose them with various post-Christmas gifts. He called in on his father, who told him that his two female cousins on the Joyce side were making really bad wives! It’s not said why they were so useless. Pepys also talked to his father about his sister Pall, who was coming to live with them as a servant the following week, which is still a situation I find difficult to get my head around!