Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A Tory Mackem

I’m feeling a little bit stressed this evening. The big project continues to gurgle away in the background. Alison came up to Newcastle from Leeds today and we sat down and thrashed out some ideas for it. The project has still not been officially signed off, and it’s beginning to affect my nerves. I’m getting stroppy and irritable with people who are only trying to help. Still, it was lovely to see Alison. I’m so incredibly fond of her. We sat in a cafe on Haymarket and put the world to rights. As I left, a friend of her’s arrived. He’s a Tory councillor from Sunderland, and despite his despicable political views, I found him compellingly amusing. I've never heard anyone talk so fast; seemingly without breathing! In his favour, he did describe himself as the most liberal Tory in the country. I suppose it just seemed really odd to hear someone with a Mackem accent talking about David Cameron in such positive terms!

It’s proper windy up here at the moment. As I walked to the BBC this afternoon, I was almost blown off my feet, which is obviously a lie, but on a couple of occasions the gusts rather took my breath away. That's also a lie, but I couldn't hear my Mum on the phone...

This afternoon we took more soloists through their music. Will this process ever end? We had another wonderful rapper, and a woman with a glorious voice but the saddest past. She lost her husband and child - the former in a plane crash - but refuses to allow it to destroy her. She glows like a beacon of calmness and strength and I think we could all learn a great deal from her outlook on life.

We’re off now to watch the Newcastle Kingsmen rehearsing in a pub in Byker. The Kingsmen are clog dancers who perform with incredibly dangerous-looking rapper swords. They are extraordinary, and will be dancing for us on an actual Metro train, which would freak me out, if it weren’t something they do most Saturday nights! Here they are in their little shorts...

February 2nd 1660, and Pepys was entertaining various family members in style. Their normal chef, Slater, was unable to cook the food, so a “strange cook” was sent in his place. The event couldn’t have been much cop, because Pepys left mid-way to do some work in a nearby tavern. By the time he returned, he was surprised to find that half the guests had left. Pepys was pleased to report, however, that the other guests had had a lovely time, which was lucky for it was the last dinner party he expected to throw for some time; the three dinners he’d hosted in the last 2 weeks had cost him a wince-laden 15l.

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