The news this morning was filled with more upsetting tales from Japan. In the midst of it all, the wonderful violinist, Taro Hakase, was talking about busking his across London to raise money for the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. He’s been playing in train stations and all sorts of shops. He played a piece of music on BBC Breakfast as a tribute to his homeland. It came from a daily television programme in Japan that isn’t being shown because of the troubles. His playing broke my heart, and, I suspect, the hearts of the two presenters who went very quiet after he’d finished. Ah, the power of music... You can hear him here
I went into West London this morning to meet a production company about a pitch for a Channel 4 film. A very interesting, utterly unique blend of musical fugue and documentary. A fugomentary, if you like! Watch this space. We went to a schmanzy club above the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road, and drank cups of tea. I was surprised to find the place existed; proof positive that I’m not part of the world of fashionable London clubs. West London isn’t my favourite place in the world, but Portobello Road looked absolutely beautiful today. Blossom on all the trees, lovely terraced houses painted in pastel colours, and all sorts of curious little shops opening for the day. It was relatively empty, which is probably one of the things that made it so charming, and perhaps I was just in a good space, because I’ve declared spring... 4 days early!
The meeting went well, and I came home and went to the gym. I struggled somewhat, as my cold seems to have gone away and returned in the form of a chest infection, which I’m not enjoying very much. I was more pleased, however, when I weighed myself and discover I’ve lost an entire stone this year. Hurrah.
March 17th 1661 was a Sunday. Pepys went to church, where a “stranger preached a good honest and painful sermon.” A painful sermon? How can something be good, honest AND painful? Once a puritan, always a puritan...
Just at the point where I was beginning to think how well Pepys was doing with his Lenten vows, he went and ate a chine of beef for lunch. At the back of my mind, I’m wondering whether Sundays didn’t count in Lent, but have no idea if this is the case.
On that note, I read about a young lad today, who has given up talking for Lent! How impressive is that? I’m thrilled to report that he’s doing it to raise awareness of Crohn’s Disease, and not God.
Pepys and Elizabeth went to Sir William Batten’s for tea, but Elizabeth had a nasty fall, and hurt her knees “exceedingly”. Now that would be painful!