Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The awkward turtle

I feel a bit strange. Nathan is in a cloud somewhere over the Northern Atlantic on a giant metal bird, and I'm on Old Compton Street eating a soggy Linzer biscuit whilst contemplating the meaning of life. It's funny how things work out. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little sad that Nathan is on his way to New York without me. I suppose the reality of my current employment status is finally hitting home. I drove him to Heathrow and we talked about all the wonderful things he was going to do with his time over there. As I drove away, I got a bit tearful whilst watching him disappearing in the wing mirror.

The oil light immediately started flashing on the dashboard of the car, and I had to pull over. I called my parents to have a little whinge and my Dad very sagely summed up the situation; “you're problem" he said "is that you have nothing on the horizon other than things that you're dreading...” And he was right. There's the court case, the operation on my vocal chords, another hospital appointment to examine a lump on my gum, various visits to the job centre, which will no doubt soon become attempts to get me selling curtains and doing all sorts of menial jobs that I don't have the qualifications to do...
Still, you gotta sink pretty low to realise you’re on the climb again. That's the best way to look at these things. I'm not the only one who's been wiped out by the economic climate and no one forced me to be a composer. I’ve therefore factored in a couple of days to mooch about before cranking the wheels back into motion in a big way, starting with a massive push to raise the £3,000 neccessary to make the film for Gay Pride. They want a disco anthem - and that's what they'll get; a celebration of all things LGBT, filmed on the streets of Soho. I think I’ve said before that it could well end up being the campest 5 minute film ever made. Camper than Disney. Camper than Christmas. Camper than my straight friend Alistair.

I’ve offered to write the song and make the film for nothing, but obviously can’t be so generous with other peoples' time! The money is needed to pay for a recording studio and session musicians for the track, and I suspect we’ll also need to have some help on the filming/ editing side of things. I basically have about a week to raise enough money for me to think it’s worth starting on the project, and only have two months to turn it around... So if any of you know anyone with a little bit of spare money in their back pockets, please let me know, or send them in my direction. Every penny counts. I feel almost sick approaching people for money yet again, but art aint gonna make itself in this climate, and Gay Pride are losing their official sponsors hand over fist right now.

I wondered about turning my quest for funds into one of those "Just Giving" things. How many times do I get requests to donate money, just so that a friend can take himself off to climb Kilimanjaro? I often suspect the idea of the enterprise is simply for said friend to have an adventurous holiday that he doesn't have to pay for, the pennies that are raised for charity after the costs of flights and accommodation have been met, barely featuring as an incentive.

Perhaps my being in a bit of a blue today has had something of a knock-on effect on everything around me. Despite checking Nathan’s travel agenda twice in the car today, I managed to take him to the wrong terminal at Heathrow. I was half way back to the motorway before he called to tell me he was in the wrong place. I went back to pick him up, and it was just as well. Terminal 4, where I dropped him, is about 5 miles from any of the other terminals. Dreadful.

The bizarreness continued in the gym. Whilst running, my iPod fell out of my pocket, hit the treadmill, and was propelled to the other side of the room within a second. I didn’t see where it landed so was forced to spend the next 20 minutes with a personal trainer called Daniel, lifting up all the treadmills one by one to look underneath them. 2 minutes after I’d got back on the treadmill, exactly the same thing happened to my bloomin’ keys! Fortunately, I found them a great deal more easily, but managed to lose them on two more occasions as I made my way around different machines in the gym.

Even more humiliatingly, I left them on the floor of my shower. By the time I’d returned, someone else was in there, and I had to go through the embarrassing ritual of knocking on the glass door, and asking a naked stranger to hand me back a set of keys that he’d managed to entirely cover in soapy bubbles. He didn't seem to want to help and it was ages before he responded. As he opened the door to hand me the keys, it became immediately clear that he was sporting a rather full-blooded erection! I was so shocked that I managed to knock his towel off its peg and in an attempt to pick it up again, my face came within about an inch of the very thing that I was trying to avoid. Mortifying! Ground, please swallow me up.

On a brighter note, Philippa says that she saw Philip Sallon today on a bus. I spoke to him yesterday, and knew he was out and about again, and I’m thrilled to have this independently verified. He told her he was feeling about 50% normal, and described it a bit like living underneath a cloud. I didn’t realise that this was the first time Philippa had met him. Bless her for coming on the march.

April 27th, 1661 was a Saturday, and Pepys dined with Lady Jemima of Sandwich. I appreciate that this was the family that gave its name to the food stuff, but imagine how cool it would be to be called Jemima Sandwich? After lunch, Pepys went with Captain Ferrers and John Creed to the theatre to see The Chances by John Fletcher, before heading off to the pub, where they were entertained by a harpist and a violinist. At the end of the day, Pepys called in on Sir William Batten, who asked rather too many times when Pepys expected the work on his house to be complete. I assume Lady Batten was bored of all the dust and banging. A moment for the awkward turtle to swim past, me thinks.

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