Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Singing Like Lunatics

Today must rank as one of the most tiring days I’ve ever had. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. I was up with the lark, running through Highgate Woods, up to Muswell Hill and then down through Queen’s Wood. The weather was just glorious. I was listening to an Icelandic Eurovision entry, which somehow seemed to make all the blossom on the trees take on this great, joyous significance. I felt like I was floating instead of running. Ah, the power of Eurovision!

Unfortunately, the dark shadows are never far from my mind. I often stop and realise that my stomach is churning and in knots. Even though Philip is improving, I still worry about him, and of course this dreadful court business continues. The most ghastly things are being said about me. Horrid, horrid, personal attacks, but for the time being they shall remain for the judge’s ears only.

I was in Soho for lunch, meeting various people about the Midnight Parade on Friday. We sent off various press releases, and blagged some very cheap copies of a poster to advertise the event. Unfortunately my computer suddenly stopped playing ball, so we were forced to walk up to the PC World at Warren Street to see if anyone could fix it. The queue for the tech guys was enormous, and because I’d run out of battery, I decided to plug my computer in to one of the power sockets underneath the display units, and stood with Tamara for a good half an hour, sending emails whilst the staff members walked around wondering why two people had set up a work station within the display computers. At the time it felt like a rather natural thing to be doing, but in retrospect, we must have looked fairly eccentric. I’m surprised we weren’t thrown out!

We went to visit Philip in hospital. He was very ratty when we arrived, having just been told he’s likely to be in there for another couple of weeks. Cabin fever is obviously beginning to set in, poor bloke. He soon cheered up, however, and we sang like lunatics for about 20 minutes; Donna Donna, Pack Up Your Troubles and then Oom Pah Pah from Oliver. The nurses came running in to see what the noise was all about.

Philip is thrilled that we’re doing the Midnight Parade, and immediately started to organise things from his hospital bed, decreeing that the event should feel like a street party. He then phoned all his close friends to tell them they had to turn up. I had a 20-minute chat with Boy George, which felt somewhat surreal. We discussed the police, and how frustratingly slowly they’d been moving with this particular case; an issue which was further enhanced by a letter which had been sent by the police to Philip’s home address, saying they were "sorry he’d been the victim of crime", and that he could expect, at some point, to be questioned by an officer about what had happened; like he’d had his car stolen or something, rather than been nearly killed. Why send a letter to someone’s home when they’ve been in hospital for weeks?

350 years ago, Pepys went by boat to Whitehall, but could not go “the ordinary way because they were mending of the great stone steps against the Coronation.” Pepys went to the Banqueting House in Whitehall to watch the King healing people. In those days, healing was still a practice that took place; the King was meant to be able to cure pretty much any disease, simply by laying his hands on a person. I bet he didn’t do much healing during the plague! Pepys noted that he touched people with “great gravity”, but thought the whole business was pretty damned silly.

On his way back home, he stopped off to attend the funeral of his friend Captain Robert Blake, but it was too muddy in the churchyard, so he went home!

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