I’ve been doing more work on my Requiem today; toying with a few early ideas about the In Paradisum sequence and the all important Libera Me. When I was young, the Northamptonshire Youth Choir sung Faure’s Requiem, and I was asked to do the Libera Me solo, which felt like a very exciting honour at the time. I used to get so nervous that my voice sounded like a sheep. Probably not the best advertisement for a choir, if the best vocalist you can find is actually livestock! We performed the piece in a church in Cherry Hinton, near Cambridge. One of the 'cellists gave me a cheese and spring onion sandwich, which I thought was extraordinary... and very tasty. Quite why I should remember that, I've no idea.
Apart from writing, I've been rather inert all day. Once again I’m disappearing into a me-shaped dent in the sofa. Earlier on I was attacked by our rat, Pol. He bit my finger, which is strange behaviour indeed. I have a horrible feeling that he might need to be castrated, which feels like such an unpleasant thing to do to a creature who doesn’t understand what he’s doing wrong. Dilemmas, dilemmas.
There’s very little else to say. We went to the gym. The whole place is now so unbelievably downtrodden. LA Fitness genuinely don’t seem to care any more. All the soap dispensers have fallen off the walls in the showers, they’ve removed all the scales, so now if you want to weigh yourself you have to do it in front of everyone in the gym room – and pay 50p for the privilege. The place is filthy. I made enquiries today about freezing my membership for a period, but discovered that you even have to pay for the privilege of NOT going to the gym. Pathetic.
Pepys was all over London 350 years ago on this date. First at the Wardrobe, then at the Exchange, where he observed the “hangman” burning old acts of Parliament. I can’t really find any reference to the practice of physically or symbolically burning documents when they had been replaced by new laws, but from this entry, it really does seem to have been a practice that happened.
In the afternoon, Pepys went to Cheapside to buy some silver to give to Mrs Brown’s child, whom he was about to become Godfather to. He ended the day in the company of Sir William Penn who talked to him about fascinating figures from history whom Pepys had never heard of.