Thursday, 16 June 2011

Blooms Day

And a happy Blooms Day to you all. To honour the Irish, the weather was rancid this morning. Sheets of water were screaming their way down the Archway Road, and everyone was running around looking miserable, and somewhat surprised.

I was forced to walk from Goodge Street to Great Portland Street armed with nothing but a tiny ladies’ umbrella. My feet still feel wet. I don’t know what it is about the rain that turns car drivers into dick heads. One of them, stuck in a tiny traffic jam, decided to repeatedly blast his horn, just as I was passing, which was desperately irritating. So much, in fact, that my instinct was to shout at him to stop. I didn’t shout too loudly, thankfully, but am worried that this is the sort of thing that could ruin my voice...

My meeting was with BBC London’s Inside Out team at Brock House. It looks like the film about homophobia may well happen, but will focus on the East End; the anti-gay sticker campaign, the stabbing of Oliver Hemsley and the marauding gangs of young Muslim men who aren’t exactly renowned for their tolerant behaviour. I don’t much like the idea of being accused of xenophobia, but someone’s got to say it. I recently read an article about the French government refusing to give citizenship to an Algerian with unacceptable views about women – and yet over here, we reward the man who plasters the East End with offensive homophobic leaflets quoting the Koran, with a £100 fine.

I was awoken by a telephone call this morning from the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds with the great news that my favourite patent leather shoe has turned up! Joy! I sense a turn around in fortunes on the cards.

The sad news is that my computer finally gave up the ghost today. It’s now sitting in PC (Third) World in Moorgate and I’m working on a machine that they loaned me whilst it's being repared (or thrown away.) It wiped out my day. I think I managed to do about an hour’s composing and I certainly can’t start again now or else I’ll never stop.

Nathan and I wanted to watch something at the cinema tonight, but discovered that there is absolutely nothing on – apart from aggressive boy films like X Men. What I didn’t write about in this blog was the fact that we went to see Derren Brown’s stage show on Monday. He is an absolute genius. I’m not usually one of those people who obsesses about how things are done, but some of the tricks were absolutely astonishing. We went backstage afterwards to congratulate him and sat in his dressing room with Abi Titmuss of all people; a perfectly plain young lady, by all accounts.

There’s a man at our gym who looks almost identical to Gary Linnekar. Today, as we were in the changing room next to him, Nathan casually said “Ben, do we still have those crisps at home?” For foreign readers, Gary Linnekar is an ex footballer who advertises Walker’s crisps. Nathan’s comment was as loud as it was mortifying. I told him off as we left the gym, and he tried to justify his rudeness by saying; “well he isn’t going to know what I meant.” “The man is the spitting image of Gary Linnekar” I said, “he’ll have heard every joke going about packets of crisps.” And in an instant, Nathan had become one of those blokes that goes up to Matt Lucas in the street and says; “I want that one!” assuming no one’s ever said it to him before.

June 16th 1661 and Pepys was in a proper pickle. He had bundles of expensive fabric which needed to be delivered to Lord Sandwich on his boat, but the Duke of York, who it was previously assumed would act as the carrier, had already left London in pursuit of the fleet. Pepys’ clerk, Will Hewer, was sent out and about to find a solution whilst Pepys remained at home worrying. Should he send them by land to Deal, or charter a boat? He read a play by Thomas Middleton as he mulled over his options, at last deciding to charter a Hoy (or heavy freight barge) which would hopefully be speedy enough to reach the fleet in time.

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