So this morning, I took myself to a dentistry hospital on Gray’s Inn Road to have a lump examined on my gum. I spotted it about 4 months ago and showed it to the dentist who referred me to the hospital. It hasn’t got any larger, and it doesn’t hurt or bleed, or anything like that, but obviously my cousin’s experience with throat cancer preys heavily on my mind, and it never harms to be told that you’re a hypochondriac...
As it turns out, there is something wrong with me, but I’m pleased to report that it’s nothing serious. I have a “mandibular torus,” which is basically a sort of bone spur, which may or may not get bigger with time. If it gets enormous, I can have it removed, but at the moment it’s just a few mili-metres across. I immediately looked on line and found some horrific pictures of people with similar problems, but you’d have to look very hard to see mine, and even then you’d need to peer at my lower inside gum with a specially adapted light for a very long time.
I came home from the hospital and worked in the cafe for several hours before taking myself on a whistle stop tour of print shops in North London. The Pepys Motet and A Symphony for Yorkshire are both being entered for a major composing award, but the judges need three copies of each of the scores in order to do their thing. That’s a lot of photocopying – 300 pages in fact - as both works are pretty lengthy. I copied them at A3 size, but still each line is tiny. The judges will need magnifying glasses to glean anything useful from them, but A3 is the biggest-sized paper within any reasonable budget.
The first print place I visited quoted me £110 for the job, which instinctively felt incredibly high, particularly as they’d printed my Pepys scores last year, and done a lovely job, for a fraction of the cost. When I pointed this fact out, the man behind the counter got belligerent and said, "what happened last year is irrelevant. Times change." "Yes" I thought, "we’ve sunk even further into a recession, and if you double your prices, you’ll go out of business twice as fast." I obviously didn't say this out loud. I wasn't feeling angry enough, so I thanked him profusely for his time and told him I'd give the matter some thought. I left, went to Finchley Central, got served by a lovely chatty women, and was charged £40. Bish, bash, bosh as they say...
I’ve been running... to Finsbury Park and back. The world, his wife, their dog and their toddler were running along Parkland Walk. It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine will do!
Finsbury Park backwards is Krapy rub snif. Upton Park backwards is Krap not Pu. These thoughts amuse me when my legs feel like jelly.
350 years ago, Pepys spent the morning in Deptford, trying to work out why the fleet of ships that, one assumes, had been commissioned to pick up Catherine de Braganza had been delayed. We’re not told where they'd been delayed, or if Sandwich et al were with them, but the Duke of York was in a tizz about the situation. In the afternoon, Pepys returned to the City and went drinking at The Bell on The Strand, next to the famous maypole, which had been erected (by sailors) in readiness for May Day 1661, as a finger up to the cheery Cromwell, who’d torn it down. It was the largest maypole in London, until it was blown down by high winds in the 1670s.
Pepys was drinking with his old gang of clerk friends, many of whom he’d not seen for years. One, James Chetwind, came in for particular criticism. "Mr. Chetwind by chewing of tobacco is become very fat and sallow, whereas he was consumptive." Who knows, really why it was better to be fat and sallow than consumptive. Perhaps consumptive had a different meaning back then? I always thought fat was a good thing in the 17th Century, so perhaps the observation was actually a compliment.