Friday, 3 June 2011

Opening a terrifying book

It’s boiling outside. I went for a run to Crouch End, and came back feeling like an autumn leaf. I tried my hardest to stick to the shade, but it seemed that every time I needed to run up a hill, there was no shade to be found.

This morning I went to Victoria to meet a chap who was attacked in Clapham by three homophobic thugs the same weekend as Philip. It’s deeply shocking to think that this sort of thing happens so often that two similar attacks could have taken place within 24 hours of one another. Doing this research is like opening a terrifying book or watching Bambi turn into a horror film.

I came back home via Oxford Street. Heaven knows why I got off the tube there. I guess I thought I might do a bit of window shopping, but immediately regretted my decision. Being a man in the world of the High Street is no laughing matter. The men’s department of shops are always either at the back or on the top floor. I guess women are more likely to be drawn in by window displays and such. Unfortunately, all shops are also designed to take you on a merry tour before you can get out. The exit staircases are always in an inaccessible part of the building, which you have to fight your way towards through countless aisles and rails of clothing. I assume you’re meant to be tempted into buying something else, but I was simply thrown into a claustrophobic panic!

There’s not a great deal more to say about today. I spent the afternoon composing. I think I wrote some good stuff; a nice Requiem theme amongst other little doodles. It was so hot, though, that I was desperate to sit at the piano with the window open, but the idea that anyone might be able to listen to the wails and crashes I make whilst I’m composing is utterly horrific.

350 years ago, Pepys went to see Lord Sandwich at the Wardrobe. Sandwich was off to sea, and wanted to take Pepys through all sorts of permutations regarding what would happen if various people died whilst he was away, or more importantly, if he himself died at sea. Pepys finally got an opportunity to ask him if he would consider finding a post for Pepys Senior at the Wardrobe, and Sandwich promised to do what he could.

Pepys walked Sandwich to his barge, and then went home to dine with a bewildering number of family members and friends, all of whom seemed to turn up unannounced. An afternoon of merriment ensued, which cost Pepys “a great store of wine.” In the early evening he went to the Tower of London with Mr Creed, and they walked around the grounds, which Pepys had never done before. He found the experience hugely pleasurable. He returned home and went for a pre-bed stroll with Elizabeth on the leads (the roof) of his house. The weather had obviously improved.

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