I am in Thaxted with my parents. I did an afternoon's work at Costa and then started to feel a bit lonely, so drove through the sheeting rain to get here. It's so bizarre to think that spring and summer have been reversed this year. We had June in April and are having April in June. What's that all about?!
Still, now that the sun has come back out, there's a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Every cloud has a silver lining.
I've finished mapping out the Libera Me sequence in my Requiem, and it is officially the busiest piece of music I've ever written. It's also going to be very exciting, I hope... If anyone can actually play it, that is! I've used many of the gravestone quotes within the movement. They feel moving and appropriate. Personal, not generic. Humorous, sometimes tinged with anger and bitterness. Occasionally deluded or pathetic. This is how the little people down here try to deal with the dreadful pain of death. I'm developing healthy level of contempt for the Latin words! The movement now finishes with a big statement of the Peter Pan quote I found in Brompton Cemetery, "to die will be an awfully big adventure." Ain't that the truth? Eyes down for the ride of our lives. I certainly feel immensely inspired right now; ideas are tingling through my body and everything is slotting into space.
As the evening falls, the sky is starting to resemble a Turner painting. It looks heavy and bruised and incredibly beautiful.
350 years ago, Pepys was in a proper pickle because his painters were taking too long to finish doing their job. At 4pm, he left them to it, and went with Elizabeth to see their friend Lieutenant Lamberth and his charming wife at their country house. They very much admired their "turret garden", one assumes a mini garden set up in the fortifications of the house. Pepys also felt that Lamberth's wife's needlework was the finest he'd ever seen. Pepys' catchphrase. She also played the Harpsicon very well. No doubt Pepys fell in love!
As they tried to leave, one of the servant girls, who Pepys described as a "little, pretty witty" girl (a phrase he'd later use to describe Nell Gwynn), flung herself at Pepys feet and cried bitter tears to see him go. Poor thing.