We're on our way to Lewes. I'm trying to rest my voice, so am taking the opportunity to write my blog because, as Nathan rightly points out, it's near impossible for me not to be moving something. If I try not to speak, I start to sing. If I try not to sing, I start to dance. I can't dance in the car, so I'm typing instead! Maybe I have ADHD?
Anyway, we're heading down to Lewes to see Uncle Bill and meet little Jago for the first time. I'm excited to see what he looks like, but expect it'll just be a generic baby. People will coo and say he looks just like his father, but in actual fact he'll simply look like every other new born baby in the world. Unless he's black, of course, which would be scandalous!
Whilst in Lewes, I'll also be seeing a bunch of university friends. We meet as a group once a year to go camping, usually somewhere further afield, but Uncle Bill's new arrival means we're staying in Meriel's back garden! Because I'm off to Italy first thing on Friday, I can only spend one day with the troops, but that's better than nothing.
I spent the morning working on my ode to Jacqueline Du Pre, which is troubling me somewhat. I'm obviously putting rather a lot of pressure on myself to write something profound, and when I played it to Nathan last night, he confirmed my worst fears by saying he thought it was somewhat meandering. I think he was also quite surprised that I'd written something that sounded so Jewish. Du Pre converted to Judaism in the late 60s, and there is Hebrew on her headstone, so on that front I'm hoping she'd approve. The meandering thing, however, is something I'm keener to address, but I'm ploughing on with what I have, as ironically it's the most conventionally structured of all the movements I've written for the Requiem so far. I feel very strongly there's something in there that I simply need to coax out.
350 years ago, and Pepys' day began in Westminster, listening to a Frenchman playing a guitar. The musician, we're told, played exceedingly well, but Pepys felt the guitar was not an instrument that could be taken particularly seriously! Not quite on the money with his predictions, although I guess the guitar has always been viewed as the instrument of the common man. I wonder what Pepys would have made of Hendrix!
Later in the day, Pepys found himself at The Wardrobe celebrating an absent Lord Sandwich's birthday, with a venison pasty and a group of friends including Sandwich's daughter, Jem. She was the one with the weird neck.
After the party, Pepys whisked her away to show her his own house. They went via the river and Pepys showed off his naval knowledge by talking about the various ships that were floating past. He took Mrs Jem back home, again by boat, and on both occasions they travelled under London Bridge. It must have been low tide, because passing through the rapids that were usually present underneath the bridge was not a journey for the faint of heart, and certainly not one for the slightly disabled daughter of nobility.