Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Green Chamber

Philip’s party last night was great fun. It was held at his friend, Sarah Loftus', who lives in a stunning house overlooking an enormous secret private garden. Hidden London is an endlessly fascinating place.

The theme of the party was old people, and everyone went to town on the costumes. It never ceases to amaze me how much money people seem to spend on fancy dress. Some people were even wearing fake prosthetics! Others remained in character for the entire evening, which felt incredibly tragic. I tried to ignore them. The weirdest creature was a 6’5” man, thinner than a pencil, dressed from top to toe in beige-coloured latex. He kept appearing in my peripheral vision like a sort of shiny cipher.

I was surprised by how many people I knew. Many had been at the midnight parade we organised after Philip was attacked in Soho. I was also pleased to see a whole set of my friends there who I hadn’t seen for a bit, including Matt, whose presence was particularly strange, because I’d dreamt about him the previous night.

Today featured an epic 6-hour choir rehearsal at our house. We got up early to make the place look nice and tidy, and to prepare food for 12 hungry singers. Rehearsals went well, but we only have two more sessions, and some of the choir have yet to join us. Fingers crossed they’ll have done their homework and will slot right in, so we don’t have to waste any more time note-bashing and can focus on finessing the sound we make, which is always the exciting bit.

350 years ago, Pepys and a crew of his colleagues went to wait on the Duke of York. They hung about in the duke’s bedroom whilst he put on a riding suit in preparation for a journey to sea. I think it’s really weird to want to sit and watch whilst someone puts clothes on. I’m surprised the Duke didn’t tell them all to sling their hooks, especially when they handed him a letter requesting more funds for the Navy. He said he’d look at it when he returned from his journey.

Pepys went to the theatre in the afternoon and then spent the evening worrying about how much he was spending on life’s great fripperies – like fancy clothes for his wife.

Maybe as a way of saving fuel bills, he decided to move his bed into “the little green chamber, where the maids lie.” It’s not clear why he decided to bunk in with the servants, wife and all... The servants weren’t too happy about the business either. Poor Nell, the maid with no known surname, was told if she didn’t put up and shut up, she’d have to sleep in a chair.

No comments:

Post a Comment