I had meetings all morning about the requiem. We re-examined the budget and came to the conclusion that we need about £5000 more than initially thought. It’s the bloomin’ musicians. I can skimp on recording studios, I can skimp on album art-work, but I can’t hire rubbish musicians, or do anything that the MU wouldn’t appreciate. I’ve come home with about a million things that I need to do over the next few days. There are applications, preparations and conversations that need to happen and I can’t seem to work out which order to do them all in. My head is filled with all sorts of bizarre snippets of information, which I’m trying to pull together – but it’s stressful.
I went for a long run to clear my mind, and found myself jogging across the top end of the heath just as the sun was at its brightest. Sometimes I think there’s no place on earth as beautiful as Hampstead Heath – whatever the season. I returned home with frost-bitten hands, but no hot water for a bath.
A strange meteorological phenomenon seems to be happening at the moment, involving aeroplane vapour trails. If you look into the sky at about 4.30pm, they appear as great big pink streaks against a cornflower blue sky... As Fiona said earlier, it’s “like some kind of lurid 80s graffiti”. It's very strange. I love the sky.
Pepys spent the morning, 350 years ago, with the composer John Birchensha, author of “Plaine Rules and Directions for Composing Musick in Parts,” which I’m sure was a very jolly read. Pepys resolved to have composing lessons with him and vowed to begin the following day. He hosted a dinner party and was embarrassed by the very early arrival of brothers Peter and Michael Honeywood, who he was forced to entertain with sparkling wit and oysters until the food was ready. Pepys wrote that he “appeared” merry, but that the food was rubbish, and the Honeywoods were desperately dull, or, in his words, “pitiful sorry gentlemen.” One of them earned his place at the table, however, by demonstrating an experiment with “chymicall glasses, which break all to dust by breaking off a little small end.” Pepys was mystified. I’m told these tear-shaped glasses, which literally shattered to a pile of sand when broken, were one of Charles II’s favourite practical jokes. I’d like to try one. They sound fascinating! In the evening Pepys learned to play a game called “gleeke,” which I thought was the name for the geeky fans of the TV show Glee.