Sometimes being on a crowded tube becomes an almost existential experience. It is so wildly unpleasant that the only way to blot out the pain is to imagine you're somewhere or someone else. And this is how it was as I struggled from Victoria to Highgate in the middle of the rush hour tonight. The tube was so hot that I felt almost certain I was going to pass out. London's infrastructure simply isn't good enough.
I know, let's stage the Olympics...
Here's a question. How old does someone have to be to not be offended if you offer them your seat on a tube? There was a woman today, who I felt was very much on the cusp. I resolutely refused to stand up for her simply because she was a woman - that's misogynistic, patronising bullshit - but I always stand for an elderly person. Problem was, she could have been as young as 50 and my standing up for her might have tipped her over the edge in a sort of "do I really look old and frail?" kind of way. I realise the first time someone stands for me is the day the rest of the world decides I'm no longer a sexual being!
Today found me traveling to a wet and windy Worthing to work with producer, PK, on the Hattersley songs. It was a wonderful experience ; a great meeting of minds. It transpires we're both huge Samuel Beckett fans and I get the sense that he really understands the nature of what we're trying to achieve.
He also seems to care about the performers. It is vital for me that everyone working on the project truly respects the people who have trusted us with their memories. They're not simply contributors, they're artists, and both Paul up in Manchester and PK understand this only too well.
I so regularly find myself horrified by documentaries on the television, when it's clear those speaking on camera have been royally stitched-up or choice-edited by a set of producers riding rough-shod over feelings simply for a blast of good telly. I've moaned and bitched about reality TV, but am afraid it all comes down to second-rate commissioning editors who know nothing about the potential of genuine risk-taking and everything about the words "conflict" and "jeopardy" and how to manufacture them in a tired old format.
Two questions. 1) Why is this D list celebrity pretending to give a crap about Cornwall? She's never been here before and she plainly isn't listening to anything she's being told. 2) Why does she only have 2 days to travel across the county on a merry-go-round?
Are these examples too obtuse? Or am I making my point?
Pepys' day started 350 years ago with a walk in the Navy compound's garden. He met up with a gardener and discussed various things that might make the place look more "handsome."
Lunch happened at Trinity House in Deptford, and Pepys spoke to a man whose land (which he'd been awarded by the King) was due to be used (at the behest of the King) for some kind of man-made harbour. He wasn't a happy bunny.
The food was very good, but Pepys gorged himself on "a little too much beef which made me sick, and so after dinner we went to the office, and there in a garden I went in the dark and vomited, whereby I did much ease my stomach." The garden wasn't going to look any more handsome if all the borders were bedecked in boke!