For some reason, BBC policy seems no longer to include the price of breakfast for a work-related stay in an hotel, so the first thing I have to do each morning is wander around in search of something to eat. This morning I ended up in a little cafe somewhere near the hideous Arndale Centre where there was precisely nothing available for veggies. It surely doesn’t take much to offer a couple of poached eggs or a plate of beans on toast? I asked the man behind the counter if he could suggest somewhere that might sell me a breakfast without meat. He thought for a while before saying, “it’s a bit early, but perhaps you could try the Buddhist Centre...” Surely vegetarianism in Manchester is not so unusual that it needs to be lumped in with an Eastern Religion?
The Co-op on Hattersley is, of course, totally nuts when it comes to meat-free options. I had two rolls and a pot of hummus for lunch yesterday before chowing down on half a tonne of chocolate. The only vegetarian option in the hotel was a thai curry (coriander city) so I ended up with a bowl of soup and Jaffa cakes for my evening meal. Today I had a cheese ploughman’s roll for lunch and a cheese ploughman’s sandwich for tea! My stomach hurts...
That said, I’m also buzzing like a rat in a garden, following an incredibly successful day in the recording studio. I’ve felt like a proud mother hen pretty consistently from about ten o’clock this morning. One by one, our wonderful Hattersley residents came into the studio, brilliantly upbeat, and fully prepared. They sang my songs with vigour and, in some cases, deep emotion. I was so chuffed with them all – and hugely grateful. Yet another major milestone in our project has now been passed. Even Bill, both blind and deaf, did his bit.
Proud as punch with some of the Hattersley folk
I’m now on the train, heading back to London. A lump of a woman with a fat arse and a deeply irritating Nigerian accent is droning away on the phone. She seems to be alternating the words "God" and "Jesus" with frightening alacrity – and certainly isn’t using the words in vain! She has already come out with a veritable stream of homophobic abuse regarding the “sins” of gay marriage, and prostitution. How wonderful it must be to be so profoundly smug - and so fucking fat. I feel very sorry for the man sitting next to her, who's been squashed into the window by her enormous intolerant folds of lard. She’s a slug in a red blouse. I’m sure Jesus will be thrilled to have her back in the fold. I wonder if she’ll move with more speed in heaven, 'cus following her down the train carriage was like waiting for bleedin’ Godot!
February 6th, 1662, and Pepys spent the morning practising music before heading down into his cellar to see how the alterations were going. Amongst other things, he was having a new door fitted, and was very pleased with its progress. He worked all afternoon at the Navy Office (after being trimmed by a barber) and went home to examine his testicles, which he was relieved to see were less swollen than the day before.