Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Being a tit

I woke up this morning with a full-on cold again, which I assume is some kind of continuation of the illness I had last week. I am relieved in a way, that something has manifested, as I didn’t like the random glandy thing that was going on before. I assume I've begun to resemble a hamster and daren’t look in the mirror.

Nathan is in the South of France, and I am wildly jealous – although he seems to be in Toulouse, which can’t be the nicest place in the world to visit at the moment, following those terrible shootings.

The weather is now ridiculously hot; completely insane for this time of year. They had the hottest ever March day in Scotland yesterday, which I’m surprised to hear reached well into the 20s. I took myself to Highgate Woods for an hour or so and sat on a bench writing music.

The blissful moment was rather spoilt by some argy bargy with someone at the BBC in Manchester. There were a few niggling issues hanging about (some of which appeared rather major on the face of things), and the conversation reached a speedy impasse, which tends to be the way of things when a freelancer talks to someone in an institution! There are ways, I'm told, of dealing with issues, which countless "away days" and courses can help you to understand. Unfortunately, I saw red and immediately shot from the hip, firing rounds of unnecessary sarcasm at the person I was talking to. It’s actually one of the aspects I hate most about myself, but I suppose I’ve learnt over the years that the nicely-nicely approach tends to get ignored. I’m sad to report that it was only after I’d had my little barny today that a perfectly polite email sent a week ago on the same subject was finally answered. I certainly don’t enjoy playing the Wickedest Witch of the West, but it's a role which seems to come rather easily when my face starts to get a little hot.

My touch papers often end up getting lit when the mouthpiece of an organisation refuses to take responsibility or apologise for something going wrong within the ranks. I’m afraid I went into meltdown when this particular person offered to “do me a favour” by sorting the problem. “You’re not doing me a favour” I spat, “you’re doing whoever caused this mess a favour....” And I probably should have added that by sorting the problem, they'd simply be doing their job! Obviously I wasn’t anything like as articulate as that. I spluttered like a broken oil can and, no doubt, made things a great deal worse.

Anyway, I sent an email apologising for being a tit. The person I was rude to, was thoroughly professional, and sorted the problem in a business-like manner, so with any luck we’re all square now.

March 27th 1662 was a Thursday, and Pepys went by coach in the wind and rain to Deptford with the two Sir Williams. They took a cod and some prawns purchased at Fish Street with them, no doubt, a little snack for the journey. They went to settle the debts of a ship called The Guernsey, which were long overdue. The situation had become so bad for the sailors on board, that many had been forced to borrow what was due to them, at incredibly high rates of interest to the extent that “many of them had very little to receive at the table, which grieved me to see it.”

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