Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tepid baths

I’m freezing cold. I just ran myself a lovely hot bath, but sadly, the tank ran out of water so the bath was tepid. I dried myself with a wet towel, and now I’m colder than I was when I started. Colder, but cleaner, I guess. According to the decadent and expensive bubble bath I treated myself to, I now smell like violets. I think I smell more like plastercine.
Nathan is asleep on the sofa, having had a full day of directing a couple of new actors into Naked Boys Singing. Having been resident director on a number of shows in the past, I can confirm that it's difficult, tiring and ultimately thankless work. If you do a good job, everyone praises the show's original director, and if you do a bad job, you get the sack!

I was expecting to work until late tonight, until I realised that it’s the final of the fat people show on ITV, which surely means a celebratory pizza and a lovely salad in front of the telly.
I’ve been working all day, as usual at the moment, on the York commission. It’s very nearly there, but it's structurally unsound! The poem I’m working with has multiple stanzas, so it’s been quite hard to whip it into a musical shape. At the moment, I think it’s about a minute too long, but it’s difficult to work out where to cut  thematerial without destroying the shape and emotional journey of the original poem.

I went to my regular cafe for the first time in at least a month. Fortunately I hadn’t done what I often do, and plugged my computer into the wall, because a girl who came in with a laptop and asked if there was a plug was instantly told that people are no longer allowed to use the cafe’s plugs. I felt a rush of embarrassment, and then sadness. Obviously there’s only one thing that can be gleaned from a cafe policy which doesn’t allow people to plug computers in; writers, and those who sit for hours in corners doing work, should be discouraged. And this made me feel very unwelcome. I do understand that it must be quite irritating when someone spends a couple of quid on a cup of tea and then proceeds to soak up a load of energy which they’re not paying for. I also feel it must be very irritating when lots of people sit at separate tables, thereby preventing other customers from using the cafe, but I felt very sad nonetheless. My instinct was to leave as soon as I could and I didn’t go for a second cup of tea because I didn’t know that my computer battery would last for enough time!

A very short diary entry from Pepys 350 years ago. He did nothing but work all day; late into the evening in fact. He confessed to being rather proud of himself for his late alacrity when it came to all things business-like.

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