Sunday, 1 April 2012

Great Cheesecakes!

I took a full day off today, the second in as many days. It's quite unusual for me to have a two day weekend, but it's best to start a new month fully charged. I got back from Thaxted very late last night, having dropped Helen off in Cambridge on my way back to London. I was stopped by police on the outskirts of Cambridge, who spotted that the rear light wasn't working on the car. It's funny, when a police car comes up behind you, with the sirens glaring and the blue lights flashing, your heart always jumps into your mouth, and there's often an all-encompassing feeling of guilt, even if you've done nothing wrong. In the end, having ascertained that I was neither drunk nor carrying drugs, they were actually very helpful. I happened to have a spare bulb, which they were able to fit for me, so we all went aaway feeling happy.

I got back to London at about 2 am. By the time I'd sat at my computer for an hour or so, worrying about various niggly admin issues, it was almost unfeasibly late. When I finally turned in, I couldn't sleep, and I was still awake at 5 AM, listing to the weirdest dawn chorus I've ever heard. I think there was a minah bird in our back garden, doing an impression of a teleporting machine!

We met Fiona for a quick cup of tea in the cafe this morning, before going to the local greasy spoon for poached eggs on toast. The afternoon was spent in Hackney, at Penny's house, who was celebrating a VERY belated birthday. It was also her leaving do from the BBC where she has worked for a staggering 23 years. The best ones are all leaving the BBC at the moment.

On our way East, we saw a man with severely deformed arms, walking down the street with his son. I assume he was a victim of thalidomide, because his hands seemed to emerge somewhere near his elbow. The young son was very proudly reaching up to hold his dad's hand, and the sight moved me enormously. The protective touch of someone's hand is warm and comforting, no matter how it looks to the rest of us. I hope the son never hears the world being cruel about the dad he plainly idolises.

We went to brother Edward's this evening, to watch crappy telly, and eat wraps. We also took half an hour to listen to a number of the entries for this year's Eurovision Song Contest. I think, on balance, I'm now tipping Sweden to win, with top five places for Serbia, Iceland, Italy and the UK. I'm told Russia will do well despite it's ludicrous old ladies, and Azerbaijan, as last year's winners, ought to poll quite strongly. The boys from Jedward have had Eurovision tattoos, which won't do them any harm, and I have an awful feeling that Cyprus, with words written on the back of the cereal packet, will also do very well. "I'm reaching so high, to the sky, oh my, I might cry..." (paraphrasing...)

It was a busy day for Pepys, who went to the theatre 350 years ago to see The Mayde in the Mill, a “pretty good play.” Mid way through, Lady Paulina, the 13-year old daughter of Lord Sandwich, was suddenly taken very ill. Pepys accompanied her out of the theatre and deposited her at a nearby house where she obviously had some kind of bowl explosion, which did the trick, for they instantly returned to the theatre to see the rest of the play.
When the play was over, Pepys took the assembled mass by coach to the village of Islington where they visited the Great Cheesecake House, better known these days as the King’s Head Theatre!

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