Saturday, 16 June 2012

Blooming lovely premier

June 16th. Bloomsday. They’re celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses across the world.

I'm returning to Highgate after the premier of Songs About The Weather by the Fleet Singers. I think you could describe the occasion as triumphant. Everything came together; the strings, the choir, Janet Suzman narrating. Little Welsh Natalie's sensational backdrops, which she'd made with kids at the local junior school. I felt very proud.

Of course, after pride comes the fall; or in this case, a twinge of sadness. I was meant to go to a party with Edward after the performance, but in the car on the way there, I suddenly crashed. I guess I’d existed on adrenaline for the entire day and the bubble just burst. Small talk with strangers when you're in that state is bad news. In fact, my doing small talk at the best of times is disastrous. Nathan says I have a habit of insulting people when I first meet them. I often feel cripplingly embarrassed and then tend to comment on something which I know is inappropriate, but it pops out all the same. What’s that lump on your chin? Why do you limp? What’s wrong with your hair?

It’s more than just an adrenaline crash, however. I’m also aware that much of my current blue is of my own making. I'd rather underplayed Songs About the Weather with friends and family and probably as a result, the only people I knew in the audience tonight were Nathan and my brother. This is the longest piece of music I've ever written. It's a big deal. It's an oratorio. It's longer than the Requiem. It's also very specifically for the Fleet Singers, so unless they opt to sing it again, tonight will be its first and last performance, so it’s a bit like giving birth, knowing your baby is immediately going to be taken away from you.

Anyway, I've decided to eat in front of the telly to cheer myself up. I may end up looking like a pumpkin, but right now I don’t care!

350 years ago, Pepys spent the day gallivanting around various villages on the Eastern fringes of London. He spent the afternoon in Greenwich, showing Lord Sandwich's many children the Royal yacht and various palaces and gardens.

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