I was incredibly proud of The Rebel Chorus in rehearsals today. We finished things off by running the entire requiem, without stopping, and it sounded pretty good all things considered. It feels almost sad that the end of the requiem will signify the end of the chorus until I can get funding for another project. I genuinely think we have the capacity to be a truly great professional choir. The sound is versatile, vibrant, dramatic, fresh and really very exciting; probably the best ensemble I've ever worked with.
Dan Carter joined us at the end of the rehearsal, and we went out for a plate of Japanese food in Spitalfields with Uncle Bill from the chorus. It was so lovely to see her. I've missed her enormously since she's been in Lewes and feel very fortunate that she's joined us for the requiem adventure.
Dan kept us amused with tales of his exploits on various cruise ships. I think he was slightly worried about revealing too much in front of a laydee, but Uncle Bill took it all in her stride, pointing out that when she's up in the night, breast-feeding her son, knee-deep in nappies, she'll have something entertaining to think about!
We walked her to Liverpool Street tube and drifted back to Brick Lane, where Dan introduced us to a lovely little cafe called Full Stop, which he said was the nearest thing he'd found this side of the pond to the places he used to frequent in Chicago. Whenever I'm with Dan, I feel hopelessly parochial!
We returned to the car to find another parking ticket. Not only is the area around Brick Lane impossible to drive around on a Sunday, it's also impossible to park in, and, if you're transporting heavy keyboards, it's vital to be able to park!
350 years ago, and Pepys really wasn't doing anything of any great interest. Elizabeth Pepys wasn't well. She was often not well. She was probably known as a sickly child in her youth.
Pepys called in on his neighbour, Sir William Batten, and found a room full of people drinking wine. He was going through a bit of a puritanical period, abstaining from wine, theatre and anything remotely fun, so refused to join in with the countless toasts which no social occasion was complete without in those days.