Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday 13th


The relentless rain is now grinding me down. I've been driving around North London for the last two hours trying to run errands without being able to see the road in front of me. Pedestrians have been darting out between parked cars in all directions; I came within an inch of running someone over in Camden Town. It’s foolish when it’s dusk and raining to take risks as a pedestrian. Cars were skidding all over the place. My windscreen was permanently misted over. I couldn’t open the side window to bring air into the car because every time I did, the rain poured in like something from a horror movie. Friday 13th was definitely with us.

Highgate Station is displaying the flags of all the nations, one assumes for the Olympics. There's a mini-forest of them attached to the barbed wire on the fence next to the back entrance. For some reason, one of the flags belongs to the EU, which wasn’t one of the competing Olympic teams when I last checked! The LU staff member who obviously put them there was extraordinarily proud of her work and came rushing over when she saw me taking a photo of them; “do you like my flags?” she asked. “Of course,” I said “who wouldn’t?” And I genuinely felt really proud of her for caring enough to put them there.

I was in the East End during the day today. My first port of call was the London Museum, where we interviewed an historian for one of the Requiem films on The Space. At one point he started talking about body snatchers in 19th Century London and I started getting very excited.

I had a brief opportunity to look around the museum after the interview and was hugely impressed. It's a boutique establishment; there's not much of it, but it packs an interesting punch with some very well thought through interactive exhibitions which I had to be torn away from.

From Barbican we drove to Shoreditch to look at the news letter that a group of people have been making about the London Requiem. It’s very lovely to think that so many people are getting so enthusiastic about the project. It genuinely seems to have captured people’s imaginations.

The highlight of my day was undoubtedly catching up with Philippa for a quick cuppa. It's plainly been way too long since we last saw one another as she's now enormously pregnant. I started the process of lobbying her to call the unborn child something fabulously Victorian like Edie or Beatrix. I, of course, shall call her Gary. It's a noble name.

Sunday 13th July, 1662, and Pepys wasn’t feeling very well, so spent most of the day in his bedroom packing up his belongings for the following day when workmen were due to arrive to rip the top floor of his house away, and replace it with two further floors.

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