I am unbelievably tired. Nathan and I sat up until 4am last night, slowly and steadily signing off movements from the Requiem. Seven down, three to go. It was a highly nerve-wracking prospect but it became quite an exciting experience, chiefly because PK was turning out aural gold. He was in Paris. We were in London. That felt pretty cool as well. We watched the X factor, and then every so often a new mix would pop into my inbox for us to approve. We’d listen carefully, fire off a couple of notes back, and return to the X Factor. I kept trying to imagine the studio PK was in, and how he was getting on without the aid of cigarettes or McVittie’s half-covereds.
I woke up this morning, and after dealing with a dustbin which had putrefied in our kitchen and buying the rattie some sawdust to sleep on, I met Rob the cameraman, jumped in a car, and drove up the M1 to Nuneaton. The cemetery in Nuneaton is where my paternal grandparents are buried and the location in which we’d chosen to interview the fascinating Keith Lindsay, author of “And In the End”, a disturbingly amusing book about death. He sat between the graves, regaling us with amusing anecdotes. The ultimate witty gravestone inscription, in my view, belongs to a New Yorker, whose grave reads, “here lies the body of Jonathan Blake, stepped on the gas instead of the brake. I'm told the following also comes from over the pond... “Here lies Ezekiel Aikle, aged 102. The Good Die Young.”
We interviewed Keith with the grave of my Uncle Ben Till poking up in the distance, keeping a watchful eye over proceedings. Before leaving the cemetery, I disappeared to my grandparents’ grave to say hello and tell them about the Requiem. They maintained a respectful silence as I spoke!
From Nuneaton we drove south through Coventry, via the Foleshill Road, which brought back memories of childhood car journeys with Grannie Garner in search of chip shops with queues outside. She would only ever go to a chip shop with a queue because it meant they were frying the fish fresh.
We negotiated the nonsensical ring road in Coventry and travelled further south to Stoneleigh, the little Warwickshire village where my maternal grandparents lived and are buried. The place looked beautiful and green. The sun has been shining all day, and thistledown and dandelion clocks were dancing like will-o’- the wisps around the graveyard. I had been asked to introduce the last film for The Space, and decided to “sign out” beside my grandparent’s grave. It reminded me how much I still miss my Grannie Garner, six full years since she died.
Pepys had a lie-in on this date 350 years ago. The lazy bastard only got up at 6am; deciding to stay in bed to “sweat off” any cold he may have caught on the river the day before. Pepys ate his fifth venison pasty in three days, describing himself as “almost cloyed.”