Sunday, 9 September 2012

The last day of summer?


I’ve had what amounts to a day off, which has been delightful, especially as the sun has been shining throughout. We had a lie-in and then went to Brent Cross via a garden centre. I hadn’t been in a garden centre for years, probably since my childhood, when we used to go to one in a place (I think) called Willington, which smelt of creosote and was always a chore, until we got to the area where they sold goldfish in giant vats. I could have stared at those fish for decades.
Brent Cross continues to delight and amuse. It seems to be the preferred shopping location for all of London’s orthodox Jews and a great number of its Asian families. Here’s a question... Is there any reason why all orthodox male Jews wear glasses? Can it really be that the gene pool has got so small that myopia now simply comes with the territory, along with pale skin and a slightly ginger tint to all facial hair? Myopia is often the first symptom of in-breeding; that and asthma, which is why the people who live on Tristan Da Cunha (who all share one of eight surnames) have bad eyesight and breathing troubles. I’ve seldom seen so many lustrous wigs on a set of women.
I treated myself to a muffin from a Jewish bakery. I was really excited about it, but it tasted of cardboard.
The rest of London, it appears, were on Hampstead Heath, trying to enjoy, no doubt, what they consider could well be the last day of summer.
As I write this, I’m listening to the final mixes of The London Requiem. Tomorrow morning they go off to a chap called Norscq, in Paris, to be mastered. Every time I listen to a new mix, my heart starts beating (to quote Shakin’ Stevens) “like a train on a track,” in case I suddenly pick up something for the first time which I should have picked up long since. I shall certainly be more than happy to get to a stage where I’m not able to make any more changes, because the pressure is almost crippling. I need some time away from the music to fall in love with it all over again. Carrying something around on your shoulders for this long is no good for anyone!

350 years ago, Pepys got himself into a proper little paddy after being shown how the upward extension on his house was affecting his neighbours in the Navy complex:

He showed us how I have blinded all his lights, and stopped up his garden door, and other things he takes notice of that he resolves to abridge me of, which do vex me so much that for all this evening and all night in my bed, so great a fool I am, and little master of my passion, that I could not sleep.

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