Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I had a slightly funny turn in Sainbury's last night, which isn't an ideal place to find yourself when you just want the world to stop turning for a few minutes. A woman with a monotone voice kept making tannoy announcements, getting distracted and then starting again. I wanted to throttle her. Actually, take that back... The last time I wrote something flippant like that in this blog, it was used against me in a court of law as an example of my erratic behaviour!

I guess I'm still on a bit of a requiem come down, and next year has started weighing heavy on my mind. There's nothing in the diary as of December and every time I contact a branch of the BBC or another production company, I'm told the same story. Cuts, cuts, cuts. Downsizing. More cuts. No one is in a position to take a risk and no one's interested in a documentary which isn't some kind of celebrity vehicle. I don't know what's happening to the world. 

What I need, of course, is a wealthy patron, who wants more music like the Requiem, and is interested in taking me on for the sake of glorious creativity! Problem is, I have no idea where these people are. 

I suspect if I lived in New York, I'd know. Maybe there's an old boy network which I'll never be able to penetrate. 

Anyway, I calmed myself down in Sainsbury's, came home and made myself a pear and lime jelly before watching the Bake Off and several rounds of Only Connect on iPlayer... If you haven't watched the latter, I suggest you do so immediately. It is, without question, the weirdest, most charming, most complicated quiz I've ever seen.  

I went to bed last night and allowed my dreams to analyse where my head  had been all day. 

The dreams replied. Classic anxiety with a twist of surrealism. In one I'd been selected as part of the Olympic triathlon team and went back to my old school to see if my former games teacher would let me run on the school field as a kind of tragic practice. 

I knew in the dream that a triathlon involved running and cycling, but couldn't remember what the first discipline was meant to be. My German teacher said she thought it was horse riding, but I'd never been on an horse, so couldn't work out why I'd been selected for the team! Suddenly a horse was riding towards me and I didn't have a clue how to get on...

Before I knew it, I was watching some kind of play on a traverse stage, holding my pet rat, who suddenly got spooked and darted off across the stage, causing a load of silly women in the audience to scream and stand on their chairs. 

I was forced to stop the play and make an announcement. "I'm so sorry. My pet rat has escaped," I said. A woman in the audience started yelling; "it's a wild rat and it's carrying the plague!" "Don't be stupid," I replied, "his name is Cas, and he's grey and white and pretty. He's very old and doesn't run fast."

At that moment, the farce-like quality of the dream reached its climax, and a whole variety of increasingly bizarre-looking rodents ran across the stage. Long tall rats which ran on their hind legs, a tiny mouse which bit me, a ferret, a rabbit, a badger and to cap it all a possum. 

What the...!?

Pepys wrote a scandalous and gossipy entry in his diary 350 years ago. He'd spent the day in the company of Captain Ferrers, who seemed to have a fairly strong interest in royal court-inspired tittle-tattle, and recounted with gleeful abandon, the tale of Mrs Haslerigge, the great beauty, who'd just given birth to a child she claimed belonged either to the King or his brother, the Duke of York. What a slag! 

As it turns out, neither brother took responsibility. This may come as no surprise as both were married men. In those days, however, it was considered appropriate to at least give a title to a bastard child, if all the evidence suggested it had come from royal loins. Nell Gwynn got very adept at getting titles out of Charles II! Her technique  usually involved the threat of violence against the child! 

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