As I emerged from Pimlico tube this morning and turned left onto Vauxhall Bridge Road, the sun was shining bright and low in the sky, so bright and low in fact that everything was silhouetted in front of it. I could see right across the river to Vauxhall itself and that strange curved-roof bus station building. It was all rather intense. Rather magical.
We've been running NYMT auditions all day today. I was on music duty, and must have heard 80 songs including four "On My Owns" three "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables", two "Defying Gravities" and a really lovely song from a new musical I'd not heard before.
I was a touch harsh on one of the groups, primarily because, despite my telling them I wasn't interested in hearing pretty songs sung prettily without any thought or emotion, I heard nothing but pretty songs sung prettily with no thought or emotion!
In another group, there were tears for all the right reasons; kids connecting with the lyrical content of songs. One rather fragile little girl, a wonderful actress, got particularly upset after singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It's so difficult to be a male adult in this kind of situation, because every paternal instinct kicks in and all you want to do is give them big hugs, which is obviously inappropriate. So I sat behind my table encouraging the kids to do a big group hug!
I took the tube back home to Highgate. A homeless person came through the carriage and gave the obligatory, barely audible announcement about being hungry and needing money for a shower. People instantly started reaching for their wallets, and I watched £5 going into his pot in my section of the carriage alone, which included £1 from a young lad who frankly didn't look like he had it to spare. And it got my thinking; if the minimum wage is £6.31 per hour, this man is clearing that alone in a three minute announcement and whip round! I'm not suggesting that he'd always be as lucky as he was tonight, nor that his life is wonderful or blessed, but it did make me wonder why I, in dark times l, haven't donned a scruffy jumper and taken to the tubes!
This evening we went to Llio's house to record a demo for the C4 project and listen to the album she's just finished making. It's an absolute masterpiece. I genuinely mean that. Utterly engulfing. Deeply emotional. Musically daring. Transporting. Darker than dark. I feel privileged to have heard it.
We left Llio's to the great chill of a bitter winter gale. As we drove home, we passed scores of blown over dustbins and street signs. The poor people in Cornwall, which we're told is in the eye of the storm, must be wondering if Armageddon has finally arrived.