I had a call today from one of our friends in India whose job it is to tell us their records indicate someone in the household has had a minor accident. I picked up the phone and felt my heart dropping when he announced himself. It happens with such alarming regularity, that, to keep things interesting, I now try to say something different every time they call. I learnt this trick from my Grannie, when late-onset dementia meant she asked the same six questions in a loop. "Do you have a girlfriend?" "No." "Do you have a girlfriend?" "Yes." "Do you have a girlfriend?" "Several." "Do you have a girlfriend?" "I'm married to my job at the sewerage plant, Grannie." On one occasion she entered a cycle in the middle of the night of coming into my bedroom, asking if I was warm enough and when I said I was, disappearing to the airing cupboard to find something else to put on my zed bed. By the morning I was covered in sheets, blankets, net curtains and towels!
So today, when my Indian friend told me his records showed I'd been in an accident, I said I had. I heard his eyes lighting up. "And you were driving?" "Yes." "And it wasn't your fault?" "Oh, I'm afraid it was... Everyone died. Everyone. Except me." "Oh" he said, the panic levels rising in his voice, "that's, um... Very nice." He then hung up.
Perhaps these people need to learn a little about compassion. After all, there's a strong likelihood that someone they randomly call will have been traumatically affected by a car accident, and "very nice" would, by all counts, be a somewhat inappropriate response!
You know when you spend a day wishing that someone who does nothing but complain would simply disappear and let you get on with enjoying life? That...
I sometimes feel this must how the rest of Europe feels about the UK. Sometimes people whinge so hard that you end up wanting to scream "if you're that unhappy, please, just get yourself out of my face!" I got fairly close to thinking that way about the Scots in the recent referendum, and am perilously close to telling a friend of mine that life doesn't always have to be a drama. God knows I've tried myself over the years to make desperate mountains out of mole hills, but bitter experience tells me that most people just want a quiet life!
I've done another hard day's work on the Fleet Singer's commission, and can reveal I'm now mid-way through the first draft of the last movement. I've worked at lightning speed, largely because I've been so inspired by this composition. I think this has a great deal to do with the fact that I'm setting lyrics which are exclusively about North London - my gaff. Besides, nothing but the best will do for my special Fleet Singers!