The sun was a pretty extraordinary sight all day today; almost entirely white and sitting permanently behind dusty cloud, which made it look about twenty times its actual size.
The day started with a visit from Little Welsh Nathalie downstairs, who popped up to help me with the boards I've been making for the front of the Pepys Motet CD. She's very kindly taken all twenty away with her to decorate with Pepysian shorthand characters, and in the process taken a great weight off my mind! We had a cup of tea and nattered about the Archway Road and how it has a somewhat bohemian quality. The shops are all a little alternative, and everyone you see around here seems a bit wistful and artistic. The reason is plain. For much of the 1970s and 80s, all the houses on the road were condemned. The council wanted to turn the A1 into a dual carriageway, and whilst environmentalists and local residents fought to prevent this from happening, property prices plummeted. And what do bohemian people like? Large, cheap Victorian houses!
For the rest of the day I worked on the synopsis for my musical. I'm slowly paring things down; cutting unnecessary scenes and trying to get a sense of where the musical numbers need to be.
I went to the gym after lunch and discovered a faulty running machine with a slippery tread, which I'd reported as broken on Thursday. I was assured it would be taken out of action until such time as it could be fixed, but there it was, switched on and ready for anyone to use. I'm usually fairly unimpressed by anyone who takes health and safety too seriously, but this felt like a fairly major problem. I told the manager, who blamed the people who fix the machines, whom she said were taking the piss out of LA Fitness. "No," I said, "taking the piss is not taking a dangerous piece of gym equipment out of service." She looked a little sheepish!
This evening I ran a rehearsal with the Fleet Singers. I went at quite a lick, and worked them incredibly hard, which I think they appreciated! It's important with a lengthy work like The Man in the Straw Hat, that everyone has the confidence of knowing the geography of the piece before we get too hung up on the nitty gritty. Too much detail too early on and everyone gets freaked out and thinks they'll never reach the end!