I walked the length of Hatton Gardens by mistake for the first time today and found myself in a different world. It's surprisingly down-at-heal. Signs everywhere advertise offices to let and there were piles of rubbish out on the street. This is the centre of the British jewellery trade. I assumed it would look a little classier. It felt like a proper community, however. Everyone on the street seemed to be talking to everyone else. The place was full of Jewish people and Arabic people. I was fairly surprised to find that that this particular cliche still existed...
It was bakingly hot today. 34 degrees in the capital. The hottest day of the year. Just walking was difficult. Of course weather like this has a profoundly awful effect on people. Everyone slows down to a standstill and gets very ratty. I let one woman go in front of me in a shop today and she repaid my kindness by taking three minutes to search through her bag for a "loose pound" which she "absolutely knew" she had, despite having a ten pound note in her hand.
This evening we went out into the soupy air and took ourselves down to the South Bank to film Abbie and David doing their sequences in the little film we're shooting to accompany the Pepys Motet album. We had a lot of fun. I'd taken myself down to a magic shop in Farringdon this afternoon and bought myself some flash paper, which is the highly flammable stuff which bursts into flames as soon as it so much as touches fire. Magicians use it to freak people out. So anyway, we got a bit carried away, down on a beach by the Thames underneath the Tate Modern, lobbing bits of flaming paper towards the camera! It looked absolutely brilliant. It's amazing how much you can achieve with a couple of torches, some glittery confetti and a bit of tracing paper. David was particularly excited and kept saying "how many times in your life do you get to come down to the river and throw lumps of fire?!" It must have been the full moon. I'm surprised we weren't arrested.
Abbie was singing a passage from Pepys' diary where he talks about sitting in a tavern in Southwark watching the fire engulfing buildings on the other side of the river: "we to a little house on the Bankside and saw the fire grow and as it grow darker, appear more and more..." It must have been an utterly awesome sight, and I'm rather proud to announce that we sat in the very pub that Pepys' himself sat in almost exactly 350 years ago. How's that for brilliant?! We did a lovely little shot through the window of the pub with Abbie sitting inside like some sort of Hopper painting.
I've obviously now become obsessed with shooting my own material. It was only ever going to be a matter of time before I got the bug. I've shot hours of cutaways!