We spent the morning scrambling about. On one hand, I was trying to prepare sound files and scores which would enable Beth and Peter from the music school to hear my Nene composition for the first time, and on the other we were desperately trying to tidy the house so that our guests wouldn't know the sort of visual shambles we've been living in over the past few weeks. At one stage I was trying to wash up whilst listening to my headphones which were plugged into my laptop which was sitting in amongst the dirty plates! I think it was at that stage that I felt things had got out of hand!
Peter and Beth arrived at noon o'clock and, after listing about 97 caveats (in true composer style), I played them the composition. I was terribly nervous. Playing any new piece of music to a commissioner is fairly horrifying, particularly after my experience with the lunatic in Lincolnshire who booked me to write music for her choir before refusing to pay me because the songs I'd written "weren't soulful enough."
Anyway, I needn't have worried. Peter and Beth made all the right noises - very often and with great alacrity - and I'm pretty sure they're as excited about it as I am. As a result of all of this, today has felt a little like the end of term. I'd worked so bloody hard on that composition, that I decided to take the rest of the day off and pretend it was the weekend.
Peter wanted to take us out for lunch so we went to Highgate Woods, a spot which seems to surprise and delight all of the out-of-towners I know. There's a really lovely cafe in the middle of the wood which does a wide range of healthy food, the vast majority of which is suitable for vegetarians. The portions are large and delicious and it's a genuinely lovely place to sit and while away the hours whilst dog walkers and women with strollers mill around on the glade nearby.
I took myself off to Spitalfields in the late afternoon to meet my dear friend Ted for a quick drink. It was his birthday and I was keen to catch up with him and his partner, the delightful Gersende, who glows even more than usual now that she has a baby in her tummy. We sat in a little tapas bar and filled each other in on about six months of news. They're currently trying to decide on a name for their child, which they'd like to be French (like Gersende) without sounding horrible when pronounced by Brits. It's a fairly tall order!
I sat on the tube home and read a particularly graphic account of the awful events on the Leningrad Metro, horrified at myself for feeling a clench of unease when a Muslim man in full prayer regalia sat down opposite me and started muttering obsessively to himself. I'm sure he was praying rather than mad, although many would argue that one triggers the other. Praying leads to madness or madness leads to praying: take your pick. Whatever was going on in his head, I felt hugely angry for allowing myself to be frightened by him. I'm pretty sure many people reading this blog will take great issue with the fact that I'm being honest enough to write this stuff down, but you can't whip fear out of someone.
I have a feeling that the ghastly logo for Haringey Council (note they no longer call themselves Harringay 'cus that's like, gay) was designed by the same charlatans who did the London 2012 logo. There's a similar tragic cheapness about both logos with their angular writing which might have been done by a ten-year old child in a junior school exercise involving sellotape and poster paints. It cost £86,000 to design.
So, Theresa May is on a little tour of the countries we're going to have to trade with post-Brexit, many of which, of course, have terrible human rights records. You want immigration curbed? Let's chuck out the Europeans and replace them with essential workers from China and Saudi. But for a laugh let's not tell any of the Europeans over here that we're going to screw them over. It's their fault for smelling of garlic, goulash and, like, really nasty cheese. All hail the awesome Sun newspaper for showing a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar today, swathed, as it should be, in a British flag with the words "Up Yours Señor" written on it - obviously without the tilde. Why use a tilde? We're not in Europe any more, we can ignore all that tragic foreign shit and hopefully get their backs up so much that there'll be a lush war that we can win because we rule the waves now we have our sovereignty back. God save the Queen, yeah? I wanna go back to the 80s when Thatcher, god rest her beautiful soul, made this country great and got rid of class and shit by selling off all the council houses until only unmarried mothers could live in the few she'd left us with. She made us all get off our arses didn't she? She gave the Spice Girls their sense of entitlement. She proved you didn't need talent to be famous. That nice Theresa May bird's got cracking legs hasn't she? She reminds me of Thatcher. Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime (immigrants, Jews and gays.) Let's hope she's got some secret plans in place to send people with AIDS to concentration camps. Stoning the gays to death in Saudi? Not a problem. As long as they trade with us. So much better than straight bananas. Yeah yeah. Gibraltar, man. Makes me proud to be British. Where's Gibraltar again?