Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Rain and more rain

Rain poured through the roof throughout the night yesterday. We could hear it steadily dripping into a bucket through one of the skylights in the loft. It was a hollow, surprisingly rhythmic sound. Our landlord is aware of the problem. Men keep coming round to "fix it", but none have so far had any impact on the problem. They arrive during dry periods, crawl out on the roof for a few minutes, spend hours telling us the nature of the problem as they see it, and then, when the rain returns, we're back to square one. It's a curiously depressing do-si-do. We have a wonderfully reasonable rent, and a great relationship with our landlord, and just don't want to be the people who whine about this sort of thing. So it's catch 22.

The walk to the tube yesterday morning in driving rain was supremely bizarre. It was falling at an angle which meant the tiny umbrella I'd found in our kitchen drawer was only actually able to keep my head dry. My trousers were damp. My back was soaked. Then it was so muggy and warm on the tube that I started sweating profusely, so then everything was wet, and I smelt like a wet dog and felt profoundly sorry for myself.

Nothing could top my walk in Camden, however, where, on top of the rain, there was some sort of profound gale going on which instantly turned my umbrella inside out and made me want to weep. My shoes at that point started taking in water. It was happening to everyone. Everywhere I looked, people were being buffeted about. Branches of trees were scattered on the pavements. June it wasn't!

News seems to be filtering in rather slowly from London Bridge. The headline story is that quite a lot of the injured and dead are foreign nationals. It's hardly surprising. London is an international city, and wears its love for outsiders on its sleeve. Stab London through the heart and the ripples reverberate across the world. The other major story appears to be that a huge amount of the bravery and heroism in the face of the attackers came from people born in mainland European countries. A Romanian, called Florin Morariu, threw crates at the attacker's head. Giovanni Sagristani and his partner, Carlos Pinto, a nurse, fought the man out of a cafe and delivered crucial first aid to one of the wounded. None of this to me is reading particularly like a reason to throw all the Europeans out of our country. And yet, almost immediately after the attack, a rush of people took to Twitter demanding a swifter and harsher Brexit. Back off. This is a London thing. And Londoners overwhelmingly voted to remain.

We did a minute's silence in the rehearsal room at 11am. People across London were marking the moment and it felt hugely appropriate to do the same thing.

Other than this my day was spent under headphones orchestrating. Right up against it. Panicking wildly. I'm now so tired that I have deep black lines under my eyes. I didn't notice them until the head of musical theatre (who hasn't seen me for a bit) pointed them out. I immediately went to a mirror and couldn't quite believe what I was seeing!

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