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On the Follys of the First Lord

12 October, in the year of our Lord 2020

In the morning I went out, and heard the general spleen of the people in the streets as to the measures the First Lord of the Treasurie has newly taken for the plague: that his gouvernment has not had a steady hand on it, nor now has; and some say that it should be allowed to reap its reward in lives, whereupon it will move away for there will be no substrate for it; others that our hope lies only in locking ourselves away from it, which I think is an instrument as blunt as a bat, and we cannot beat the plague forever with it. I would aspire to seeing how it goes above where it goes, for the first will lead to the second, and if it goes from tavern to tavern, address the Opening of taverns, and if from house to house, desist, and if by coach from one part of the Countrie to another, stop the movement of coaches along the roads and lanes, for where people go it will take a coach with them. It may be, in the end, that it is like water that flows down a hill, and it will find its way whatever the Obstacle, but I think all these are a commonsense. At the very least if people are to have a test they must know the outcome of it within a day, and all this would be known, and done, in an Arrangement that worked, but it is plain that it does not. In my administrating the Navy, and in all my days in that office, I did not once mis-place the ledgers of sixteen thousand sailors. I am of the mind that one more misfortune for our second rate Dido will see her lament afresh, for she will be abandoned by her new Aeneas who, while this mishap mishappened, was meanwhile a-blather about powering the land with Wind, and how this will best all the oil in Araby; yet though he could turn the sails of all the mills in England with the wind from his own lungs, the First Lord cannot use the same breath to explain his own Covey law.
  After dinner, delivered by Drivers Hopelesslie Lost of two shirts with short sleeves, the same as the one I have in aubergyne, which I did order on the Line two weeks since, and am mightily contented with the fitte of them, for though there is a dearness to them, the prize of a shirt that sits well upon the shoulders is worth the cost; and these sit well in all their proportions for they are made in Denmark using an Algorithm, which is a kind of Danish loom. By evening, news of the latest Great Insighte from the First Lord, which is not to breake the Circuit of the plague, still less to take a shot at the Moon (which inanities are his latest forrays into fanciful description), but to put in place Levels of restriction to limit the plague, of which there are to be three. I knew it would end in tiers. And so to bed.

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Joining the dots

11 October, in the year of our Lord 2020

Lords Day. Up, and put on my pink twill shirt and thicker trousers against the cold of the morning, and after breakfast to the cooperatife shop for grocerys and a gazette. Returned to my own home severalle days since, after the final leg of our journy home, which was a great test and brought us into town past where lives my Lord Anglesey, I and my father beside me, his vigore sapped by the effort of the week and our coach delivering him to his home where was my mother, watching The Hurry Bakers on a magick screen. The weather fair today but the garden all wetted with rain, which makes me not want to work in it, onlie that I picked quinces from my furryapple tree, a few of them which have turned golden, and now I must leave them to rest in a cool place, and in a dark place on a tray, which I have washed after the busines with the chips; and after to my glass house for a half hour, to good purpose with my bollackworts and the watering of them, which look healthie and some are in flower or, if not, with buds.
  Thence to dinner to the Whitefort Arms, on White fort street, where dined with Mr. M. Jones and Mr. R. Owen, on a rissoto made with a lobster Beisque, a rare roaste boeuff and potatos and a Pudding of an Artick Role, of a fine lemon [taste] and very pleasant, with two pints of wine from Chille, where we did discourse admirably, including of the burial which I went to with Mr. Owen on Friday at St. James’s, of the mother of my friend Adam, which had a good sermon which the preacher took from some leaves that she had wrote for the purpose, except not the full 20 pages of it, for which we were thankfulle. And all of us pretty contented though the plague is on the rise again, and people speaking openly of the fear they have for a second Lock Up, which has happen’d in some towns. Mr. M. Jones of especial good Affect, for he is to have enstalled into his house, which is in the middle of nowhere up a hill, a broad Band made of fibre, which is like a cumerbund, I think, of hemp or jute, that comes down the lane on poals and into his house through a hole they must make in his wall, and he says that along it will come squiggles of light to help his magick screen work better. Only there is a shortage of the type of cummerbund they need, which has a wire of copper to strengthen it, which perterbs him a little, I think, for the job was to be done in a week or two; but he hath profitted to his great content from a special Offer due to expire itself at the stroke of midnight — viz.: the 14l for the installing of it, waved; 10l on a Maister card to spend at the Exchange; and 2l 10s. for his ordering of it with a Rewardes card (I know not what that means). After, lifted Mr. Owen to his house, which has a new drive and a pair of sturdy gates, but his cat has a limp, and parted.
  After supper, the Messenger from my father, I by return hoping to assuayge the feares he has for his chest and the Lesions in it, which, thanks be to God, are small and may have been in there for an excess of a yeare or two, causing him no trouble at all; or so thinks his Physician, and also that my father may benefitte from some special Rays of light shone into his chest that will make them disappeare, or so it is to be hoped. My poor father is much troubled, more than I have ever seen, and wishes it all done, but nothing I can do will hasten it; but to give himselfe purpose today he has been up a ladder to clean with a hose the gutters of the little building where he keeps his coach. I am puzzled as to all these Varieties of Light, which is put to more purposes than any I believed possible for it and can find nothing of it in my Opticks. But the light of stars is a constant, and my father says that last night, at two a-clock, when he was not sleeping, he saw in the sky the bright light of Sirius rising in the south-east, and the Great Bear and Orion the Hunter, his belt the clearest for many a year, and I ponder on how much of our lives is given to our minds joining random points with lines, to make from events a drawing that makes sense, and that the picture is different for each of us. And so to bed.

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Another testing time

25 September, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up, finding our beds good, which is I and my father, having a good sleep at our inn The Scurvy Scouser, two star, where we came last night in a coach hired, very dear, and the journy three days in the making of it; and after a handsome breakfast, for I of elvers with raw egg and a draught of beer, and for my father a Weetabix Weevil Special, paid reckoning, 1l 4s. 3d., servants 3s., extra weevils 6d., thence forth by coach to the Hospitalle, by appointment for the Covey test. I did find the city of Liverpuddle to be not as I expected it, a very fine port on a great river, though with some squalid streets, and raucous of a night with debauchery in taverns with names to conjure pleasure or advantage, such as The Shanghai or the Ne’er Seen Againe; but Lord, all the people discoursing in a way I could not fathom and wondered if I were still in England.
  We in our coach to a court yard at the appointmented hour, which was noon.
  ‘It is apparentlie a drive-thru service,’ say I loudlie to my father, for he is curs’d by a profound deafnesse and heares nothing. ‘The instructions were to ring them when we got here. Have you the bell?’
  ‘What?’ bellows he in return.
  ‘There is no need to shout! It is not I who is deaf. The bell!
  ‘I thought you had it,’ shouts my father across the carriage; so we discovere we have lost it, which vexes me.
  ‘Wind the window down!’ say I gesticulating with irritable affect, whereupon I lean out and call: ‘Ring! Ring, ring— ! Ding! Ding-aling-aling — !’, which was to effect, for came a man in the trousers and blue tunic, short in the sleeve, of a nurse, from a door, who comes to us with clipboard and a bag of feathers of assorted size.
  ‘Orright, orright, ’erd yez the ferst time. Worrisit?’
  ‘I beg your pardon?’ say I. ‘My father has an appointment at twelve a’clock for a Covey test.’
  ‘’Old yer ’orses!’ says he. ‘Er, literally, like!’ he upbraids the coachman, as the horses relieve themselves on the cobbles and he takes a quick step backwards. ‘These’re new shoes, these! Only ’ad ’em a weeke.’ And then to us: ‘Rite! Ah’ve gorra list ’ere. Wha’ name is it?’
  ‘Pepys. With a y.’
  ‘With a why?’ he asks, looking at me as if I am thick. ‘’Cos I need to know yer name, that’s why. Soft lad.’
  ‘It is spelled with a — . Never mind.’
  He frowns at his clip Board. ‘Er, sorry, pal, I ’aven’t gorra Peeps on me list. I’ve gorra Popups. That’ll do, won’t it? Popups, Peeps, Peepsie…close enuff, eh?’ says he, cheerily. ‘This yer dad, then?’
  ‘It is indeed my father, if that is what you are asking,’ say I, feeling I need a phrase book.
  ‘’Ow old is ’e, then, yer dad?’
  ‘Would it be possible for you to speak more slowly? I find your patois nigh impenetrable.’
  He addresses my father: ‘Swallowed a dickshon’ry, ’as ’ee, yer son?’; and then me: ‘’Ow. Old. Is — ?
  ‘He is a little over ninety years,’ say I, having worked it out. ‘Now, if we might — ?’
  ‘Ninetee? God, ’e’s lookin’ grate, iz’nee? ’Ow old are you, then?’
  ‘Three hundred and eighty-seven.’
  ‘Reelly? You don’t look a day over seventy. Must be the wig. Nice tee shert, by the way. Me favourite culler. Perple.’
  ‘Aubergine. Can we just get on with the — ?’
  ‘’Ober jean? That’s like one of them posh veg, iz’nit? Youse not from round ’ere, then?’
  ‘We are from very far affield. We will not see home for three days and nights.’
  He turns again to my father and takes a feather in his hand. ‘’Ere we go, mate, we’ll ’ave this done in a jiff. Open wide — ’
  ‘Yu-u-u-rgh-gh-gh!
  ‘ — an’ another up yer nose and we’re dun.’
  ‘Snu-u-u-rt-pfl!
  ‘Grate! All done and dustered. So, worrappens is tha’ we send the result to yer own docter. Is tha’ — ’ (he checks his list) ‘ — “The Physician”? That’s a bit generrick, iz’nit? Any road, given where yez live it’ll take yonks. Maybe longer. We ’ad a bloke coupler weekes ago from your necker the woods: took six months.’ At that moment something seemed to occur to him. ‘Are yer shore they didn’t mean Liverpuddle Street?’ I blinked and processed that suggestion and the previous mathematics. Then leaned he towards our open window and regarded me with narrowed eyes. ‘Acksherly, didn’ I see you comin’ out the The Mermaid’s Bush last night? Down Hangover street? Yer luked like yer were ’avin’ a right auld time, doin’ a bi’ o’ cavortin’ ’n’ that! Yer wouldn’t beleeve there’s s’posed to be a bloody kerfew.’
  ‘I do not understand a word you say,’ say I, reddening and hastily drawing up the carriage window. ‘Thank you for your time.’
  ‘You told me you had an earlie night,’ says my father as our coach draws away.
  ‘How come you heard that?’ mutter I.
  ‘I think I have the louse,’ says he.
  And so home.

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App and Apprentice

7 September, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up, and a tiny bat on the kitchen floor, which was a first, and a trophy of which Banjo seems proud, for he hath presented it whole, lying by his bowl, a sweet thing which did weigh almost nothing, but thanks be to God the life had departed it. After a breakfast of bacon, two rashers with an egg, fried, and a piece of bread with the blue bits cut off, I placed in the oven two trays of my water from the morning which I passed, which is strong and the colour of a malmsey and much to my content, they to dry on a low heat, it being showery so they will not dry outdoors, to make the urea salve for my heel which I have had in mind for several weekes and is ready to be done with the base unguent, only lacking the grease of a boar. Anon to the Physician’s, where empty save for two figures gloomly lit on the further side of the counter: himselfe perusing a stack of ledgers, the turning of the leaves provoking a cloud of dust, and beside him his new assistant, before whom a brass nameplate, the cleanest thing in the entire room, proclaiming ‘Mr. G. Erchin – Apprentice Trackentracer, by Appointmente of Matt. Handcock, Esq., Secretarie for the Plague’ along with sundry items there arrayed, incl. a pair of compasses and a map of England.
  ‘I would like to book a Covey test for my father — please,’ say I. ‘On the understanding that your methods have improved.’
  The Physician glares me over his spectacles. ‘We lead the known world in our methods, as proclaimed by none other than the First Lord of the Treasurie! Doth your father have a cough or a fever? Doth he smell all right?’
  ‘He smells alright to me. He is to have a Procedure on Thursday next, so the Hospitalle hath performed copious tests upon the blood which they have taken from his veins, but must ensure he harbours not the plague.’
  ‘I regret I am unable to help,’ says the Physician. ‘Our appointments are fully booked for six weekes. It is out of my hands — ’ (which he spreads helplessly).
  ‘I do not see how that can be,’ I protest. ‘It is always the case when I come that there is no one here but I! The Secretarie for the Plague assures all and sundry that the Capacitie for tests is prodigious.’
  ‘Alas, I cannot vouch for the pronouncements of the Secretarie of State.’
  At which his underling gives a polite cough. ‘Perhaps I may make a suggestion, Mr. Peepeyes,’ says he, ‘which is that we pigeon the hospitalle to acquaint ourselves with your father’s results, and mayhap then together essay this — ’ whereupon he indicates the paraphernalia laid out before him.
  ‘Which is — ?’
  ‘ — which is nothing less than a World-Beating Initiative from the Secretarie for the Plague. Mr. Handcock’s very own Bespoke Covey Application, which he hath touted up and down the land!’
  ‘If you know how it works,’ say I, with suspicious dubiety.
  ‘If you want to know how Technologie works, ask a ten year old,’ says the Physician, shambling into the dark recesses. ‘I will attend to the pigeon.’
  ‘It is done on line, Mr. Pespy,’ says the Trackentrace Apprentice, nodding me to the now familiar chalk mark on the floor behind me, and setting within his reach the disparate objects comprising the Application and dividing his attention between the parchment, whereupon appear writ his Instructions, and the map, which he has unfolded to its fullest extent. In his right palm he cups the corpse of a field mouse, sliding it here and there, up and down and round, over the map, from time to time stopping to mutter ‘Click’, while seeming to make choices and to watch for a result; after near a half-hour takes he in his hand his pair of compasses, sets the distance using a rule, places the pin on certain positions on his map, and draws two arcs that interesect.
  ‘I have it!’ exclaims he. ‘The Covey App has found the very place where you may take your father for his test!’
  ‘That is excellent news, if somewhat surprising since I thought you unable to read or write. Where is this place? I hope it is not too far.’
  ‘Liverpuddle!’ declares he, in triumph at his achievement.
  I blanche. ‘Liverpuddle! But Liverpuddle is a vile port seething with villainy, iniquity and depravity, not to mention it is seventy leagues or more away!’
  ‘To be exact,’ says he, consulting his map, ‘as the crow flies it is fifty-nine — ’
  ‘As the crow flies? What manner of calculation — ?’
  ‘ — point three,’ he fades out.
  ‘Secure your wheels when you get there,’ advises a voice from the back room.
  Maddened by this chicanery I step to the counter to grab the urchin’s parchment. ‘This is not technologie! It is Codologie of the first order! Your instruction sheet is upside down, you clodpate!’
  Whereupon returns the Physician with a pigeon in his hands and un-wraps the message on its leg.
  ‘These are your father’s results,’ says he, discarding the bird and assuming a physicianly mien. ‘He hath a slight depletion of the red Corpuscles; his phlegm is thick and viscouse, and of a bottle green hue; and his Humours are within the accepted range, save that his black to yellow bile ratio is a little on the high side. Would you say he was inclined to the melancholic at the present?’
  ‘Of course he’s inclined to the melancholic at the present! Get on with it.’
  ‘His gamma-G & T is perfect.’
  ‘Which is — ?’
  ‘A magick enzime, essential to the health of the Hepar and maintained by wine, beer and divers spirits such as genever. Hence the name.’
  ‘I am grateful for the timely update,’ say I, ‘for which you will no doubt invoice me, but this App, as you call it, is the most blatant tomfoolery I did ever see in my entire life and I shall decline its help. Good day, gentlemen.’
  At which point Mr. Erchin reaches for his overcoat and comes to shew me out. ‘I too must be abroad, Mr. Popeyes,’ explains he as he opens the door. ‘I am late for my morning Trackentrace.’ But on the threshold we are stopped with a start! For across the lane are two Constables, and between them Jervas the Barber, which they are frogmarching in the direction of the river, and the urchin takes my forearm in his grasp and mutters, ‘I knowed it!’, which at that moment I cannot account for.
  By and by comes Mr. M. Jones for supper, eager to shew to me the gazette and its head Line — viz.: ‘In which is presented, for the Edification of the Public, News, firstly of a Great & Sordid Covey Outbreak Scandal, with Severalle Arrests Made, and furthermore of the Exploits of a Trackentrace Hero, named herein.
  ‘I shall prepare supper,’ says Mr. Jones, ‘if you wish to read it.’
  And so I did read that ‘An outbreak of Covey disease has been traced to the premises of one Wm. Jervas, Gentleman’s Barber and Purveyor of Periwigs, who, with his entire family, has been found to have used Feathers, which they did procure through shocking and illicit Practices from lawful Centres for the Testing of the Plague, in the manufacture of Quiltes, Down Pillowes and Feather Duvets, these being sold on the street for unlawful Profit…’ (‘I saw the sign outside his shop!’ breathed I, aghast) ‘…which Discoverie was made manifest by the Diligence, Determination and Dedication of Mr. George Erchin, an Apprentice newly admitted to the Loyal Companie of Trackentracers…et cetera, et cetera.
  ‘An interesting story, is it not?’ says Mr. Jones over supper.
  ‘Indeed,’ I reply with my mouth full. ‘I knew the man to be a scoundrel! What do we have on our plates tonight?’
  ‘Burger and oven chips.’
  ‘Oven chips?’
  ‘I thought they would be quick,’ says he, placing one in his mouth and savouring it, ‘and by a happy circumstance there were trays ready warmed for them in your oven. They have an uncommon taste I cannot place. I do not think you will need salt.’
  ‘Wha-a-a-t — ?!!

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De motu cordis

14-31 August1


1 September, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up betimes, it sunny and bright, I with my mother and father at their house, where my father fell ill these two weeks — rather: being ill, he fell, on a certain night, which was in the middle of August, I think, suffering a faint before he was in bed, which damaged his hand with some small cuts in the falling, and in the morning the maid who calls to ablute my mother sent him to the Hospitalle for there was a great feablenesse in him, I hying there the while in my coach.
  He hath received a pulse maker, for the natural beat of the circulation at his wrist was so slow as not to push enough blood to his head, so he had a giddiness; and this pulse maker is such a thing as I never saw in my entire life, being in the nature of a square of some materiel placed on the front of his chest, below his collar bone, in the form of a net as is used by fishermen, or of some simple lacework, and over it a film that clings to it, to stick it in its place on his skin; and Lord knows how such a flimsy thing can change his pulse and keep him from another faint, for I never read of it in Mr. Harvey’s book unless I skipped that bit, which I am wont. He is better, but not as certain on his feet, or as strong, as when in Lock Up he climbed on to the roof of the out building wherein he stores his Tools, to fix a leak that had happened, all this at ninety years, which vexed me lest he fell off it and broke a bone in the middle of the plague.
  I to my house for a few days only, then back, where again these six days, my father complaining once more of a poorlyness, which was Thursday; and though he feels well again I will stay to make sure that the maids call more often when I leave, and that they will cook, and wash, and shop for victuals, which my father in his pride has refused heretofore, which we will meet tomorrow to discuss so that I will have confidence that it will be done, and I hope it will lighten my mind a little, which all the while is troubled by a further little thing — viz., that in the Hospitalle they used an optic Contrivance to look at my father, which they say shines into his chest a light that cannot be seen, through a huge prism in the shape of a tube, which he was moved through, lying on his back, and from the light that comes out of the other side they can conjure a print of what is inside him, which is black and white like an engraving, and on it they found some small things they think should not be there; all this being very well, and good, I hope, and to his great benefit, but it is a worry that they have not bled him nor applied Leeches.
  In the afternoon, I think to check my own Circulation using a contraption my father has in his closet for measuring the tension of the Arteries, which is a huge column of water in a tube, mounted on a stout wooden frame that reaches from the floor to the ceiling, working together with a great waistecoat that is inflated by bellowes using the feet, like an organ, which my father bought from a man who had such a tension in his Vessles that the machine flooded his loft though he had it in his scullery, and he died of apoplexy before it all dried, so his widow sold it to pay a plasterer. But the tension of my vessells at the full pumping of the heart, which Harvey calls sistole, is only five foot and 7 inches of water, over three foot 1 inch at hearts rest, which is good for a man of my age, and to my great content.
  After supper, walked alone around their little garden, where the colours are of late summer, with some big purpley flowers on a shrub like the heads of mops, and others tiny and the colour of carmine, hanging from the slender stems of bushes like a thousand little drops of blood. It is the garden where I played as a child, my mother watching over me, and there is a strange, sad contentment in me that I can walk in it still, below the branches of the apple trees and behind the house where I grew up, with its door upstairs where the little plaque says ‘Samuel’s Room’; only now it is I who makes our supper, and who sees my parents to bed and locks up, and wonders about the movements of the heart, and how long the summer will last. And so to bed.

1. Pepys made no entries between 13th August and 1st September. This was almost certainly because he was at his parents’ home for most of that time, his father having been taken ill on either 15th or 16th August. We presume this because a number of receipts from the local Tesco were found between the blank leaves of his journal for this period, mainly for a ‘Saint Mont’ white wine and a Chilean carmenère, both of which, records tell us, were on special offer.

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Stiff in the morning

13 August, in the year of our lord 20201

Lay long in bed, till 9 a-clock, my back stiffened and paining since two days ago, which was Tuesday, and this morning without ease of any movement to roll out of bed and stand, the result I think of my cutting all my lawn the day before, which is to say Monday, and weeding between my flowers, and pruning a good deal, and washing the paving round my house, which is of travertine and should be white but were a greenish black, and slippery, like bile, which I washed with water through a howse Pipe which has such a force on it you could remove a toe with it, and all this on the same day; so that yesterday I found [it] difficult to walk and must rest. (I have done it before, only worse, when I could not walk at all, or hardly, which was in the Balearics when I could not get myself out of a coach we hired and was transfixed with one hand hanging on the door and the other on the roof of it, nor could I stand to shave myself nor rise to right myself from doing my business on the pot, which did concern me mightily that I might be found in that position: stuck, or even dead, in motion, as it were.) Mr. M. Jones hath given me some pills which he says are a nonstey-royally-ansty-flammorty, and tells me they will help. I am hobbling too for my heal hurts again, and as the urea unguent that I bought two months since is near gone, so I have left a tray or two of my water which I have passed, in shallow trays from the kitchen, to dry it in the garden and from it make a remedie of my own. And I am confined for a further reason, which is that on Monday (which day I think it was) I found lying on my drive a part of a thick spring, broken, which had fallen from beneath my coach, and the repair shoppe says I should not ride abroad in it, only to take it to them on Friday.
  The weather this weeke is up so down, it being uncommon hot these five or six days, with a dampness in the air so thick as to get between the teeth, which I did not think to see after so many miserable weeks; and though downpours with rain and Thunderclaps, and even hale, did pass by my house, they did not pass by the house of Mr. Jones, who left open the windows in his roof and had water over his bed and all on the floor of his closet.
  After breakfast, doddered down to feed Mr. R. Owens cat and to check the post [man] has not left packages in the cat flap again, which he did some days since, blocking it for its whole length, which is made of a small tube between the out and inner walls, so the cat could not get in or out. (Now I remember, I could not get myself in either, for Mr. Owen has new gates, but the first time I ever saw them, having admired them from the street, I could not get in for the workmen had bolted on the inside and then left.)
  After dinner to some trivial tasks in the garden, my back a little looser so I could stand almost straight upright, and sat there and read a little from The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A Selection by Mr. Robt. Latham, which I have almost finished, though I remember almost nothing of the selection made by the good Mr. Latham, and wonder if it were another life. For supper came along Mr. M. Jones, bringing salad and some cheeses and a fine pie of pork, and a summer Pudding, though to bed betimes against taking in my coach in the morning.
  I did not get in through the cat flap, which is a squeeze even for the cat, which has put on wt. during Lock Up; I reached inside the gates to wiggle loose the bolts, which I could not have done today.

1. Pepys in entries around this time sometimes transposes events or confuses his accounts of them, commenting to that effect himself in his entry for 28 July when he says, ‘my Journall […] is all in the wrong order and I think my father would do a better job’.

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A quince, a canvas and a quiz

5 August, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up, but another desperate day and it will not stop raining, only on Friday since, I think, when we had a heat wave for 4 Hrs., and on Monday when the sun was enough to sit in it; but a sorry summer so far. I would trim my lawn again save for the wetness, which I have done myselfe these four months, for John my man who cuts the grass has not been, nor left any word. The other day, which was Wednesday of last week, came Mr. Ben. Jones, which was nice to see, and the rain stopped for a few minutes; and he was spruce and handsome, and has lost a little weight, I think; and we did have some merry discourse, he telling me that my furryapple tree is a Quince, not an aprycotte, and it will have a fine crop, which I hope it will have, though I know not what to do with a quince save a jellie, which I have never made; and also there are two tiny trees, no bigger than will fill a pot, which they are in, one apiece, which are pink peppercornes, he says, which are much to my liking for their scented flavour, and turning pink now.
  A week since, to Crick Heath for my painting which I did commission in June, not from Cooper who did the little painting of my wife but from a new man, which is a Mr. D. Grosevener; and I am mightily contented with it, and think it will look fine in my house, on a wall, and perhaps the finest I have since it is of my own garden, in a summer when the sun shone, so I can see what my own flowers looks like in sunlight for a change; but it will need a frame, which I have left it for in St. Marys-in-the-Hollow, though it will take four weeks, which is longer than it took to paint it, and 7l 10s. At dinner, my heel sore again, with a crack to the skin, which will need a remedie.
  On Saturday came Mr. M. Jones for supper, and for a kind of competition, with questions on the magic screen, which we have done before and once came second, made for everyone by Mr. T. Radford, with others in attendance; only that every time we are asked about Musicke Mr. Jones says, ‘Oh, I know that one!’ but can remember not the name of it nor the singer of it, so it is a poor round for us since I know naught of Musicke since that modernist Mr. H. Purcelle, in whose werke I find little good matter, and Mr. Radford does not ask about the theorbo, which I could answer. For supper beforehand, eat a savory dish from Italie, took away from the little town on the river Quevney, which was a dough made in a big circle and cooked in an oven fired with wood, with tomato on top and cheese, and more, bespoke, mine being with capers and Anchoveys, and for Mr. Jones one he called ‘Surf and Turf’ which I did not understand, though to hear it said describes very well the nature of my contract with John the gardener. And so, we coming 4th. in the Competitione, though to my great content correctlie identifying a drawing of a crickette pitch, for ‘Sport & Leisure’ is not a strength, to bed.

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A pair of shorts

22-23 July, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up betimes, and after breakfast in my carriage to visit my mother and father, who are well, though they have not left their house in Lock Up at all, which has vexed my father, only in their carriage to the river, once, where a very few abroad, and did not get down from their carriage, and then home. And they are 90, which is a great age, and my father I think of a mind sounder than mine, for sometimes I cannot remember why I am upstairs and have to ask the cat, but he can write me a list for Aldy’s, which he did, where he has not been these four months, and still get all of it in order of the shelfs where his shopping is to be found, which was all proper with not a single misteak, onlie that I forgot to take my mask and had to wear my bilberrie scrabbler instead, which did draw glances, though I think of admiration and people wondered where to get one for themselfs, for I heard one asking in the shoppe where it was. My mother had a Lock Up birthday, which celebrated with flours and a good wine, white with bubbles in it, and choclates and a balloon floating in the air on a piece of string, which I did send, but I am not sure she remembered. The following day, home at a little past 8 a’clock where a scowling sky and rain, and after a little supper to bed. 

 

28 July, in the year of our Lord 2020

Up, and it being dry so that I could wear a pair of shorts for a change, to the garden, where a little repair of the work of the rain and wind, and by and by comes Mr. R. Owen, as we had agreed, and with him he brought a proportion of the Ashes of the dear friend beloved of us both, to spread them finally amongst the flowers, as we had determined to do, and it done not without a little teare shed; for Adam loved the garden, to sit in it on a fine day with the gazette and a glass of sherris sack beside him, and take it in and admire it from his seat, though he professed to knowing not a jot of how to keep it, not of planting nor pruning nor weeding nor feeding; and I do not know why there comes a silly thought at a solemn time, but came into my mind the notion that he would now be doing more for the flowers in the garden than he ever did in life, which I think was not a malicious thing to think, and if it seems of black humour it is not meant so, but rather wrily fitting, for it would have been in his nature to chortle at the self same thing, which lifted my melancolie a little to think of his doing though I did not vouchsafe it out loude; but I thought it a little tribute to his spirit, which I miss, but I will not write more about it for I find the tears fall, as much as if I had said it.
  After dinner to my learning of Spanish again with Iñigo el Vasco, though my head is full of it and I have need of a break lest palabras fall out of my orejas (as I have heard said will happen), which I have not had these four, or five months even. And lately came along Mr. Nic. Lee and did deliver back to me my means of writing this Journalle, which I have not had for near three weeks, and brought it to my door by our prior arrangements, made previously before; and he has mended it, which seems a job done well, and he says he has put in it a new cell and it will sound better for there is a new speaker in it too, which I cannot fathom for a swan’s quill; cost 18l 15s. 6d. He says his wife is from a colony on the River Plate, which I find on my globe to be in America Meridionalis, and she must be like the person depicted there, which is with a shameful short skirt onlie and a bow and arrow, which I think explains the fashion I have seen in the chip shop in Many Bridge at night; and he speaks Spanish too, so I say ‘Gracias’ and he says ‘De nada’ for he understood me and I was greatly contented, for I think this is a great achievement for four years study. After supper to the filling in of some of my Journall for the last few days, as much as I can remember it, which is all in the wrong order in my head and I think my father would do a better job. And so to bed. 

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News

Hidden gardens

21 July, in the year of our Lord 2020 

In the afternoon with Mr. M. Jones to visit a garden which is newly open again with the Easements for the plague, which is the Hidden gardens in Many Bridge, where comes also Dr. S. Francis, who is latterlie a Physician for Delirium, Insanitie and Weaknesse of the Mind, and though she doth not work anymore I feel always that I must mind what I say lest she form an Opinion that I am possessed of a spirit from the past, like a tyrant or a writer of Diaries, or some other famous, and I end my days in an Asylum. The gardens did content us prettily, and it is confounding to think that four years since a mighty flood did sweep through them, with a force so great as to wash away a wall and pour the wreckage of it, and all the water, into the wood, all this on a Boxing Day, with a great storm; and all that was done in the gardens for the restorating of them was undone, which was valiant and had took many years for their state of dereliction, it destroying at a stroke all such good werke as were done, though they have repared it all and you would not know. And by and by went all of us for tea and did partake of fine cakes with hunny, and lardy cakes and a cake for Mr. Jones with poppy seeds, which I said looked like flour mites so he did not want to eat it. And Dr. Francis telling us the while of her maid who in Lock Up came twice a week to banish her upstairs for the cleaning of the rooms below; and as we supped my cares did desperce further and I ventured that, ‘It doth satisfy me to a very great content to be in such company, and to discourse as lightly as if the last four months were not’, whereupon she, which is Dr. Francis, did threw me a glance so curious as to frit me, so I sought to correct any misaprehencion with, ‘Man, they totally slayed dis cake, it is mightily well good!’ at which Mr. Jones felt of a sudden that we should take our leave, and so to our carriages, and away with good cheer that I had not been sectioned again. After supper to the feeding of the cats, incl. the cat of Mr. Owen, who is working on the boats, and to leyendo mi libro, which for once in these Diaries hides nothing skurillousse; and late the Messenger with news from my parents, who are well, thanks be to God, and I think to visit them. Tonight the sky cast over again, and I thought that to see the out line of the bright white Comette with the dark clouds behind it would have been a fine sight, but it was not there. When I say I had not been sectioned again, I mean that again I had not been sectioned. And so to bed. 

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News

Pot holes

20 July, in the year of our Lord 2020

After dinner by my coach to Mr. M. Jones where to fill in pot holes in the track to his house, which is in a bad way with the disrepair of it and unfit for any carriage the like of any road I have ever seen; a pick and shovel to dig out the rubble to use to mend it, which is slate and soil mixed, though it breaks the back to dig out slate, which is not built for shoveling, and then to wheel it across fields and spread it on the track; but on taking my leave I did feel it was better to ride over, though it needs more, but contented for a job well done.