This is a truly crazy and mixed up world we live in at the moment, although it may well be that it is just this particular country. In the evening I went to stockpile some Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, trying to stay ahead of the curve, and the young gent at the till in Tesco told me that people are queuing at the doors before they open in the morning to get in and begin their hoarding. In Shepton Mallet.
Meanwhile, on the High Street, one of our local bakers was giving his produce away to prevent having to throw it in the bin as he had been told to close early due to lack of custom. I thrust some money into the poor chap’s hand (actually, I put it onto the counter from a safe distance) because heaven knows how long his business will last and, according to Tesco, of course, every little helps.
Also in tragic tales the owner of one of our favourite haunts posted a plaintive message on Facebook to say that they will stay open for as long as possible, but that they are looking the end of their business directly in the face, without any hope of salvation around the corner. Twelve weeks to go of this stuff, they say, although when questioned they have more or less admitted that they plucked this number out of a hat.
In all the disappointment and tragedy on the social mee-jah feeds I came across a new disc of music by Zelenka, one of my favourite composers, gave a bit of it a spin tonight and, hey presto, it is just as original and sparkling as the rest of his output, which is to say dazzlingly original and sparkling. He truly is the lost genius of Classical music, and the more of his output that emerges from the depths of history and is restored to the light the more I am convinced of his talent.
I mused the other day to some friends about where we might be twenty years from now, reminiscing about the last toilet roll to be seen in the wild, about humans once upon a time having conquered flight, about having had any kind of civilisation at all, and, at the end of my fanciful peregrinations, I imagined that the only recordings of Bach left were the ones on the Voyager satellites – “they are millions of miles from us…and heading away!”. Well, it was a little whimsy on my part, but I am listening to as much great music as I can at the moment, you know, just in case.