Dave Bonta

This morning I went up and down into the city, to buy several things, as I have lately done, for my house. Among other things, a fair chest of drawers for my own chamber, and an Indian gown for myself. The first cost me 33s., the other 34s. Home and dined there, and Theodore Goodgroome, my singing master, with me, and then to our singing. After that to the office, and then home.

Is the city a thing—
one house, a chest
of drawers—
or a singing master,
singing to the office
and the home?


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 1 July 1661.

(Lord’s day). To church, where we observe the trade of briefs is come now up to so constant a course every Sunday, that we resolve to give no more to them. A good sermon, and then home to dinner, my wife and I all alone.
After dinner Sir Williams both and I by water to Whitehall, where having walked up and down, at last we met with the Duke of York, according to an order sent us yesterday from him, to give him an account where the fault lay in the not sending out of the ships, which we find to be only the wind hath been against them, and so they could not get out of the river. Hence I to Graye’s Inn Walk, all alone, and with great pleasure seeing the fine ladies walk there. Myself humming to myself (which now-a-days is my constant practice since I begun to learn to sing) the trillo, and found by use that it do come upon me. Home very weary and to bed, finding my wife not sick, but yet out of order, that I fear she will come to be sick. This day the Portuguese Embassador came to White Hall to take leave of the King; he being now going to end all with the Queen, and to send her over.
The weather now very fair and pleasant, but very hot. My father gone to Brampton to see my uncle Robert, not knowing whether to find him dead or alive. Myself lately under a great expense of money upon myself in clothes and other things, but I hope to make it up this summer by my having to do in getting things ready to send with the next fleet to the Queen.
Myself in good health, but mighty apt to take cold, so that this hot weather I am fain to wear a cloth before my belly.

I walk alone, seeing
the fine ladies walk,
self humming to self.
My constant fear:
I am dead under my clothes.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 June 1661.

By a letter from the Duke complaining of the delay of the ships that are to be got ready, Sir Williams both and I went to Deptford and there examined into the delays, and were satisfyed. So back again home and staid till the afternoon, and then I walked to the Bell at the Maypole in the Strand, and thither came to me by appointment Mr. Chetwind, Gregory, and Hartlibb, so many of our old club, and Mr. Kipps, where we staid and drank and talked with much pleasure till it was late, and so I walked home and to bed.
Mr. Chetwind by chewing of tobacco is become very fat and sallow, whereas he was consumptive, and in our discourse he fell commending of “Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity,” as the best book, and the only one that made him a Christian, which puts me upon the buying of it, which I will do shortly.

The ships were satisfied by wind
and I by a book.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 29 June 1661.

At home all the morning practising to sing, which is now my great trade, and at noon to my Lady and dined with her. So back and to the office, and there sat till 7 at night, and then Sir W. Pen and I in his coach went to Moorefields, and there walked, and stood and saw the wrestling, which I never saw so much of before, between the north and west countrymen.
So home, and this night had our bed set up in our room that we called the Nursery, where we lay, and I am very much pleased with the room.

Morning is now my night.
I saw rest I never saw before,
the bed I call Nurse,
and I lease the room.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 28 June 1661.

To my father’s, and with him to Mr. Starlings to drink our morning draft, and there I told him how I would have him speak to my uncle Robert, when he comes thither, concerning my buying of land, that I could pay ready money 600l. and the rest by 150l. per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50l. per annum, which I do, though I not worth above 500l. ready money, that he may think me to be a greater saver than I am. Here I took my leave of my father, who is going this morning to my uncle upon my aunt’s letter this week that he is not well and so needs my father’s help.
At noon home, and then with my Lady Batten, Mrs. Rebecca Allen, Mrs. Thompson, &c., two coaches of us, we went and saw “Bartholomew Fayre” acted very well, and so home again and staid at Sir W. Batten’s late, and so home to bed. This day Mr. Holden sent me a bever, which cost me 4l. 5s.

Starlings land
above me, greater
than my aches,
and mew.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 27 June 1661.

To Westminster about several businesses, then to dine with my Lady at the Wardrobe, taking Dean Fuller along with me; then home, where I heard my father had been to find me about special business; so I took coach and went to him, and found by a letter to him from my aunt that my uncle Robert is taken with a dizziness in his head, so that they desire my father to come down to look after his business, by which we guess that he is very ill, and so my father do think to go to-morrow. And so God’s will be done.
Back by water to the office, there till night, and so home to my musique and then to bed.

War is a dizziness,
desire is business.
My ink will be water
till night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 26 June 1661.

Up this morning to put my papers in order that are come from my Lord’s, so that now I have nothing there remaining that is mine, which I have had till now.
This morning came Mr. Goodgroome to me (recommended by Mr. Mage), with whom I agreed presently to give him 20s. entrance, which I then did, and 20s. a month more to teach me to sing, and so we began, and I hope I have come to something in it. His first song is “La cruda la bella.” He gone my brother Tom comes, with whom I made even with my father and the two drapers for the cloths I sent to sea lately.
At home all day, in the afternoon came Captain Allen and his daughter Rebecca and Mr. Hempson, and by and by both Sir Williams, who sat with me till it was late, and I had a very gallant collation for them.
At night to bed.

I have nothing here that is mine.
I have room.
I have the sea.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 25 June 1661.

(Midsummer-day). We kept this a holiday, and so went not to the office at all. All the morning at home. At noon my father came to see my house now it is done, which is now very neat. He and I and Dr. Williams (who is come to see my wife, whose soare belly is now grown dangerous as she thinks) to the ordinary over against the Exchange, where we dined and had great wrangling with the master of the house when the reckoning was brought to us, he setting down exceeding high every thing. I home again and to Sir W. Batten’s, and there sat a good while. So home.

This ice I eat
will see my belly grow
dangerous as
a great master,
exceeding every me.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 24 June 1661.

(Lord’s day). In the morning to church, and my wife not being well, I went with Sir W. Batten home to dinner, my Lady being out of town, where there was Sir W. Pen, Captain Allen and his daughter Rebecca, and Mr. Hempson and his wife. After dinner to church all of us and had a very good sermon of a stranger, and so I and the young company to walk first to Graye’s Inn Walks, where great store of gallants, but above all the ladies that I there saw, or ever did see, Mrs. Frances Butler (Monsieur L’Impertinent’s sister) is the greatest beauty. Then we went to Islington, where at the great house I entertained them as well as I could, and so home with them, and so to my own home and to bed. Pall, who went this day to a child’s christening of Kate Joyce’s, staid out all night at my father’s, she not being well.

At church, a strange company,
a great store of gall,
an impertinent sling,
a child in a well.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 23 June 1661.

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