I didn’t get a single note on paper yesterday, neither did I manage to do any revision. Instead I played for a funeral in town in the morning and then travelled down to Brighton College, where I used to teach, to adjudicate the House Song Competition. This was certainly not a job for the faint hearted, telling nearly 900 pupils that they had not won, but it was thoroughly enjoyable and great fun, and I chuckled quietly to myself at several points during the enthusiastic and usually musical performances.

In the end the winners were clear, a joyful amalgam of clear vocals with harmonies (always a plus) and choreography that didn’t follow the literal, but still enhanced the song. The song inspired the movement, rather than the movement illustrating the words. Despite the boos and cheers I delivered my verdict and then retreated to the common room and thence to the pub, safe from any vengeful student attacks. With these things one is never sure whether one has made the ‘right’ decision, but the general consensus seemed to be that justice was more or less done.

Apart from bumping into people I hadn’t seem for a couple of years, and going back to somewhere of which I was very much a part, I picked up a copy of the College’s latest CD, which contains a recording of Pleasure It Is. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I am very much looking forward to doing so, and adding it to my list of commercially available recordings.

It was a particular pleasure to see Sandy Chenery, the Director of Music, again, and Robert Easton, the Chaplain, who greeted me with the words “Pleasure it is!” and who once described me in front of the whole school as a Renaissance Man, the finest compliment I have ever received, and likely ever will. Robert is not only a very fine person and a thrilling and quirky intellect, but also a thoroughly engaging author who has solved many Christmas/Birthday present problems for me. I heartily recommend his The Good, The Bad and The Unready and also his newer book Royal Dates With Destiny. They are not only fine illustrations of his unique mind, but also ideal reading material for entertainment, education and information, something the BBC used to do, so they say. Rather than watching NeverEnders on Christmas Day, invest in one of these books for yourself or a friend and chuckle knowingly as you read.

Today Kitty has had to return to the vet, for he is still not better and something is seriously amiss. He is a relatively new addition to my household and I am concerned about his welfare, but he has not been right for some time now. He has had an early morning rendezvous with the vet and is currently awaiting X-rays. Let’s just say that it is a good thing that he is insured. For the rest of the day I intend to write and relax a little – no adjudications, no playing, no choir directing, just writing and relaxing. I’ll need to get the orchestral work ready to be sent off on Friday and see how far I can get with the harp piece as well. Then I shall take the evening off and do something nice, maybe crack open a board game or a bottle of fizz, or, maybe, both. Fizz has made semi-regular appearances of late, despite my straightened financial circumstances, but board games have been far too absent, which is a shame. They are so much better than watching TV. Once the Grands Prix migrate to the evil empire next year I doubt I shall switch it on at all…