It was a busy weekend, the tail end of a week characterised by a significant amount of work and travel, and the kind of pinpoint timing which used to form part of my everyday existence, but which I have now largely left behind. I played for two weddings in Wimbledon on Saturday, and then took the train to Alton to have dinner with a couple of colleagues, coming away with a commission, of which more in a moment. On Sunday I played at Christ Church in Hampstead, tackling the Langlais Messe Solennelle on that rather unsuitable organ, jumping ship before the end of the service to try to get a train from London Bridge to Brighton. Having managed to achieve this, I played for Brighton College’s Grand Carol Service (it says here), finally getting home towards 10 o’clock and treating myself to a glass of red and some relaxation.

I have no problem with hard work, and never have had, but my focus has shifted significantly away from the murderous schedules I used to keep. It was at exactly this time of year, about 5 years ago, that I suddenly keeled over, having submitted myself to a truly absurd timetable for a few days (London – Brighton – London – Germany – London – Cirencester – Brighton – London – Brighton in four days, I think). It should be stated that a couple of glasses of red wine helped me on my way, but this was exhaustion pure and simple. Since then I have striven to avoid such circumstances.

Of course, this time of year is always going to be busy for an organist (three carol services thus far), but I have cleared two days this week for significant personal events, and, while these might leave a dent in my wallet, at least I will be living. This week is really going to be quite a relaxing affair, all things considered, a concert here, a carol service there, and four performances along the way, two of Sweet Was The Song, one each of Silent Night and A Sad Carol For These Distracted Tymes. I have also spun a few notes over the past couple of days, some for the new orchestral work and some for the new commission, a carol-type composition with a very specific brief.

Despite the demands of the season, therefore, this week looks like being a relatively relaxed affair, and I am hoping to get large amounts of writing done and make some significant inroads into the new pieces.