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So today’s the day, the highlight of my rock career, and, barring future miracles, the high water mark. I’ve played dates across Europe, some of them even enjoyable, but a support slot in a large venue is the equivalent of the knees of the bee, unless, of course, you are the headline band. At eight o’clock tonight the lights will go down and the cheers will go up from people who, in the main, have never heard of us before. It will be fun, and I am looking forward to it hugely, and will revel in the knowledge that I am treading the boards trodden by some of my musical heroes.

It is a very different way of life from the Classical field, of course, and much less rewarding in terms of finances, even if the musical thrill probably comes out just about equal. The main thing to keep in mind is to enjoy it as much as possible, because it will flash by and may very well never come past again.

Back on the arranging trail, yesterday afternoon and evening were very productive, and I hope to clear my desk of this latest project by lunchtime, which will leave me an hour or so to put some things together for the weekend and beyond. I would not say that I have been stressed by the rather tight deadline, but I am always aware that it is there, and I want to beat it by a few clear days. As I write this there are still a few pieces to get done, but I am happy that the serious and most time consuming work has been done.

Over the weekend there is a fair amount of playing lined up at various churches and for various rehearsals, enough to keep me off the streets and out of trouble. We will be rehearsing Of All Persons And Estates and Ar Hyd Y Nos with the Parliament Choir, putting things together for our April concerts, but there is no O’Neill on the music lists for Sunday, much to various congregations’ relief, no doubt.

Come this evening I hope to be basking in the warm glow of a day’s work well done, looking forward to a weekend’s worth of work to be done in a similar fashion, all being well. I even have a day off in my diary next week as a reward, should I get enough writing out of the way.

Normally at this time of year, of course, I would be a bundle of excitement, for the wheels on the F1 cars have just started to go round and round in Melbourne, but, as I have mentioned so many times, short of shelling out £600 or so to Murdoch and his merry men, the only real option I have is to pretend I am in some post-apocalyptic world and sit huddled next to the radio, picturing it all in my head.

The exciting new world of Formula One broadcasting...

Maybe half a loaf is genuinely better than none, but it is hard not to grumble, especially when one bears in mind that the BBC voluntarily ended its contract a year early, and then turned down Channel 4’s apparently very generous offer in order to ensure that nobody else free-to-air could have the sport. There may still be ways around this, for I am reluctant to wait until the fourth race of the season (yes, really) to watch something happening live, but I doubt that I will be up at six in the morning to figure those ways out. All good for the beauty sleep, though.

I spent part of yesterday evening retheming my blog homepage, so, if you tend to receive this nonsense via email, you might consider popping along to see what is new. Apart from a rather frightening photo of your truly which needs its resolution dealt with, there is the facility to recommend and even rate posts, using my patented Rate-o-matic. Hopefully the page is also easier to navigate for the casual visitor.

I need to go and practise looking bored. That is what rock musicians are supposed to do, isn’t it?

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