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My energy levels dipped substantially as the weekend wore on, full as it was with work and deadlines tripping over one another. There was also an early morning Grand Prix to add to the mix, watched successfully without recourse either to Sky or to the BBC. As coincidence would have it I was reminded on Sunday that my TV licence is up for renewal, so there is some debate chez O’Neill as to what good it serves, given that we watch no TV at all. Time to save some money and vote with my wallet. I think.

We had an intensive day of rehearsal with the Parliament Choir on Saturday, spending most of the morning working on Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang before switching to my two pieces later in the afternoon, both of which are sounding very good indeed, Ar Hyd y Nos resplendent in its Welsh accent, just like the Welsh rugby team. And the Italians did not fare too badly either, beating Scotland. Again. This is becoming a habit. The Parliamentarians have their Easter break coming up very soon, and the concerts follow swift on the heels of their return, so it is just as well that things are sounding fine and dandy at this stage, even if there are a couple of areas which could do with a little polish.

Sunday was another busy day, playing in the morning and the evening. It was long, too, and I managed to give myself a sizeable whack on the side of the head by walking into my attic wall, saved once again from serious damage by my long suffering skull. It was not quite as dramatic a moment as the whole ice skating thing, but it has left a decent bruise. One more hit and I’ll have knocked out all of what little sense I ever had. I needed to catch up on various things until late into the night, and I had an early start on the Monday, which layered tiredness upon tiredness.

Monday, although a long fight against fatigue, was a pleasant jaunt, all told, a trip to Ruislip to see my former music class followed by playing for a Grade 2 examination and then some private tuition. It was a relief to get home, however, and a relatively early night allowed me to recuperate a little on my sleep deficit.

All of which brings us to yesterday, when I was at St. John’s, Smith Square for the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir’s concert, compositionally important for me because it represented the first outing for my arrangements of Parry and Handel, finished only last Friday. As it turned out, there was an arrangement of the National Anthem as well, scribbled out quickly on spare manuscript paper in the last ten minutes of the rehearsal.

Although the players received their copies only on Saturday, thankfully everything seemed to work and the notes all appeared to be in the right places, much to my relief. I have had a fair chunk of work to do for this concert, and was aware that I might always be forgetting something, but, once again, I seem to have managed to get away with it. The choir was sounding pretty good too, better than it has done for a long time, even coming perilously close to enjoying themselves on some occasions.

Today, while I await confirmation of my next project (most likely some more arranging) I am going to head back to the viola piece and put some more sections together on that. Writing is writing, granted, but I keep finding my thoughts being drawn back to the new pieces, rather than orchestrations or arrangements. I have nothing against the latter at all, and in many ways they are easier work, but the new works are where both head and heart truly lie.

Now that the MSFC concert is done and dusted it looks as thought things might be just that little bit less hectic, despite the run up to Easter. Feeling tired over the past few days has served as a reminder of how things once were, when I was forever up early and abed late, a reminder as well of how it would be wrong to go back to that lifestyle.