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Today will be the first day for a while when I can get my head down and get on with some serious writing without being distracted by other things. There may be some shopping to be done, and, weather permitting, a picnic to be had, but I am mentally sharpening my pencil already. There has been a fair amount of preparation of lectures since the beginning of the year, fighting with Powerpoint among other things, and other bits and bobs to contend with, but the time-heavy demands seem to have fallen away for the time being, and a much clearer sense of what is needed and by when means that I know where my energies should be directed. It helps as well that I managed to clear my emails (nearly) yesterday, something I know that I often put off, but I dislike the way that emails, which, in theory, should reduce the amount of work we do, actually increase it instead.

Yesterday evening I spoke to Radio 3, spending some time in their company answering questions about my position with the Parliament Choir. This will go out as part of The Choir on Sunday, 15th April, barring sudden schedule changes. They interviewed some other luminaries from the choir as well and recorded some of the rehearsal, during which we rehearsed the Lobgesang and my two upcoming pieces. This might be the first broadcast of one of my pieces this year, even if said work is actually in the process of being put together in rehearsal.

I detuned my television yesterday in preparation for cancelling my TV licence in the next few days. Like so many I have whined about the BBC’s underhand selling of my beloved Formula One, but, unlike many others, I have put my money where my mouth is. To be honest, the racing was pretty much the only thing I did watch on the TV last year, and, now that it is gone, I really do not see the point of paying money that could be better spent elsewhere. As I waved goodbye to BBC1 they were broadcasting Cash In The Attic, the kind of cheap and nasty fodder that infests the mid-morning schedules if I remember correctly, and I felt rather smug about consigning the channels to the ether one by one. I have been trying hard all day to work out what I shall miss watching, but have yet to come up with anything. I spend most of my spare time either reading, watching DVDs or locked in battle over the gaming board these days anyway, and am looking forward to investing at least some of the money I will save in those areas instead.

Television, the drug of the nation

I am going to spend some time on the viola piece today rather than arranging, as the deadline for the latter is further away than I thought it would be, so there will be enough time, I think, to get both done. Ideally I would like to get the viola piece finished in fairly short order, although this weekend is going to be very busy and I am intending to enjoy some free time next week, so it will very much depend on how much I get done today and tomorrow. If all goes well I might even be looking at the skeleton of a complete piece by the time I get to the weekend, in which case I would be able to start tapping it into Sibelius pretty much straight away. Let’s see how things go.