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I have just read something wherein the writer says “and I am middle aged”. What is most shocking about this is that the writer is somebody I used to know, and they are a good three years younger than I am. Having said that, however, I am not hugely concerned about their impending mid-life crisis given that (a) I had mine a couple of years ago, and (b) I don’t think of myself as being middle aged, although I probably should.

The composition is tied up with all this, for I still have the feeling in the back of my mind that I should have a “proper” job, rather than, as yesterday, falling out of bed at 10ish, taking some exercise, doing some writing, getting the shopping done, watching a DVD, cooking some food, playing some games and going to bed late. For the record, I plan on doing pretty much the same today, fitting what I have to do around what I want to do. It seems an awfully irresponsible way for a 41-going-on-42-year-old to behave, but my only real responsibility is to get through this recession without giving Santander the room they need to repossess my house and give the proceeds to Fernando Alonso.

Unfortunately, though, it does seem clear that I am not going to be able to get the bulk of the viola piece written by this weekend, in which respect I have been rather optimistic, so I am going to get on with the latest arranging instead, which is paid, and fit the viola piece around that for the time being. The deadline for the arranging is not until close to the end of April, so I have a fair amount of room in which to manoeuvre, should the need arise.

Tomorrow it is back to proper work, and the evening will be the first rehearsal of With Thy Might, with the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir. We will need to dig straight into this, and it will be interesting to see how people react to this new piece. In general my works are not initially met with bubbling enthusiasm, but they do grow in people’s estimations, and I would far rather that it is this way around, to the extent that people look forward to repeat performances. It is crucially important for me that my pieces have depth, but that will only reveal itself if people get to know the pieces well, and even second performances can be tricky to come by.

In other news, one of my singing students sailed through her Grade 2 examination, notching up impressively high marks on the sight reading test, which, according to the examiner, was the highlight. Given that sight reading is the one single area most learning musicians fear most, this is an impressive score, but we knuckled down and worked hard at it in order to ensure that as many angles as possible were covered prior to the day itself. It serves as yet another reminder that preparation is key in everything, and I return to that Abraham Lincoln quotation about having eight hours to chop down a tree and spending the first six sharpening the axe.

There are a busy few days coming up, so I need to get on with some work, also so that I can go out and reward myself by sitting in what there is of my garden, although, now that I come to think if it, I could just work out there anyway, of course. I shall also have to look up what this “jerry can” is that we are all supposed to be filling with petrol and then storing in our garages, while not starting to panic. At the back of my mind, though, is the thought that a house full of petrol + summer rioting might make for an explosive combination somewhere not too far down the line…

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