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It is some time after midnight on Monday morning, and the moon, were I able to see it, would presumably be rather big. Instead I am ensconced in my room, musing on the day past, on the first performance of With Thy Might and on the arrangements which continue to be thrown together. Might will receive its second performance today (Monday) and then its third on Tuesday, almost enough for me to attempt to claim that it has ‘entered the repertoire’, but, in this case, it is that tricky fourth outing which will prove crucial.

The Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir performed in Sandwich yesterday, a delightful place with a could-not-be-more-friendly vicar, and will be running the same programme today in Deal. I must confess that the cakes in this part of the country are something special, and that I shall have to be rather uncompromising in my exercise regime when I get home. The fish is also very fine, and I have just spent a very pleasant couple of hours putting the world to rights with a colleague over a tuna steak and various other niceties.

Sandwich really does live up to its publicity.

I will not be here for the third performance of With Thy Might, as I shall be back in Cheltenham for my grandmother’s funeral. No doubt this will feel rather odd, as my final link with my home town has now been severed, sixteen years after I left. Those of us who used to congregate regularly on Friday and Saturday evenings – and often at other times of the week – are flung to the four corners of the earth, and I think that there may be one person left in Cheltenham whom I used to know way back when. It may well be a disconcerting experience.

Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade. Scene of many a wasted hour.

Onwards, though. The Korean arrangements will hopefully be finished before the day is out, and that certainly is my intention. I want to get on with something new, and it will be nice to have the cosy feeling of settled invoices in my account. After this there is some remedial work to do, for the St. Mary Abbots Jubilate needs a rewrite, and then I need to focus on my visit to the US. The way things are going, it is getting back through passport control here which worries me the most, but I am starting to get excited about the possibilities which might be on offer over there.

It never used to be like this. What has changed?

On a completely different matter I am delighted to report that I appear to have caused a conversion to board gaming through my recommendation of the wonderful Carcassonne and San Juan on this very blog. The former – a board game without a board – is for me the epitome of what a ‘gateway game’ should be. The rules take about three minutes to learn, yet there is a world of strategy to be discovered and, in miniature, it encompasses everything that makes the hobby so special. Granted, something like Agricola remains more than just a hop, skip and a jump away, but Carc is a solid first step on the ladder. My most recent discovery has been Reiner Knizia’s Decathlon, which is not only great but also entirely free, Yahtzee for grown ups. I have not spent enough time over the gaming board of late, and this needs to be remedied.

Gratuitous picture of Carcassonne, again.

Nor, it has to be said, have I written enough new music. I still feel as though I am working through a thicket of arranging and tidying, but I can see commissions on the other side, and that keeps me going. I was talking to somebody about this tonight, about the way that my life is shifting towards writing, and it seems that there are people out there who admire what I have done. To me it seems natural, although it took and is still taking time to shift my working life around to what I would like it to be, but with each day that goes past it seems less and less likely that I will need to return to teaching come September, more probable that a tentative sabbatical will become a way of life.

A première and some positivity – that’s a decent way to celebrate my 200th post! Thank you for following my journey this far.

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