I have just about recovered from the sleep deprivation of the weekend and feel ready to tackle the road ahead. I was up early on Monday to go and take my class in Ickenham, which knocked me out a little in the afternoon, but a commendably early night, following a viewing of The Ladykillers, the original, not the Hanks travesty, of course, has put things back on an even keel. In Anghiari, at least, this is what greets you first thing in the morning, the mist lying lazily in the valley below, quite inspiring. London is little different.
One of the intriguing things about yesterday had to do with a very uneven keel indeed, specifically the sinking of the M2 submarine in 1932. I have the vaguest of recollections of a programme about this on the radio a few years ago, and, given that this year is the 80th anniversary of the event, I must have heard something to do with the 75th. There is an interview on the BBC website with a gentleman whose father went down with the ship all those years ago. Said gentleman is now 86 and recalls how his father took the place of a petty officer who went off sick. Had that petty officer not left the boat to seek treatment his father would not have died.
That petty officer was my great grandfather and had apparently been granted time ashore to seek treatment for a violent toothache. I explored a few ‘what if’s in my head yesterday, but then decided to do something more constructive, so I did a little reading about the M2 and have my great grandfather’s naval records to read later today. A quick scan yesterday evening just before bedtime revealed worries about his sobriety, so it is good to see that some things have continued all the way down the family line to today. I wonder if there might be subject matter for a piece in there somewhere, although I must admit that I feel rather uncomfortable about the whole thing. At the very least it is something about which I would like to be better informed. Any experts on inter-war submarines out there?
Talking of boats, I was sent a picture of my company car recently, although quite what it is doing in the harbour at Santa Cruz is anybody’s guess. It is heartening to see that it is being kept in good condition, however.
There is a composition competition to enter today, a sales pitch rather than a new work, and some bits of teaching and playing to be done around town. These are the odds and ends I need to tidy before I return to some solid writing for the first time since February. I still have not quite decided what should first receive the focus of my efforts, although by rights it should be the Viola Concerto. At times like these I wonder how I ever found time for writing even six months ago, but I should be grateful for the arranging work, especially as the money earned really does make a difference. The payment for Korea dropped snugly into my account yesterday, which has probably contributed to my relaxed state of mind this morning.
I should be writing tomorrow about having made at least some compositional progress on a piece or two. If not, I think I should look at today as a wasted opportunity. Maybe my great grandfather’s records should be reward for a day well worked, an opportunity for reflection upon those small twists of fate which shape our lives.