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It is a slow Bank Holiday here in the UK, with another one to follow tomorrow, no less, but we self-employed do not necessarily adhere to the calendars of more sensible mortals, so I have been busy over the weekend while the rest of London has been heading to the river or waving flags and enjoying street parties.

Missed this. Working, as usual.

Here in leafy Surrey all is quiet, although there are footsteps next door as a family has moved in to take the place of the gun-toting, drug-dealing, party-throwing shower who lived there before. Read my blogs from Octoberish for a complete rundown of how glad I was to see them go. It appears that my new neighbours are a Polish family with two small children in tow, which lessens the likelihood either of loud music or parties until four in the morning. I should not get carried away with myself quite yet, for there will no doubt be running up and down the stairs, but the initial signs are good.

The initial signs on the Tchaikovsky arrangement are also good. I had set myself what I though was an ambitious target of about four pages of reorchestration per day, but I have managed twenty seven since this morning, at which rate the project could well be done by the weekend, and I will be able to get on with writing introductory notes for the concerts in the Anghiari Festival (target, two pieces per day, no need to rush!). I am particularly happy as it seems that neither of these projects will take up huge swathes of time, and that I will be able to continue work on my latest choral piece. This has begun to have sections transferred to Sibelius, although it is some way from being complete, still really in the sketching stage, but it is still a good sign.

If sketching was good enough for Beethoven, it is more than good enough for me.

There are some performances lined up this month as well. Mary Abbots will be performing the Missa Seria and the revised Mary Abbots Jubilate, available for free download from my website, and there are five pieces due for an airing at the beginning of July as well, including the Festive Voluntary in Nashville.

Meanwhile it has proven just a touch tricky to get back into the flow of writing, mainly because I have not done it with much intensity since March or so, due to the arranging I have had to get done. That is another reason I am glad to realise that the Tchaikovsky might take much less time to complete than I had previously imagined, for I want to get that momentum back up and running as soon as possible and go hunting for more commissions.

I realised this morning that it is coming up to a year since my last taught lesson, and maybe this blog will become a little reflective closer to that time, but for now there is more than enough to be concentrating on, more than enough to be chasing, and more than enough to be looking forward to. It looks as though teaching may have to do without me for another year at least.

Students who love to learn are a joy to teach. Others…