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I finished the first draft of The Lord Is My Light yesterday, ready to resurface in a week or so to have its details tidied. The first performance of this is scheduled for the morning of 4th November at Southwark Anglican Cathedral, so the choir should have time enough to get to grips with the peculiar oddities of my musical language, important especially because the piece is unaccompanied.

Having completed this latest piece I now need to send Madrigal off to its competition and then get back to writing Why Should We Not Sing?, as there is another competition I need to be writing for before too long. I also need to be ready to fire out of the starting blocks on any commissions and/or tidying and/or arranging which might come my way before Christmas. There are a couple of things I will definitely need to get done, but there are possibilities swimming around, so it never hurts to be slightly ahead.

I am quite pleased with this latest piece, also with its having been written away from the piano. I am sure that I will change a couple of things before it reaches its final form, but I like the gentle tensions in it, and the ebb and flow of the three sections. It is neither the most modern not the most adventurous piece ever written, but I think that it does more or less what it has set out to achieve.

Thus far my academic year has been relatively relaxed and the writing has been going well. It helps that my house is a house whereas this time last year it was little more than a building site, but everything seems to be clicking into place very nicely, work and play fairly easily divided.

I have not written about Formula One for a while, partially because I barely follow it any more, partially because I do not want to sound as if I am moaning all the time, but my views on last year’s deal between the BBC and Sky are out there on this blog for all to read. On holiday I had the opportunity, covered by somebody else’s TV licence, to watch a GP from start to finish, one of the few covered live on BBC1 this year. After much soul searching I declined the opportunity, and instead treated my significant other to Sunday lunch, feeling that it would be wrong to go crawling back to a sport and a corporation which has treated its loyal followers so ill.

I read the announcement yesterday that Jake Humphrey will be leaving the Beeb’s F1 coverage at the end of the year. Having lost the superb Martin Brundle to Sky, Jake, also superb and clearly well-liked within the F1 community, is off to football instead. This leaves the BBC with David Coulthard, who is good, but no Brundle, and Eddie Jordan, about whom the less said the better. I can’t help feeling that the BBC’s viewing figures for F1 will collapse next year, but maybe that is what they wanted all along, saving money for the licence payer. As regular readers will know, I have long ceased to be one of these.

Still, there are or were decent people in F1. Probably the last of them, Sid Watkins, died last week, a man who changed F1 probably more than any rule maker or driver. Sid had carte blanche to do what he wanted, and it was always for the good. His obituaries show the esteem and affection in which he was held, and how much he was owed.

The time saved on aimless viewing is considerable, I think, and it is edifying to think how it has been filled. Cooking, walking, writing, gaming, talking – quality pursuits, in other words.