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Although the storm of the last few days is now passing it is still going to be a busy time at least until the beginning of next week. Even so, I managed to get a decent stint of writing done yesterday morning after I had cleared most of my accumulated emails, working hard on the orchestration of We Three Kings and, with a couple of smaller pushes later in the day, getting it nearly finished. I was hoping to have this and my new organ piece completed by next Tuesday, an ambitious target, but it turns out that I have a few more days in hand, so I sit here calm in the knowledge that it should not be too difficult to get things done by that time, and I will have an opportunity to tidy odds and ends before the first performance.

While I was writing, the choir of St. Bride’s were giving Everyone Sang its second performance, and other performances for December were falling into place. We Three Kings looks like it will be broadcast by Classic FM on the 23rd December, and this programme should also include the new organ piece, which is based on the Yorkshire Wassail, although I want to come up with a slightly snappier title.

I took the opportunity in the afternoon to down tools and spend some quality time with my other half, something I have done all too little of late, and then travelled into town to play for a production of Verdi’s Otello, one of those insane things where the entire opera was accompanied by Fingers O’Neill, alone at the organ. Thankfully I knew the instrument at the venue, and it was up to the mark, but even the organist there, a friend of mine from way back, said that I was “barking mad” for having said yes, and I would probably have to agree with him. It was one of those things where the idea of a challenge seemed enticing at the time the offer was made.

The production did involve one of my former (and favourite) students, however, which was why I agreed to play, but it was certainly an experience. There will be stories to tell about this one, not all of which will be for the blog, and I feel much more relaxed now that it is out of the way.

Thankfully there has been just about enough time to take one of the cats to the vet. He became very sluggish earlier in the week, and I feared that he would not make it through Tuesday night, but make it he did and off to the vet he went on Wednesday. He was immediately taken into care, operated on yesterday morning and is now home, but is looking somewhat the worse for wear, even if the sparkle is back in his drugged eyes. His ailment, while major, is not ongoing, and, despite looking like the very worst kind of alley cat from some old cartoon, his spark is back.

There, that is it for now. I need to settle down today and write some notes about Mozart’s last years, and hopefully also do some writing, for I do not intend to spend the weekend working for myself. My board games have been gathering dust for a fortnight, as have some other pastimes, and I am aware that no play will make me not only dull but also terribly fratchy.  There will be enough rushing around town to come, as usual, so I would prefer to leave my time at home as downtime.

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