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The presents are now all wrapped and under the tree, and although I cannot be entirely sure, it looks as though Santa Paws has even left one or two things for Cats One and Two. The latter has been a very good boy this year, apart from expressing his opinion about some carols last week, which led to me having to put two books into the recycling bin. The former is still recovering from his latest scrape and has been waddling around the house in a floppy lampshade for a good month now, looking like an extra from Frankenstein’s Cat, or some such spin off. The vet even had to staple him together at one point (seriously), but at least he is nearly a single unit once more.

He had me up again very early this morning, so I have used the opportunity to get some things done and to post this blog, and my coffee is on the go as I write. This time last year I was settling back and waiting for two broadcasts, and this year I have Classic FM to look forward to, at 8 this evening. Then, tomorrow morning, we will be performing Sweet Was The Song at Mary Abbots and I’ll be running the organ version of awhile awandering for the first time. I think that Sweet is also being performed somewhere near Anghiari as well.

I’ve missed Sweet Was The Song this Christmas, for I have yet to hear a performance of it. It is hardly groundbreaking stuff, but it is a piece with some charm, I think, and people generally seem to like it. Every now and again I try to remember the process of writing it, and I know that most of it took place when I was giving one of my hamsters her evening runs, probably Elly, but, other than that, I do not really recall the decisions I made, so I approach this and other pieces rather like everybody else. The further back the piece, the more likely I am to ask myself whether I really wrote it, leaving me baffled often, but sometimes pleasantly surprised.

Ellie the one-eyed hamster.

Elly the one-eyed hamster.

Still, it is the (Christmas) present which is important, and it is the music I am writing now and next which is most relevant, and I’ll have a decent chance over lunchtime to get the rewrite of Why Should We Not Sing? into the right sort of position for me to begin tapping away on the laptop, and then I need to go hunting for texts for my next piece.

This year, as last, I shall be taking off Christmas Eve. Things have been busy enough, and getting home at 2 in the morning only to get up again a few hours later is something which no longer appeals to me, although I shall be playing for the day itself. Then it will be time to switch off for a bit, reflect a little, and see where I have come this year in terms of writing, and, more importantly, where I need to go next.