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Thus far it has been a thoroughly enjoyable day chez O’Neill, the last of three days without other engagements, so my last opportunity for a while to get some decent writing done.  I have shifted my day around a little, so that I spent the morning doing other things before retreating to my attic to do some writing.  I have the rugby commentary on in my headphones, my fingers tightly crossed for Italy, the sun coming through the window behind me and my cat distracted enough by a cushion to stay off my work surface, for once.

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The king upon his throne.

I am pressing on with the viola piece, quite happy with the way it is progressing, even if the language is a little more conservative than some other of my recent pieces.  It is probably not a bad idea, however, to take a couple of steps backwards and learn some lessons before moving forwards once more, so I have no real problems with that.  I dug out yet another composition book yesterday (to be more specific it is about improvisation, but that is close enough) and have gleaned enough from that to be able to plough on ahead with this piece.

At the moment I have a decent amount of material, and a solid idea about how the two movements (for such are the competition requirements) will play out.  This being a competitive piece, it would help if it were to demonstrate some kind of technical ingenuity, so I have decided to incorporate a couple of ideas which might make it shine a little.  With a bit of luck they might make it a better piece as well.  With a maximum length of ten minutes, I already have over four on paper, and my target is around the seven and a half mark, so the first two days spent constructing this piece have been, well, constructive.

The week ahead also appears to be nicely balanced, so I am hoping to have more than enough time to get this piece done, tidied and revised well before its submission date in May.  I have had a small commission drop into my inbox over the past couple of days as well, so the sooner this is sketched the sooner I can get onto that.

Well, Italy have scored a historic win, beating Ireland for the first time ever in the Six Nations and for the first time in anything since 1997…as if I needed an excuse to get in a bottle of Prosecco!  Now let’s see how England fare later.