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Another weekend, another hotel.  I go through my usual post check-in routine (eat biscuits, swipe stationery, locate supermarket) and then treat myself to a flick through the channels to remind myself why I do not own a TV licence.  Is it worse than I remember it being or has absence made the eyesight clearer?

I am working on a theatrical production of Messiah with Southbank Sinfonia, and we are in the capable hands of Tom Morris, award winning director.  We have worked hard on this project thus far, and Tom is keen on taking musicians out of their comfort zone, of pushing to see just what we are capable of doing.  I admire his approach, and his no-nonsense, intensely driven yet enjoyable way of working has me wholly along for the experience.  He is honest about boundaries and crystal clear about what he expects, and I like that very much indeed.

It has been a long and tough day, though, out of London very early and into six hours of rehearsals within only a short time of arriving.  I did not even get to check in to my hotel until nearly nine this evening, and I still have things to do before I retire for the evening.

The benefit of a train journey, of course, is that it offers an opportunity to get some work done, and I took the chance to continue work on the first movement of the string piece, which now looks quite healthy, healthy enough to head forward to orchestration in due course without too much nip and tuck.  I am bang on schedule with this piece and very happy with my current rate of work on it.  Before the end of next week I should have the entire piece mapped out in all but the smaller details, which will give me more than enough time to tackle the central section of the Exeter work.

I am going to be tweaking my timetable over the summer (yes, yes, I know, another tweak), but this time for reasons not wholly my own.  It will take some effort on my part to swing things around, but my recent burst of creativity since coming back from Anghiari has reinforced my opinion that when I find the time I get the work done.