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Appropriately enough, as we hit the shortest day, the immediate future has been looking much brighter on the compositional front.  I spent Thursday morning in front of the computer screen, attempting to avoid all the cats on the internet, and worked out a musical plan for the next few months.  I do have a piano work and a choral work on my virtual desk at the moment, but I am aware that I have been coasting just a little and have filled up my writing diary with things to do, a competition here and a submission there.  There were also whispers of a new commission in my inbox, just whispers at the moment, but still enough to encourage, so this would add another piece to those which need to be shaped into solid proposals for 2014.

At the end of the day yesterday, and entirely unexpectedly, I received a link to the recording of the Suite For Two Clarinets.  This is still pretty much in its virgin form, unedited and unengineered, things which will have to wait until after the Christmas break, but it sounds pretty impressive even in this state, and features some great playing from Kimon and Rocio, the two clarinettists who gave the first and second performances in Anghiari over the summer.

Tomorrow morning will also be the occasion of what I believe will be my Irish premiere, in St. Patrick’s, Dublin.  Best wishes to anybody there who might be reading, and I’ll be thinking of you.

In terms of work there is now not a huge amount between here and Christmas.  I would imagine that many people fled the capital yesterday, but also that it is going to be murderous in London tomorrow, so I have done most of my shopping and am hopeful that the last bits and pieces can be done in spare moments over the next few days.

Meanwhile the house has a little tree with presents underneath, and at least one of our cats is genuinely excited at the prospect of Santa Paws coming down the chimney.  We have had to move his presents to stop him from feeling them, but he still likes to sit next to the tree in the evening staring at the various boxes.  Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it.

There was even time to crack open a game yesterday evening, a couple of rounds of Mark Chaplin’s Revolver, a game which can be draining in its intensity, let’s say.  I lost both rounds, so it is good to know that, after a long and busy term, normal service has been restored.