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I did not quite make it out to the garden for my early morning coffee over the weekend, although I got close.  The men are out there as I type, putting in what must surely be one of their final stints before they pack up and move on to their next job.  I have become a dab hand with the mop, but I think that there will be a significant gap before the next round of works on the house.

Although the disruption has been pleasantly minimal, it has nevertheless involved rejigging of timetables and compromises in terms of work and other matters, but I have still been able to get on with more or less normal life.  The Latin version of the Lobgesang was signed off last week, as were two other pieces, leaving the road ahead clear to get on with a couple of new projects.  I will need to dive straight back into the habit of writing rather than arranging, for it is a habit easy to fall out of, and I am aware that writing a blog, while supposedly useful, is really just a displacement activity which requires a little more input than surfing the net for pictures of cats.

Before dealing with Felix (Mendelssohn, not The Cat) I was putting sketches together for what I hope will be a fairly large piece, and just before I downed tools I discovered a decent stack of sketches from a couple of years back for exactly the same piece.  As it now also has a competition for which to aim I am keen to get back to some decent work on it as soon as I can, also bearing in mind that I am currently in a phase of trying to finish anything I start, which, I suppose, will serve me right for going around starting ‘big’ pieces.


Lobgesang – what should the Latin title be?

There is another commission to discuss this week as well, also more movement on the significant work for 2015, although I am not in a position to provide any more information in public for either of those.  Looking over the forthcoming weeks, there is also the premiere performance of Flyht in Oxford on 4th April, and the launch of the accompanying CD later in the month, so there is no doubt that April will belong to that piece.

I also did various small bits of chasing over the weekend, tracking down recordings, contacting publishers, reminding people about my music, that sort of thing.  It can be hard to tell how things are going, such is the geological pace of progress when one is a composer, but I genuinely do have the impression that there is some momentum out there, so it makes perfect sense for me to create some more when I have a few spare moments.

We managed to find a small patch yesterday (physical and temporal) to knock out three games of Tzaar, which proved to be very pleasant indeed, wonderfully tactile and explained in a minute.  There’s certainly room for a game like this in most people’s collections – a set of rules which could be written on four lines, yet layers of depth.  The problem with so many experiences of this type is that one learns the rules and then has to set about learning the exceptions to those rules, but Tzaar plays quickly and cleanly and was certainly enticing enough yesterday for it to be a different experience each time we played.  We were into a fourth round, but then I became confused about which colour I was playing, so we reset only for the cats to chase each other up onto the playing area and that was that.  Clearly the excitement about the whole garden thing is not confined to humans.

Tzaar – that big stack is out to cause trouble.