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Sadly the morning is a touch cold and overcast, for my wonderful builders completed the decking outside my kitchen doors yesterday while I was away taking the Parliament Choir rehearsal, and I was looking forward to sitting out there with my coffee and breakfast this morning, but no matter – as I stood out there in the dark last night, trying it for size, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Silly though it may sound, an outside early morning area is something I have always craved, and I still cannot quite believe that it is now in place.  I might just go downstairs again now to have a look.

All this means that the garden is nearing completion, it (and, I have to say, my bank account) quite, quite different from the state they were in a month ago.  I am looking forward to getting all the bits of accumulated dust out of the various nooks and crannies downstairs and then beginning to get the plants in.  With a decent run of weather things should look pretty spectacular farily soon.

This time around my builders have been considerate and hyper-reliable, one of them in particular working through an illness which I thought might topple him at any time.  I think he may have been a whole seven minutes late one morning, but I might well have imagined that.  It has meant that poor old nocturnal me has had to get into the habit of being up very early to allow them in, and Sunday, a day of rest for many, is not so for the jobbing organist, so there is a nagging tiredness behind my eyes, has been for a while.

It has become something of a dominant feeling, that tiredness, but I have to admit, and not for the first time, that the energising power of music positively blasted away the cobwebs last night as we ran through some of the larger choruses of Creation with the Parliament Choir.  I have been seriously impressed with their sound of late, and am genuinely optimistic that our concert on April 9th is going to be something very special.  We also did some revision on Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (German, this time, not Latin), and I was sent away beaming by their “can do” attitude, for they dug in and gave it their best shot, sight reading or no.  This is a choir which is genuinely going from strength to strength.

On Sunday I transferred the sketches for my latest piece to computer, having found a pile of manuscript relating to this work from a couple of years back.  I was slightly taken aback by how much I had written in (I think) the summer of 2012 – some of it overlaps with the new material, some of it is incompatible, and other bits fire off in different directions, but to have seven minutes of sketches already in place is a surprising result, even though I am going to have to sit down and do some serious hammering of material to ensure that it all fits together convincingly.

It was especially interesting to find my formal plan for the piece from 2012 and compare it with the one I wrote last month.  The more recent is far more ambitious, but the older version has more interesting ideas, I think.  It is quite a rarity to have too many ideas on paper, and it fits in well with my latest view that it is better to overwrite and pare down rather than to underwrite and pad out.