These are busy times, so much so that any spare moments I can grab tend to be spent writing rather than writing about writing. There have been so many things going on off-piste that it has become a relief and consolation to be able, every now and again, to sit down in front of a sheet of manuscript or a computer monitor and add some notes to my current projects. The Carta Cantata remains my number one priority and is pushing full speed ahead towards completion of the first version, but this has involved some serious rejigging of my original formal ideas. I think I am there or thereabouts now.
There are also some other things to get done, so I keep adding ideas to the new Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis and, every now and again, throw some new notes into the latest arrangements for the Parliament Choir – heavens, is it really nearly Christmas again? Add in lecture notes, composition tuition, general day to day domestic things and – oh yes, of course – trying to buy a house, and it seems like a borderline miracle that I am getting anything done at all, but it is a question of application. Whenever I think “I don’t have time for writing” I remind myself of the empty hours we all spend idly browsing the web or enjoying downtime. I tend to like my downtime filled with things, so I must remember that, put some quality back into it.
Buying a house seems to be much harder now than it was ten or so years ago, but maybe that is just because my situation is just a little more convoluted this time around. I have felt a little like being back at school, made to write an essay detailing how on earth I think I am going to survive once my financial situation improves by, oh, around 25%. I would have thought that, as somebody with what is now termed a “portfolio career”, I might actually be a more attractive lending prospect than somebody with “a job”. If I lose a job I still have five or six other ones ticking over, thank goodness. Having said that, we cannot blame the banks for overlending and then get sniffy when they don’t lend, so I understand their position. As I write I am awaiting a visit from my mortgage valuer, the latest in a long number of steps that, I hope, will lead to some kind of resolution in the not too distant future. Best sign off and throw some things into cupboards.