Absence is something I’ll get to know over the coming weeks, for this weekend I’ll be away with the Parliament Choir and Southbank Sinfonia in France, and shortly thereafter I’ll be off in turn to Italy, my first visit of the year to Anghiari, and then to Yorkshire.  Although not as far, I have spent a good few days in London of late and France before that (I nearly forgot!), so being back in my favourite hostelry as I write with something red and Chilean to hand feels a little like putting on a pair of sensible and comfy shoes and settling down by a log fire.  Actually, we do have a log fire here and I am wearing new, comfy and eminently sensible shoes.  Strange how things go.

On Wednesday just gone the above performers, directed by Simon Over, gave the first performance of my Tu Es Petrus at Cadogan Hall.  It seemed as though Team Nick was in that night, for there was a smattering of applause when my name was mentioned, which caused a chuckle around the choir, but in any case the piece went down very well, and I have had some wonderful messages about it, including one from lady who, apparently, doesn’t “do” Classical music, but enjoyed it very much.  Heartening stuff.

This evening I received news that Missa Seria will be performed at St. George’s Cathedral this Sunday morning, and that performance will be followed by the second outing for Tu Es Petrus, at Notre Dame, of course.  With Dum Committeret Bellum and Levavi Oculos coming up as well, it is going to be a good few weeks, and while I would hardly say that Twitter is abuzz about my music, I have certainly been garnering more interest of late, gathering momentum.

For the next day or so, however, it is all about being home and enjoying everything that that means nowadays.  We spent the afternoon yesterday doing very little in Street, and I spent today doing the rounds of Shepton, dropping in on friends and acquaintances.  As an aside, I also saw some punched cardboard in our neighbours’ recycling box this morning, the telltale signs of people who have just bought a board game.  Could that recycling box maybe belong to the very same people we were playing games with last Friday..?  Less than two years ago I would wake at three in the morning as the police raided my gun-toting drug-dealing neighbours yet again;  these days we pop round with a risotto and a couple of bottles and play Codenames and Hanabi until two in the morning.  No wonder I feel the absence so keenly.