As of seven thirty yesterday evening I am off the clock, free of any work other than my own until more or less the end of the month. A commission on the screen, some lecture notes to be tapped out, a little bit of other writing to be done, the kind of work that requires a thirty second commute to my desk.

I enjoy all my work, of course, the choirs, the bands, the lectures, all of it, but the place I yearn to be is at home, with cat and companion, music emanating from the speakers and boardgames nestled in the Kallax for the gaps in the day. At least until the end of August I will be able to do my work on the laptop, live that lifestyle where all one really needs is a computer and an internet connection.

The working year did go out with a bang, though, a Saturday evening gig with RetroChic spitting me out onto the road to London after midnight, and my stint in charge of the music in Kensington on Sunday leaving me functioning on only four hours of sleep. I had my grumpy boots on for most of Saturday as well, either a sign that I needed a break or a sign that I was frustrated that said break was still a day away.

The nature of the freelance life means that work never falls away entirely, so there are a couple of things to chase up this week, a couple of phone calls to make, but the intensity of the emails lets up at least for a while. I am also keeping fingers crossed that the interruptions of fate, which have often been my companions during summers past, will leave me be.

By the time I get back in the car to tackle the end of the year in anger I hope that the cantata is going to be fully sketched, leaving me time to work on the detail amidst the hubbub of September, and it is appropriate that the first thing that I shall do today will be to fire up the laptop and load the Sibelius files for the piece. It is time to make hay.

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