The weekend began in fine fashion with a reassuring balance of work and play through Saturday, spurts of proofing on the cantata interspersed with bits of gaming, just to keep things light and frothy. The piano score continued to take shape upstairs in my office, while downstairs we faced off over Race For The Galaxy, Dragon Castle and 7 Wonders: Duel, excellent games all.

Sunday also began well, despite my having to get up bright and early to get to London for work. If truth be told, the early start was self-inflicted but I wanted to get to the capital before everybody else began dawdling in the middle lane, and it gave me another opportunity to get ahead on the piano score of the cantata.

I ploughed on in effective fashion and then took a break to listen to Ferrari contrive to throw away a win and a second place in the Grand Prix, and I was about to dive in to a second stint on the cantata when I received a message which informed me that a former student of mine who had become a close friend and valued colleague had taken his own life on Saturday.

As person and musician he was deeply woven into the tapestry of my and many other people’s past two decades. He was also genuine, down to earth, honest, reliable, and solid as the proverbial rock, so something clearly went terribly wrong, and it is a tragedy that he felt unable to reach out.

Heaven alone knows what his family must be going through, but the rest of Sunday, apart from a little bit of organ playing, was spent bouncing messages around, getting the news out to those who needed to know. I caught up with some very old friends and then sat down with a game, which I lost emphatically, and a rather large glass of red wine and some memories, which I savoured.

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