About ten minutes ago I put the finishing touches to what is intended to be the new carol for the Parliament Choir. From a standing start barely forty eight hours ago I have managed to get this written including all the niceties – dedication, title, proofing, copyright notice – so I shall now let it sit for a few days and then come back to it at the weekend with fresh eyes.

I would say that it has helped to have a couple of clear days, but I was in Bath for most of yesterday and then at rehearsal with RetroChic, while today I have been bouncing around the coffee shops of Yeovil. The experience I have earned over the years of being able to write away from the piano has stood me in good stead precisely for circumstances such as these, to the extent that I tend to use the keyboard nowadays only for final checking and the solving of particularly knotty problems.

I am more or less in the mood to get on with another carol, not least because at this rate I could probably squeeze another one in by the weekend, and you never know when a new carol might come in handy. Then again, I might just give myself a couple of days off for good behaviour and do some other work instead.

That work might be the transcribing of some horn and string parts for RetroChic, for we had a very successful rehearsal last night in which we ran through some new material for consideration. All eight songs got six sets of thumbs up, although some will only make it into the set in a truncated form, but it was an immensely productive session to coincide with the final stages of our website redesign which will feature the promo video we shot a few weeks back.

This kind of work and productivity is exactly what I will be trying to find on my time off next year, and to be in a position to experience something so close to what I would like to have bodes well not only for my seclusion but also for my return to real life thereafter. I have always said that the most precious resource that one can buy is time, and I feel that the past few days have only gone to prove how correct that is.