I write this coming off the excitement of a police raid over the road, just like the bad old days in Mitcham. The count was four cars and one van but with a bit of luck the well-known activities of the local stone in the shoe will have been curtailed for a while.

Other than that little excitement the decorators continue with their work and I spent the morning tinkering with my lecture notes to the soundtrack of Berlioz and Zelenka. Elsewhere in the house the distant thunka-thunka-thunka of a more relevant radio station than I would choose tells me that paint is continuing to go up onto the wall.

The rest of today will be spent doing bits and pieces, and I must admit that it does feel a little odd to be done with Gerontius after all this time. One’s thoughts naturally turn immediately to the next concert, but it will take some time for that writing to fall from my memory and for me not to wake up with some fragment of it rolling round my head.

The next few days will be quite busy with playing and those two lectures, but I would like to get back onto that treadmill of writing that I was on only a couple of weeks ago. Even with the carol services and the decorating and the occasional display of might by the local powers that be I am confident of being able to get some good work done.

As part of the preparation for the Berlioz class I reread some of his Memoirs, and they are as effervescent and delightful as I remembered them to be. The poor man went through some dreadful experiences, not always the fault of other people, but kept going in spite of it all, and he even managed to write about it all with wit and humour. I recommend them as a fascinating read.