I ended up too busy to blog again on Friday, spending the entire morning trying to get the piece for the latest competition complete, honed and proofed before it had to go off, and I managed to fire it into the ether just before lunchtime. I am pleased with this music, feel that it is testament to the quality of work I can produce even when up against a deadline as long as I have time to dedicate to it.

Ultimately that is what the break next year is all about, allowing me to find out just what I might be capable of doing with all the time in the world to apply my focus. Will I sit there in my dressing gown watching Homes Under The Hammer or will I piledrive my way through technical exercises and apply those lessons to my writing? Probably both.

As work begins to fall away – my Ickenham class today (forever), Parliament Choir on Wednesday (for a while) – it is interesting to feel the dynamic change almost immediately beneath my feet. I can already smell the freedom, and I can feel that enthusiasm and drive that I had some thirty years ago when I started out properly on this road, before jobs and mortgages got in the way.

In many ways the past thirty years have all been heading towards earning enough space to become a full-time composer, and I am aware that there is a chicken and egg element to the whole thing, that the work one needs to survive as a composer can only truly be found by taking the leap and becoming a composer first. It is all very exciting.

It was also wonderful to have an email drop into my inbox on Sunday afternoon to say that Bells, my piece for Toy Piano, has gone live on YouTube. This is the second of my 100-note pieces to have been accepted for these projects (the other was Winding Down for clavichord) and I really like the sound of it. I also wonder if it is perhaps the initial sketch for something possibly just a little more extended…