It is possibly a throwback to those days nearly thirty odd years ago, before the delights of satnav and then Google maps, but driving into the middle of London always triggers that pit-of-the-stomach fight or flight reaction in me, so the idea of going there and coming back through two rush hours was not the kind of thing to cause great pleasure. In the end, and despite the almost inevitable snarl ups that the afternoon traffic causes, it was an enjoyable and constructive day.
I was meeting with some of the very fine people from What On Earth Books and some other also very fine people from the Royal Albert Hall to do some filming prior to the launch of the Music book on 5th November. I swung into the RAH loading bay around three hours after leaving Somerset, with a leisurely break along the way, had my temperature taken, zapped the app (or something similar) and then settled down for a socially distanced lunch while we discussed filming locations and the script.
I was momentarily confused when the security guard asked if I was “the author”, but eventually I added two and two to make four, and the rest of the afternoon was good fun, taking and retaking some talky segments in various places in the Hall. I was also able to stand on the stage for the first time, having missed the opportunity to do so when JEBO played there by about a week or so, my invitation to join the band only coming shortly thereafter.
The view was worth waiting for, though, as you can see above, and in the end we were done in a few hours and I was back home in the middle of the evening for a well-earned glass of vino collapso and a little bit of switching off. I did still have other matters to attend to, though, so after switching back on I continued work on the latest piece until around midnight.
However, I stopped very soon after midnight when I reread the entry requirements for the call for scores and realised that I was ineligible to submit. Really, I should have noticed this earlier but, in my defence, it was tucked away right at the bottom of the page and not really emphasised at the start, which would have been useful (and which, in fairness, is usually the case). Still, it frees up today a little and means that I can get back to the symphony and The Book Of Hours slightly sooner than expected, so swings and roundabouts and all that.