So into the next lockdown we go, and I spent yesterday morning firing off emails to a few people I have not been in touch with for a while to catch up and see how they are doing. In general the news has been good, although some are clearly doing better than others and the least that I can do in these times is to drop a text or a message here and there and check up.

The annual routine of the year still rolls around, lockdown or no, so yesterday morning was also the cue for a deep dive into the tax return I had begun at the end of last year. The voice at the back of my head still wonders whether another payment delay might be announced between now and the end of January, but I shall carry on regardless, and at least the bulk of the heavy lifting has been done and the rest is simply detail.

I am not completely sure where the rest of the day disappeared to, but at least part of it was spent preparing some more notes on the Schumann, part reading (Philip Pullman), part playing (Robinson Crusoe) and part watching some more of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations with Jeremy Brett, which we are working through. Lovely and substantial music by Patrick Gowers, by the way.

Today I hope to put the Schumann notes to bed and then get back to Sibelius (the software, not the composer) to work on a couple of projects, among which, of course, is the symphony. All around I see opportunities disappearing, which makes things tough at times, but, as always, the important thing is to keep my head down and continue with the work because some day one day we will be out of this.

On we go, then, into this indefinite lockdown. They say that we might be coming out of this by the middle of February, but I am working on the assumption that this is it until at least the end of March, more likely into April, so the trick will be to learn from the previous lockdown experiences and to keep energy and spirits up.