I missed yesterday’s entry because I only went to bed on Wednesday night after I was sure that everything had calmed down in America, so it was a very late one. I had been playing a solo board game about Italian manned torpedoes, as you do, my usual Wednesday night Zoom game having fallen by the wayside, when I happened upon a news update informing me that all hell had broken loose in Washington.

Of all the moments that have made my jaw drop over the past five years, and there have been many, I think that this must surely have represented a new low, a group incited to storm the centre of their own democracy by the man who had sworn an oath to defend exactly that. As somebody has since pointed out, the man was suspended from Twitter but somehow still has access to the nuclear codes, so go figure.

It came hot and heavy on the heels of a day in which I decided to stand down from any work outside the house until, well, whenever, to be honest. I have managed to ply at least some of my trade over the past months since returning from my sabbatical, but while I am being very, very careful and might just be okay if I were to continue with what little work I have, the risk is certainly not worth the reward. With a heavy heart, therefore, because I think it deeply unprofessional to pull out of confirmed work, I wrote an email explaining my position and fired it off. The day, in all, felt very onerous.

Yesterday was a little better, another romp through the Schumann keeping my spirits up, and I also set up my Italian torpedists for another run at their unsuspecting targets so that I can take a turn or two in gaps between other things. Everything is just ticking by slowly and surely at the moment, that day to day lassitude creeping in at the borders but being held back as best we can by regular bouts of admin and ensuring that we are ready to get straight back into normal life whenever that might come and whatever that normal might be.

I also intend to get back to the compositional projects I had been working on before Christmas, though without any deadlines or performances or, indeed performers, it all seems a bit moot at the moment. Maybe I should dive back into some technical work for the time being, do that thing of working hard on my language and fluency. It always seems to lead to renewed strength and confidence, and at least it keeps me writing.