No blog yesterday morning, and not too much in the way of writing during the day, if I am honest, but a great deal of thinking about writing, which probably counts. I feel that I am getting to one of those stages again when I need to retreat a little into technical work, focus on my language and technique in order to emerge a better composer.

The current piece, which I aim to finish today, is the project which has sparked these thoughts once more, appropriately enough the same kind of work that fired the starting gun on a period of introspection last year. I emerged from that hiatus ready to begin serious work on the symphony, so there is no doubt that these periodic moves into the nuts and bolts of writing definitely do help.

It also helps to know where my writing is at its weakest, and I think that I have learned by now that there are some fields in which I am quite strong, others in which I really wish I could be better, but gradual, daily improvement is something I can definitely buy into as a concept. It is just a question of keeping at it even when the rewards are so incremental as to seem invisible. It never stops the stalactites and stalagmites, after all.

There is also another small piece I would like to write next month which would certainly benefit from a little more security on the technical front, so I hope that the benefits will be immediate and allow me to go to work on this new, short work with renewed confidence, or, at least, with new ideas, which amount to pretty much the same thing. A little pause now to deal with things properly will yield many benefits in the future.

As for the rest of it, Somerset (Shepton Mallet, at least) seems to be doing really well on the vaccination front, as I am hearing tales of people getting their bookings for next week, people who are not in the top nine priority groups. I know folks in London in their sixties who are still waiting for their first jabs, so this appears to be an unexpected benefit of having moved to somewhere much smaller and quieter. It is, of course, possible that a significant proportion of the locals here think that this is all some kind of massive lizard-led conspiracy – Glastonbury is just down the road after all, replete with soi disant reincarnated Arthurs and Guineveres – but that may just be a typical Londoner-come-lately assumption, and even if such a calumny were true we just need to take our happy results where we can get them.