It has been a real mix of ups and downs over the past couple of days, many of the cancellations that I have had to make since Monday now rebooked for further down the year, but still pushing all that work along the road. My feeling is that September will be the start of a return to something close to how things were, but until then everything is still up in the air.

There are signs of a gradual return to normal, though. A dog over the road barking constantly at seemingly nothing at half past six yesterday morning, its owner the only one in the area oblivious to (or, more likely, not caring about) the ruckus. Ah, the joys of the British summer.

This morning I am ready to go, the back door open as I sit here approaching the barking hour, so we shall see how goes the yappage in about fifteen minutes or so. I have been woken early this morning by the birdsong, which I can definitely take, a much more subtle and beguiling crescendo of morning salutation.

I also – wait for it – played for a recital yesterday evening and – wait for it – am playing for another today, a brief bubble of normality. Remembering how to concentrate on a performance for an hour was intriguing, and I definitely made sure that all the necessary muscles were properly warmed up before the gig, for I have never gone quite so long without regular playing since I first began learning the piano over forty years ago.

People said things along the lines of “Was it really September when we last did this?” and our audience was profoundly appreciative, having been starved of this kind of thing for so long. One of the positive aspects of the past few days has been to notice that the appetite for music is definitely there, that the bookers are just waiting for the green light. Unfortunately, not all musicians have made it through this period without ending up having to do something else, but those who have survived are raring to go.

As venues go, it could be worse.