I think it is fair to say that the week just gone was one of the most stressful I have had for a while. It seemed to lurch from one drama to the next with alarming regularity, and every time I try to remember exactly what happened I know that there is at least one, probably two events that have slipped my mind. What made it so particularly dramatic was that many of these events had the potential to change things fundamentally, but, in the end, I made it out unscathed.

The most recent of all these moments was that our band rehearsal on Tuesday night turned out to be a Covid hotspot, as one of us had apparently become infected at that stage. By Friday evening four of the nine of us had tested positive, and late on Saturday night I was pinged and told to self-isolate, even though I had tested negative, and still do.

From the sharp end of the experience I can tell you that the NHS app and the NHS Test And Trace system have given me different dates for the end of my quarantine, and that the notion that Our Glorious Leader might, just might not have the app on his phone so that he can avoid this kind of thing is particularly irksome. I hunted around for some kind of previously unknown “pilot scheme” to grab onto but I do not think that I have the right contacts.

Anyway, here I am at the beginning of what should be a quiter week – I cannot go out, after all – and feeling as though I have not just dodged the proverbial bullet but somehow emerged from a hail of lead unscathed. Heavens, I even managed to get some composing done last week in the middle of all the chaos, continuing with the work on the symphony and throwing down as many preliminary ideas for the new cantata as I can.

Talking of cantatas, there was some good news as well, for it looks as though the Cantata Of Saint Dunstan (remember that?) will get its long-delayed first performance in November. By that stage I have no doubt that I will have forgotten most of the piece, so it will be interesting to go back to it and feel how things have changed. It will also be a reminder of the time I wrote it, which seems like a very long time ago indeed, even though it was only 2019.