Well, if you are going to get back to proper choral singing you might as well get back with a bang and dive in with one of the greatest works in the repertoire. Thus it was that, after a decent amount of bemasked greetery and catching up, we ploughed into the opening Kyrie of the Bach Mass in b last night with Parly Choir at around half past six.

I had expected a tricky rehearsal, for our usual venue is definitely not up to Covid protocols, so the space we were using yesterday was much more open and resonant than we were used to, added to which we had not met in person for many a month. These arrangements can be difficult at the best of times, but my worries were to prove to be unfounded.

As it turned out, all that work on Zoom has clearly had a benefit, for while there are moments of confusion in such a demanding and complex work, at least most of the singers knew what the notes were, even if placing them in the right place at the right time was sometimes proving to be challenging. It gives us a great base from which to build, and, with an intensive rehearsal schedule lined up now that we can actually rehearse again, I think that we are in the place we would have liked to be.

It was a strange weekend in many ways, my first proper session away from home for many a month, enlivened by an encounter with a very drunk and very aggressive neighbour in London which resulted in the police being called and a profoundly disrupted night’s sleep on Saturday. Thankfully all was quiet for the rest of the weekend and I was able to blunt the edge of my tiredness on Sunday, eventually arriving back home in Somerset around midnight just gone.

So it was definitely a case of being thrown back into something like normal life with all its joys and its travails, and many was the time that I had to double- and triple-check things that had once been instinctive. The pause button has been in effect for so long that it is not simply a case of picking up where we left off but of finding where all the loose threads have been dropped as well.