Having been the recipient of not one but two lockdown birthdays, the stars finally aligned last week and I got to enjoy a very, very late fiftieth birthday present, which was a few days away from home on the south coast in a hotel which was so welcoming that we have already booked a return visit. After so long being forced to do nothing by the ominous quiet in the artistic world it was ditinctly refreshing to be able to choose to do nothing for a few days, and I strolled along the beach, perused market stalls, sat in coffee shops, and ate and drank with probably just a little more than elegant sufficiency.

I was right back into things on Saturday, though, up at half past four in order to get to London for a full day of work with Parliament Choir as our Bach concert preparations enter their final phase. Under the baton of Simon Over we went at the piece with real enthusiasm and energy, and it feels very much as if we are definitely past the stage of singing the notes, instead performing the music. If ever a piece deserved such an approach, the Bach is it.

I hooked up with a fellow gamer on Saturday evening, but Sunday saw me completely knocked out in terms of tiredness, the combination of complete relaxation during the week followed by a couple of viciously early starts taking the wind right out of my sails. I made it through the day, but I was definitely grabbing snoozes as and when I could in order to be able to stay functioning until the evening.

As my to do list continues to shed the residue of the lockdowns I am able to focus more on current and future projects, and I have come up with some decent ideas for the new orchestral piece which I think should work rather well. Once a couple of things this week and the Bach concert next week are out of the way then there should be time to go back to the manuscript with a vengeance, at least in the small gap before the carols start up.

Carol season looks as though it should bring a couple of performances of my music with it, which is good news, and there might even be another performance or two before the year is out, while 2022 is already shaping up in half decent fashion. I feel as though I have emerged from my sabbatical and the subsequent pandemic in a better place than I might have expected, while still being able to find time to relax, even if I do not think that I am quite back into the rhythm of a few years ago.