Somehow we managed to cling to the liferafts last week and make it through. Dylan – who, from all the enquiries, appears to be the actual star of this blog – was up and down again over the week, to the extent that when I headed off to work on Saturday morning I gave him a long and possibly final cuddle, as I suspected that he might not have been there any more by the time I made it back on Sunday night. However, absence clearly makes the appetite grow fonder, for he began eating again and got back to something approaching maximum Dyl, which is where we would like him to stay for as long as he can.

Musically there were some good things going on, although the weight of everything else has definitely got in the way of my writing. We, being Parliament Choir and Bar Choral Society, performed a very fine concert in a very hot St. John’s, Smith Square on Wednesday evening of Vaughan Williams’ music. The Serenade To Music was particularly impressive.

I was then in St. Albans on Saturday to play for a study day which included music from Walton to Letanka and much in between. Members of Parliament Choir were involved in this as well as guest singers, and with the other choirs were producing a fantastic sound, especially in the tricky writing of the Walton Coronation Te Deum. It was a long day, with a decent amount of driving either side, but well worth it for the results.

Then on Sunday morning I was at Hampstead, where our cantor utterly beguiled the congregation with a couple of Hildegard antiphons, continuing the wave of good feeling that is accompanying the music there. Shortly after the service I put pen to paper and am now officially Head Of Music at the church, which feels very exciting, especially as we have ambitious plans to keep on building and improving.

I am keeping my connection with Mabbots, though, and on Thursday I shall be there in the evening for an anniversary concert celebrating Kensington’s greatest composers, the list of which includes (checks notes) me! Tucked in among the Parry, Stanford, Walton, Howells and Boyce will be my St. Mary Abbots Jubilate and a couple of movements of the Missa Loquebantur Variis Linguis, both of which were written for the building. Appropriately enough, the weekend will see me with members of Parly Choir, and then at Hampstead and Mabbots, which look like becoming the pillars of the next part of my life, entities I have been joyously associated with for over twenty years and which look like seeing me through for at least a few more yet.