One of the weirder sensations in an absurdly busy week was being told by Charles and Camilla to Mind the gap! while I was waiting for the tube at Hounslow Central on Sunday morning. That would be the gap between social strata, I assume, but the oddity of it all was only surpassed by my disappointment that they did not then join together to say See it, say it, sorted! as well, which really would have had me breaking out the bunting. It was all part of the morning-after-the-night-before Hampstead experience, at which we had an augmented choir plus trumpeter performing Howells, Stanford and Byrd, and spectacularly well, I have to say. Again, just as at Elizabeth’s funeral, the music seems once more to be the talking point, at which point I can do no better than to quote Flora Willson, who hit the nail on the head:

…to step into the spotlight at such vital moments, musicians need to be trained and supported, their world-class skills recognised and celebrated – not as the result of miracles, but of phenomenally hard work.

Talking of hard work and not miracles, on Monday I flew back from Rome through (another) French air traffic control strike, and the reverberations from the Gerontius concert continue to be felt, not least because the entire thing – from speeches to bows – is now available online as filmed by a proper TV channel, and therefore looks and sounds pretty impressive. I am still at the stage where it all feels slightly unreal, but I am sure that I shall return to the video at some point and eventually it will sink it that it really did happen. I also particularly liked the message I received which described me as “a lighthouse on a stormy night, giving us light to clear the rocks and arrive at our destination.” I have been called many things in my time, but I am definitely going to cling to this one.

The rest of the week, after catching up with various bits of administration on Tuesday, was something of a blur. I was playing for funerals in Glastonbury on both Wednesday and Thursday, and performed at the church’s lunchtime recital on the second of those two days (finishing with an arrangement of Crown Imperial for good measure), then on Friday morning I was in London (school service) and on Saturday I was back in Somerset for a RetroChic gig which was enlivened when a fight broke out (in the audience, not the band) during our second set.

The calm before the storm.

I think that some of the dancing had been maybe a dab too enthusiastic for one particular member of the audience, or maybe somebody had simply expressed a notably insensitive opinion about the seating arrangements at Westminster Abbey that morning, but it all kicked off at one point, while we gallantly continued to play. My favourite moment in all that excitement was when David, our guitarist, turned to me and said “Country and Western…” but apart from the fisticuffs all was fine and dandy, even if I was very tired on Sunday, thanks to the late arrival in London and subsequent early start.

For the rest of this week things calm down at last for the first time in about a month, and I can certainly feel the need to get back to my projects. I fully intend to finish the first draft of the symphony this week, so please have words if next Monday’s blog entry does not mention this, and I also have a couple of bits of arranging to get done, one fairly easy and the other more substantial. And there at the end of the week, on Sunday afternoon at 3, is the first performance of my Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on C at St. Luke’s, Chelsea as part of the LFCCM, which looks as though it will be streamed online. After all the playing and directing and rehearsing of the past month it is heartening to be reminded that I am at heart a composer, so now it is back to the manuscript to get on with my own music.