The 31st December is always best reserved for reflection, and what better way to reflect on a year which has involved huge amounts of both rain and travel than whilst driving on the M11 in a rain storm after visiting Lisa, Mark and Poppy in Huntingdon; the very people who encouraged me to start writing this blog in the first place?
It has been, by all accounts, a remarkable year for me. I've had two BBC films broadcast; Hattersley and 100 Faces (which have to be amongst the best films I've ever made) and witnessed the premier of two major community choral compositions; Ebor Vox in York and the Fleet Singers', Songs About The Weather in Hampstead Town Hall.
Of course the big focus of 2012 for me was the London Requiem; my first ever album release, the subject of eleven online films and probably the greatest artistic achievement of my life. The premier of that piece, amongst the Victorian graves of Abney Park cemetery on the one sunny day in September, was one of the most spiritual and emotional experiences of my existence. Furthermore, discovering that a Canadian lady had gone to her mother's bedside the day before she died and played her the Requiem recording is probably one of the greatest honours of my life. Hearing from people who have been touched by your work is about as good as it gets for a composer and many people have written to me this year.
Apart from being poorer than a church mouse, I genuinely don't have anything to grumble about at the moment. I've travelled to Germany, Italy and Ibiza, I've felt supported, had adventures, intriguing encounters and good health. I've worked with some remarkable people, met Sooty and Sweep, recorded Tanita Tikaram, Maddy Prior and Barbara Windsor, visited Cumbria and Cornwall for the first time (my last two British counties) and strengthened friendships.
Thank you to every single one of the readers of this blog for being interested enough to read my ramblings over breakfast. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a peaceful, successful, creative, inspiring and loving 2013. Remember life is there to be taken, so if you're miserable, lonely, or dissatisfied, there's only one person in the world who cares enough to put things right. Go shake things up!
"Happy New Year, Happy New Year. May we all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend.
Happy New Year. Happy New Year. May we all have our hopes, our will to try, if we don't we might as well lay down and die."