He actually told me that the concert was in Colchester, and it was only when my brother (who was also coming) phoned to say that there wasn't a cathedral in Colchester, that we realised Nathan hadn't read his emails properly!
It turns out that Chelmsford is a great deal nearer to London than Colchester, and even closer to my parents' house in Thaxted. Sadly they were in the Midlands watering their roots, so we weren't able to turn the day into a family occasion.
The concert was fabulous. It was a Rotary Club fundraiser for two local hospices and featured a wonderful male voice choir conducted by our mate, John, and a gaggle of glorious girls with pre-Raphaelite hair from the local school for posh people. There's something uniquely stirring about a male voice choir, and John writes wonderful arrangements, which really show them off. The girls were singing and playing the most extraordinary repertoire for a school which included Purcell, Schubert and Vivaldi. They were hugely impressive, but made me feel incredibly sad.
Music is definitely becoming the terrain of the privileged. Michael Gove's policies will mean that music will all but disappear in state schools within a generation and kids with inherent talent will never have the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of music-making. My mate Debbie is already teaching GCSE music as an after school club. How can this be possible? If it weren't for the county music service in Northamptonshire which provided free instruments and my wonderful state junior school, which placed music right at the top of the teaching agenda, I would not be composing now. It's as simple as that. My family were not in a position to be able to buy me my own cello until my Nana died when I was a teenager. Without music in schools I would be nothing. I hate Gove. I hate him. Ironically, my ex partner is his opposite number in parliament, but I don't know that his policies would be any better.
I've just had a row with Nathan about my awful driving. It seems every time I get behind the wheel next to him I start to panic because I know he's going to criticise what I'm doing. The panic causes me to drive like an imbecile, which puts him on edge and there it is: the perfect viscous cycle. Can anyone think of a way to break this, other than my simply refusing to drive?
Answers on a post card.