Friday, 10 January 2014


The weather was stunningly beautiful this morning, but just after lunch the heavens opened and it turned miserable again; such awful news for the areas of Britain which are already flooded. Some of the upper reaches of the Thames in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire look positively apocalyptic at the moment, and I worry desperately for Michelle of the Turkie, who told me during lunch on Monday that the flood water was lapping no more than ten meters from her house.

Wonderfully, the lovely Fleet Singers have just got the funding through to commission me to write another piece for them, but, tragically, because of Brass and the music I'm writing for the Kaleidoscope Trust, there's no way I'm going to be able to deliver anything by April, which is what they were hoping for. I'm so disappointed. I have my fingers firmly crossed that they'll be able to make things work for a performance later in the year, as I'd so very much like to work with them again.

Today was rather productive on the work front. I managed to write the big love song from Brass this morning, which inches me closer to a stage where I can start finessing and developing the music which has been pouring out of me for the last two months. There remain very few songs in the piece now which I haven't at least played around with, although quite how long it's going to take me to plan and write the dance music for the show, I've no idea. It's vital I nail this particular aspect, but it's way out of my comfort zone. There are composers who actually specialise in writing dance arrangements for Broadway shows because it's such a specific skill. Who knows if it's a skill I'll convincingly be able to pull off!

It's Tina's birthday today and we went out for a fish and chip supper in a lovely restaurant on Gabriel's Wharf over-looking the river. I had a portobello mushroom "tower" which was rather tasty, followed by a honey comb cheese cake, which promised more than it delivered!

We came home via Waterloo, past a man who had collapsed on the ground and was surrounded by station staff and police. Slightly worryingly, they brought a load of portable screens out - the sort of thing you get in hospitals - which they used to protect the man from the prying rubber-necking eyes of the rest of the station. Unfortunately, the man had fallen or collapsed at the top of the tube escalators, so I was forced to pass right by. Of course, I did the wrong thing and looked back. They always tell you never to look back. There was blood all over the floor. So much of the stuff. A bright red pool on the alabaster concourse tiles. Heaven knows what had happened to the poor bloke, but he wasn't moving, and the police didn't seem to be tending to him. Perhaps they didn't want to touch him before the paramedics arrived. I worry he was already dead.

It's episodes like this that remind you of the fleeting, cruel, randomness of life. One moment you're coming up the escalator at Waterloo, the next you're lying motionless on the stone cold floor in a pool of blood, surrounded by absolute strangers.

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