We're in a beautiful Tudor manor house in deepest, darkest (and I mean darkest) Devon. I was working in the car on the way here, so I have very little concept of where exactly we are, but we appear to be somewhere near Launceston. We're here to celebrate our friend, Tobias' 30th anniversary of coming to the UK from Brazil... And what a wonderful way to celebrate becoming English! We're convinced the house is haunted. All of us have already either seen shadows or heard voices where none should have been. Legend says that, at 2.30am, a man called William will roam the house making a right old racket. I await that event with great excitement.
We're having a very heated conversation about gun grime with an American who is talking a great deal about the need for people, above anything else, to defend their homes and property. I feel that's a particularly American argument which probably has its roots in their constitution.
On our way down here we stopped off at Nathan's father and step mother's house in Weston-Super-Mare and had a lovely mid-journey cup of tea and a chocolate muffin.
We got here at about five pm and took ourselves off on a walk into the countryside as the sun set. The air in these parts is wonderfully fresh and just before the sun vanished behind the distant hills of Exmoor the entire world seemed to turn a glorious shade of Amber.
This evening we turned all the lights off in the house and went outside to look at the stars. I've seldom seen a better, brighter display. Apart from seeing two shooting stars, we were able to see a number of constellations in an entirely new light. The Milky Way stretched in a long bright stripe right over our heads. It was an utterly magical sight.
It's too late to write any more. Whilst everyone chats and eats and has fun, I have one eye on the computer. We worked out today that the material associated with Brass which I'm delivering to Rogers and Hammerstein is composed of 850 individual files: 34 separate pieces of music, 21 instrumental parts, three whole full scores... It seems a little more reasonable to have gone mad as a result!!