But there’s no cringe there.

Very difficult getting myself out of bed today, eventually I manage it at about 6:50. Into the shower and from there to the ballroom and Sitting, and from there to breakfast.

After breakfast

10:30 – house work: rearranging the Ballroom for some, I make some space for Mikael to move in (not a major undertaking) and do some cleaning in the bedroom. Complete eventually.

12:00 – I crash out until just before lunch. And then there’s lunch.

15:00 – we begin recording. Various shots at the different pieces we’ve been working on since returning from Italy. A break for tea, then we resume. When Christian goes off to collect Ignacio and Lourdes I call Aladdin… without harmonics and a quartet Kalihari, the latter just a bad call, the former… possibly uncomfortable, but useful to me. Then we break, greet I & L and gather in the green room at 18:15.

We encircle and ascertain that the name of this group is Yellow House Magic Orchestra, then go to play. Hmm. Having even such a small-but-perfectly-formed audience throws the flaws in the pieces I take responsibility for into stark relief, and I can see lots of things that I would change or cut or amend given the opportunity. But there’s no cringe there.

The original last tune of the set was Mirada but I call Zombies. I’ll stand by that decision even as it’s being pelted with rotten fruit. Encore – I call D major thumb circulation (A nice idea – I can see what I was trying to do) and then we play Stray Cat. A second encore is called for and we give Souk another shot, as it had rather a hard time in the main set. It goes better. I like it a lot.

In a sense this was this material’s chance, its window of opportunity. I think a lot of it could go further. We’ll have to see. A year ago, at Los Molinos, Hernan said to us "You are already accepted, but you must still apply". That’s been a bit of an aphorism for me this year.

So. The material’s been played, it’s come out. Now it has to earn its keep.

Yes, let’s see.

After the Ballroom’s been returned to order we go to Hohenstaufen for dinner, and I return to the house with Christian and Sylvain and soon I go to bed.

So, a fracassette.

Up at 6:40, shower, then to the ballroom, Tai Chi and sitting. Breakfast. After breakfast, L4 AAD work – something new in the repertoire section – cool!

Reading and putting ideas together.

Setting up for lunch, then eating it.

At 14:30, a circle: we look at the written circulations and some of the other tunes we hope to record tomorrow. Tea. If I’d wanted to memorise lists of dogma I’d have become a full-time Buddhist. Housework – I vacuum the stairs and the hallway. When I move the potted plant to vacuum behind it I dislodge a considerable quantity of water from the pot, so I end up mopping the hallway as well. Afterwards I vacuum the bedroom. Feels good. More reading and a nap.

At 19:10 I begin to set up for dinner, and then we have dinner – pizza, left-over lasagne and marvellous apple things, selflessly provided by Mme Registrar. After dinner I wash up.

At 21:00 another circle – C major circulation; MK97 with multimedia presentation and various attempted strategies for fluidisation; Dollhead; an any-note circulation / general improvisation. I finish too quickly – a misjudgement – the talking starts almost immediately. Perhaps it wasn’t that great. So, a fracassette.

Various small tasks, some more reading and soon to bed. Tomorrow will be interesting and Monday, thank Goodness, a day off.

angels are, reputedly

Up at just after 6:30, shower then into the kitchen to begin preparing Breakfast, then to the Sitting, then the kitchen, and ring the bell at 8:15.

Completing the kitchen, I sweep and mop the floor, and throw crumbs out for the birds. Or at least bird. having one customer makes it worthwhile for me, anyway.

Lots of little jobs fighting for my attention, and I struggle through most of at some point during the day.

In the morning – apart from listening to a disastrous …evil at Treviso ("I didn’t come here to be humiliated! No, wait, yes I did…") I do the musical examples for chapter six of the Guildhall book, and begin looking for a stone angel to replace the tombstone on one of the Scholastic books. Then Lunch, and after Lunch a circle (Mika being absent) where we look at a lot of the stuff to be recorded at the weekend.

Tea and biscuits, and Mikrokosmos notes are distributed, then back to the Scholastic book again. The angel is proving tricky to track down, but then angels are, reputedly.

Somewhere around here I crash out for a while.

Generally uneventful until Dinner – very nice noodle pie by Christian – and revised MK notes which we are to learn by 21:00, when there is another circle – firstly a Mikrokosmos session, then another session that covers Tiki, Kalihari, Stray Cat, Moon With Grapes Dollhead and Zombies and possibly something else. G major circulation.

And I’ve just been reading on the internet and in a moment I’ll write an email and go to bed.

which become blood stains

Up at 6:45-ish, shower, notes, Sit, then Breakfast. I take some photographs of the snow and (after doing the tea and coffee); some ink splodges, which become blood stains due to the wonder of Photoshop.

Various bits of work take me through to quiet time (short sitting) and lunch.

After lunch, a circle – a look at the pieces we’ll be recording on Sunday. Possibly.

After this I prepare tea, and after Tea I give some money to the Treasurer and get back to work.

During the other quiet time, I sit again.

After dinner, an evening off – I trudge down to the garage to get evening off supplies, complete the tea and coffee, write an email and listen to some music. It appears I’ll be doing breakfast tomorrow, so soon to bed.

It’s race-against-time soup.

Up at about 6:50, shower, notes, then Sitting, then breakfast and after breakfast I wash up and sweep the dining room, the kitchen and the stairs.

Outside it has snowed considerably. The word "blizzard" might even be considered.

I am reintroduced to the wonderfulness of, among other things, technology.

At 10:45 there is a listening session: Vienna. Very informative. I leave to prepare lunch, then find I did so prematurely, then (when the session’s over) go to prepare lunch. Again. Sort of.

It’s race-against-time soup. I win the race.

After Lunch I put stuff in the washing machine.

I crash slightly, then am called by London and deal with a font.

After tea there’s a circle – Registrar-free, sadly – where we attempt to address the piece that I’ve decided shouldn’t be called Hot Souk (because that’s a really bad title) in some detail. After this I return to the font briefly and some other work, and take my washing out of the washing machine before it gets dark, because then it’d be very cold indeed.

At 7:00 I sit in the Ballroom until 7:30. Dinner is delayed until 7:40. Lasagne. Worth the wait.

At 20:45 we listen to the recordings that Sylvain made at the beginning of December, and then we listen to Teatro Miele. Again very instructive, at least to me. It does rock, perhaps responding to the edge that the Peavey monitors gave the sound. This has the nearest-to-acceptable version of Evil of the tour – temporally dodgy, but the feeling is very good. In terms of dynamics, it’s nailed right there.

It’s now soon after that session has finished and I’m considering imminent horizontality.

hopefully de-rusting

Up at 6:50, shower and into the Ballroom. Some notes and then the Sitting, then breakfast.

After breakfast, work on various small tasks that need to be done. Some Scholasticising: I take photographs of candles, for example.

Also a meeting with the Director, which I found very useful.

Lunch – I’m on setup – the food is cheese omelette.

After Lunch, a circle with me. Essentially a run through of the new tracks, introducing them to Christian and hopefully de-rusting after the day off.

Tea and biscuits. then back to the computer. Scholastic came through with fairly drastic changes to the cover I did for them. Which is to be expected.

Dinner is pasta by Christian. The registrar arrives late, and there is a lot of talk about the conscription policy throughout the world. I appear to be the only person around the table (this is before Mariana returns) untroubled by the threat of conscription. I’ve always thought it was a very strange policy as the effect it appears to have on the actual army is wholly negligable, but perhaps that’s the point.

The second bag of hand-made chocolates from Japan appears, this time chocolate truffles. Astoundingly wonderful. I save one for the Director.

I wash up after Dinner.

At 20:45 we look for the Vienna recording and end up listening to bits of a few of them and all of the dreaded Music School tape. I dreaded it, anyway. The sound quality seems to be very various, but very good.

After this I do some housekeeping on the computer, send an email, and I’ll be soon to bed.

This wandering process

Day off. late rise, followed by shower, then sitting, then:

Coffee and reading in the dining room.

I call Haru, who will, I’m very pleased to hear, be arriving soon.

I call London to discuss further Maisying.

More reading.

I go out as I am and walk the streets. This wandering process goes on for about four to five hours and encompasses lunch. I am sitting in a diner-type-place eating a hamburger, reading Meetings With Remarkable Men and listening to AC/DC. Just saying. Then I wander back. I buy some chocolate from Penny Markt.

The internet informs me about the late Mr Thompson, which makes me sad. A world is disappearing. Apart from the obvious, read Strange Rumblings in Aztlan if possible, the piece of political reportage that had the most effect on me when I was young.

I then go and get some dinner from Bambule, come back and listen to the mix CD I’ve made of Stuff I Listened To When I Was At College. Then I watch Ocean’s 11 on DVD.

That has just finished and I’ll go to bed soon.

That’s how I choose to translate it, anyway.

Up at 7:00, shower and then Sitting. Then breakfast, and after breakfast I practise in the ballroom for an hour.

A vaguer day than yesterday, researching things on the internet. Sadly, researching can become browsing if you’re not careful. I do find a lot of useful stuff, inadvertantly, that answers a lot of questions I’ve had recently.

At 12:30 I sit in the Ballroom until Lunch – rice and red sauce by M. Truchet.

At 14:30 there’s a circle – we run through what we have (including … Moon With Grapes) and work on the transitions in Hot Souk some more. I’m beginning to dislike that title: expect an imminent renaming of that tune.

There’ll possibly be even more material next week, who knows? Busy week, I suspect.

I have to nap after this.

The Director is with us for tea. As I enter the dining room I look at the three small bowls on the table and say "Where’s the chocolate cake? I expected chocolate cake!" I do not know why I say this.

At 18:00 I begin dinner preparation with Mika – the mysteries of the empa?ada, courtesy of Se?ora Siemenzcuk (is that spelled right?). A lot of preparation, making the dough and chopping vegetables for the filling. Mika puts the dessert in the oven. It’s chocolate cake.

Mariana assists with the empa?adification process, and at 19:30 we’re on.

It is established that the word empa?ada? can be translated as embreaded (embedded in bread). That’s how I choose to translate it, anyway. Your mileage may vary.

We complete the dinner, then wash up and sweep and mop.

Now it’s an evening off. I don’t know exactly what this will entail, but I’m guessing not LAN Tron.

(which doesn’t feel very Aladdin-ish, really)

Up at 6:30 and into the shower, and then to the kitchen to begin preparing breakfast. At 7:30 I go to the sitting, then back to the kitchen. So at 8:15, breakfast, then clearing up.

After completing breakfast, I do L4AAD practise – again, mostly right hand – then back to the Scholastic stuff. I’m looking for the right death’s head image, if you please, for a children’s book. Obviously children who don’t scare easily.

During quiet time, I sit in the Ballroom.

After lunch, I begin making bread – feeding the yeast, then mixing and first kneading of the dough. I leave it to rise, as there’s a circle, and we finally pin down the structure to be imposed on the piece we began in the circle the other day. Partly this involves nicking something from the circle last night. Mika is out of the house, so we’ll introduce it to him later. I’ve decided that, for the time being, it’s called Hot Souk, this is until something better appears. Also, Mariana and Daniel play the bits they can remember from the Aladdin piece (which doesn’t feel very Aladdin-ish, really); and I like it like that – just those two parts. Also a quick, sparse, run through Zombies.

I’m feeling a lot happier about it all, really.

After the circle I knead the dough, divide it into three loaves and leave it to rise again.

And I feel happier still when, after tea, I photograph the trees and sky in the back garden for the cover and then find the perfect death’s head picture.

Again, I use quiet time to sit.

After dinner (and dessert!); there’s a circle at 9:00 – Hot Souk, Kalihari, Tiki and Zombies. I’m finding it difficult to focus, and the circulations are all over the place.

After the circle, the bread finally goes in the oven. There’s a lot of creative energy around again, which relieves me somewhat.

More work on the cover – it’s almost done, although I’m sure the art director will want a lot of changes – take the bread out of the oven and soon to bed.