Saturday 22nd December
It's been a non-stop year of organ consulting and concerts and I've loved every minute—well, nearly every minute—of it. The consulting work was bracketed by three Markets: the largely new organ at Market Bosworth which was finished by Cousans Organs and dedicated in March; planning the rebuilding and enlarging of the organ at Market Harborough, which Henry Groves will carry out in a year or so's time, and getting the green light from Market Deeping for Clevedon Organs to begin a restoration and improvement in January 2019. All very satisfying. 2019 will see me end my 29 years conducting Nottingham Bach Choir; doubtless the odd tear will be shed [by me!] as it's been a stimulating and wonderful run, with so many musical highlights. The photographs are of an organ on which I reported this week. My final survey of the year, and very much a one-off!
Sunday 2nd December
When people ask "How are you enjoying retirement", what they must mean is "from Southwell Minster", because 'retirement' as such is years ahead! Take this past eight days, for example—a fairly typical week: Saturday Nov 24, rehearsing and conducting a monumental performance of Elgar's The Apostles with Nottingham Bach Choir; during the week, writing two long organ reports, then driving to Devizes to begin advising another church. Plenty of organ practice in between and then a trip to Oxford to give an organ recital on Saturday Dec 1 at New College—the organ of my undergraduate years. And tomorrow, Monday 3rd? Off again to an organ-builders to inspect work on an exciting project for Orford parish church. Retirement? You must be kidding!