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Cummings: Will he stay or will he go?

This week we took advantage of the slight relaxation of the lockdown rules. Officially we could now meet other people on a one to one basis, outside, and remaining two metres apart. We did stretch this rule to including my wife, although by the end of the week we were feeling a little guilty of doing this. Particularly after the endless calls for Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, to resign due to his apparent flouting of the rules last month. He had driven from London to Durham with his wife, while suspecting he had the virus, to seek help with child care. In the process he made other journeys up in Durham. The press aren’t giving up on this, one member of the cabinet has resigned in protest, Conservative MP’s have called on him to resign or be sacked, but so far he is still in place.

Word reached my sister that we’d baked flapjacks last weekend so she cycled over with her husband to sit on our front wall and sample them with a cup of tea. The sun was shining and we chatted - it was lovely.

Later in the week we cycled over to a friend who lives on her own and we shared a bottle of Prosecco and a Bakewell tart in a local park. The park was full of people enjoying the sun, although everybody seemed to be keeping their distance (although I’m not sure if young children really understand the rules).

We also caught up with a couple who live on the edge of Epping Forest last weekend. We could park outside their house, enjoy a cup of tea and biscuit with them (we brought our own mugs and plates) and then go for a walk in the forest. Epping Forest is really beautiful, particularly at this time of the year, with dappled sunshine and fresh green leaves.


We continued on our TV viewing in the evenings. Normally I see very little TV as I’m so often working in the evenings, so it has been a bit of a treat to find some good dramas and be able to follow them through. The latest was one called “Normal People”, a romantic (and occasions pretty racy) tale of a girl and boy in school in Ireland, and then both at Trinity College in Dublin. Touching on issues of class, growing up, insecurities, abuse – we loved it!

I’ve received recording takes for my compositions back from friends and slotted them into my pieces. It’s really fun to hear them complete and sounding as I imagined, with an added bit of shine from my friend’s interpretations of what I’ve sent them. “Twickenham Effect” was at last finished this week.

I also finished a collaboration with a Norwegian clarinet player, Kenneth Johansen, who contacted me out of the blue. He arranged and recorded a version of a piece I knew called Misr’y and the Blues (played by Jack Teagarden) for me to add my trombone and vocal. A clarinet quartet and trombone – a first for me, but it worked very well.

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