After months of hard work, I've finally emerged out of one of the tunnels I've been in, and have a few precious days to enjoy the sun and fresh air before plunging headlong into the next tunnel, which is marked with a nice Victorian enamel plate reading "Move House".
I'd like to say that the train breaking down was a portent for the way that the pressure on me didn't quite let up, and that obstacles remained, but trains breaking down are a portent only of the terrible state of our rail system, and quite commonplace.
The concert itself was wonderful. The Sixteen are extremely talented early music singers, and they gave a beautiful performance of the Requiem. I've written before about my rather paradoxical atheist's love of religious music, and I'm particularly fond of Requiems1. I find them very meditative because the words and order of movements are always the same and familiar, so you can concentrate on losing yourself in the music. Their voices soaring and swelling to fill the Cathedral on the words lux perpetua will stay with me for quite a while.
I was back down to earth again with a bump when I checked my email on returning home and found that the grant had bounced back because of various problems I had to fix. Even after I'd fixed it and resubmitted, I found myself awake for hours from 2am. I kept getting a horrible lurching feeling in my stomach as I suddenly worried whether I'd remembered to attach this document, or fix that typo, all the time internally yelling at myself to just let it go, dammit and go to sleep.
Only when I had notification on Wednesday that it had finally, irrevocably gone to the funding body, and that I could no longer do anything about it, did I finally relax properly. Time to take a deep breath, catch some rays and look out for the mouth of that next tunnel.
1 For some reason, that plural doesn't seem quite right. I want to write 'requia'. â