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Running a 66 piece orchestral session with StaffPad…

I recently had a 66 piece orchestral session and decided to produce all scores and parts with StaffPad alone. This is stretching the pu...

Monday, December 12, 2011

New album

Here's a pic of my new album for Artful. I'm also working on a new commercial release for Chillville...Details to come soon.

TX dates...

Highland Emergency is on every Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30PM and on Saturdays at 11.20am all on Channel 5 and Channel 5 HD.

Airline USA is still playing on weekday evenings at 8pm and 8.30pm (ET) on Lifetime (LRM) in the US.

Online drama Signs Of Life can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/signsoflife .

Monday, November 21, 2011


Here's a wintery Sun hanging low in the sky in the afternoon at Tumbledown Studio. It's getting very chilly now and the trees have shed most of their leaves.

We've been busy syphoning the wines into fresh demijohns and bottles and giving them a preliminary taste on the way!!! The first batch of pear wine is refreshingly dry and has a very subtle blush. The apple is sweeter but balanced with a nice acidity...Very apply, in fact!!!

Continuing the drinks theme, the pear brandy and apple schnapps are both ready and very nice indeed. The pear brandy is subtly sweet and has a nice roundness and the apple schnapps is very fresh.

It was Stir Up Sunday yesterday which is when the Xmas pudding is made. Hopefully this years will be as good as last years!!!

Music on TV...

Highland Emergency is now on Thursdays at 7.30pm on Channel % and Channel 5 HD.

Airline USA is still playing on weekday evenings at 8pm and 8.30pm (ET) on Lifetime (LRM) in the US.

Online drama Signs Of Life can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/signsoflife .

Thursday, November 03, 2011


We had the first frost of the year last night, but it remains very mild and sunny for an English November. Pheasants have begun to make an appearance in the garden and the grass has stopped growing with it's usual speed.

We've been here for a whole year now and have seen the garden go through a full yearly cycle, so we've been changing things for next year. We've been moving plants around and removing others entirely to get a softer look that's more suitable for a house that was built around 1580.

A JCB dug up the gravel from the front garden and ten tons of porous ballast was added to level it. The gravel was then replaced and a border and path of reclaimed bricks was added. This has made the front a lot more welcoming. A new picket fence and gate in the middle will be added soon to complete the structure and the borders are being planted with lavender (to join the beech hedge that was planted last year) and roses and a mixed bed in the corner...Nice!!!

I've got three TV projects on the go at the moment...More news later!!!
TX news...
The new series of Highland Emergency continues on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Five and Five HD with a repeat on Saturdays at 11am.
My Cypriot Kitchen has two double bills at 12 noon and 5pm on Discovery Travel and Living on weekdays.
Airline USA is now playing on weekday evenings at 8pm and 8.30pm (ET) on Lifetime (LRM) in the US.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here's Buz the cat having a snooze on one of the last of the sunny days last week. The weather has changed...It feels like Autumn now, although it's still warmer than usual for the time of year.

The new crops have started to grow which is giving the fields a green tinge, but the leaves are now falling from the trees giving them a wintery look.

I had a nice trip to Copenhagen since my last post...I went to meet my Scandinavian sub-publishers who are based in the city centre and are very nice people. It's a great city and was a chance to eat at one of my favourite restaurants, Riz Raz. I did it as a day trip which worked out really well. It was quite a long day, much of it waiting at the airports, as I always like to give myself plenty of time in case there is a long queue at security.

I've been playing the fretless on a few jobs recently which is always good. I've got a Warwick Streamer LX Jazzman 5-string which is great to play and makes a lovely sound through the Universal Audio 6176.

TX news...

The Hottest Place On Earth is on BBC HD on Monday 17th October at 10pm.

The new series of Highland Emergency continues on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Five and Five HD with a repeat on Saturdays at 11am.

My Cypriot Kitchen has two double bills at 12 noon and 5pm on Discovery Travel and Living on weekdays.

Airline USA is now playing on weekday evenings at 8pm and 8.30pm (ET) on Lifetime (LRM) in the US.

Monday, October 03, 2011

End of Summer tomorrow

Summer certainly is going out with a bang...We had a wonderful weekend of temperatures approaching 30C, very unusual for October in England. The last sunny day has been forecast for today with a change tomorrow and rain later in the week. Well, it was nice while it lasted!!!

The apples are now ready, so we've begun picking...The pear wine hasn't finished fermenting yet, so the apple wine will have to wait for a while. I don't think we'll be able to hang on to them for the cider press which is at the end of the month, so no Tumbledown scrumpy this year.

The Koi carp and assorted goldfish and common carp which were in the pond we inherited when we moved in have been given a very good home in a double filtered pond nearby. Our pond was a natural pond which had a liner fitted to make it into a carp pond. Unfortunately, it was far too big and had too many trees overhanging, which dropped leaves and twigs into it, to make it work. Also, the liner had water under it which lifted the liner and pulled it away from the side, resulting in a big drop in the level of water. So, we have decided to change it back to a natural pond by removing the liner and encouraging rushes and natural plants.

I'm keeping very busy musically...I have a couple of TV projects on the go which I will blog about soon. I've also heard that Banquet Royale, the short film, is finished and will be screening later this year. I'm busy on a couple of albums for Artful too and am now pretty nifty on Cubase 6 and Halion Sonic SE. I've also had a play with Melodyne which is an amazing program. It can analyse a polyphonic audio track so that you can get into the notes and change individual notes in a chord...Very clever!!!

TV TX...

The new series of Highland Emergency continues on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Five and Five HD with a repeat on Saturdays at 11am.

New Home DIY is on virtually all day on Saturday 8th October and into the early hours the next day.

The same goes for The Water Boatman on 9th October on Discovery Shed too!!!

Airline USA is now playing on weekday evenings at 8pm and 8.30pm (ET) on Lifetime (LRM) in the US.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New album

Based on my countryside explorations and exploits...Here is my latest album for Artful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Knut And Friends

Knut And Friends is showing on Eden and Eden HD at 11am today - Also on Eden+1 at 12 noon - All music in 5.1 and written to picture by me. :-)
It's the story of the popular polar bear raised at Berlin Zoo paralleled with the early lives of two brown bears in the wild.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aphrodite At The Water 'Ole

I found this when out exploring on my bike recently. Henry Moore used to live in these parts and his home and estate are now managed by The Henry Moore Foundation. I cycled on a footpath that goes through some of this land and came across the huge sculpture above. I'm not a particularly visual person, but I have to admit that this was quite impressive as it loomed up!!!

The pears have finished...Quite a relief, as we were beginning to wonder what to do with them.The apples look like thy'll be ready soon and we have a batch of apple and mint jelly on the go already!!!

Here are a few shows using my music on TV this week...

Highland Emergency series 3 is on Channel 5 at 11.15am on Saturdays and 7.30pm on Wednesdays...Also on the HD channel.

Knut And Friends is on Eden and Eden HD on Monday 19th September and an hour later on Eden+1.

The Water Boatman continues its double bill from 10pm on Tuesdays on Discovery Shed.

My Cypriot Kitchen Continues on Weekends and Mondays on Discovery Realtime.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

...en Forme de Poire

Time for the pear harvest!!! It feels like we've had millions of them off our one pear tree and we've been busy making pear puree, pear cake, pear pie, pear sorbet, pear wine etc... We're also going to be trying pear brandy and are looking for a good recipe.

It won't be long before the apples start. We've got a Bramley tree and another very fragrant eater. Unless the cider pressing day is bought forward, we'll be making wine with them this year rather than scrumpy.

I have a TX date for the third series of Highland Emergency which I wrote the music for...The series begins on Channel 5 on Wednesday 14th September at 7.30pm...Also on Channel 5 HD at the same time.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Radio Bialystok now live!!!

My music is now live on the news bulletins in Radio Bialystok...Just heard it on the top of the hour news bulletin at http://internetowe.radio.bialystok.pl/ . Very exciting!!! Many thanks to Rafal and all at Apollo!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Autumn Almanac

Beautiful sunset over Much Hadham last week...Definite feel of Autumn in the air, but with the possibility of a few nice sunny days left!!!

The harvest is continuing...There are a few cornfields left which were held up by a couple of recent bursts of rain. In fact, the weather has been pretty cold recently, so we've ordered our first batch of logs already!!!

The apples and pears are ripening early, so I'm not sure if we'll get them to the cider press day in time. So we'll be trying wine instead of scrumpy if this happens.

I'm continuing my work with Cubase 6 and am finding it very good still.

TV picks for this week...

Highland Emergency is showing on 5* on weekend afternoons.

The Water Boatman double bill is on Tuesdays at 10pm Discovery Shed.

My Cypriot Kitchen begins a run on PIK1 in Cyprus at 7.30pm on Saturdays.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I do have a bit of a one track mind in that I tend to think about music rather a lot!!! However, I do have a few other interests...One being listening to the radio. Ever since I was a small boy, I've enjoyed picking out distant radio broadcasts from the static. This is probably why I find writing music for radio stations so exciting, particularly when they're a long way away...It's exciting to know that my music is being listened to by people around the world!!!

So, I was very excited when Radio Bialystok in Poland asked me to provide music for their 24 hour news bulletins. You can also hear my music on Radio Plzeň, Radio Pardubice, Radio Hradec Králové, Radio Ostrava, Radio Sever and Radio Brno in the Czech Republic. Many thanks to my publishers at Apollo Poland and Studio Fontana for making this possible!!!

I am still enjoying my new hobby of off-road cycling despite nearly falling off in order to avoid running over two foxes and a weasel (not at the same time!!!).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I've been watching the progress with the harvest as I cycle round the footpaths and bridleways. There was a but of a hitch earlier this year when some heavy rain started some new growth under the crops which needed to be dealt with, but the weather has been very good. Bit by bit, the combines have been making their way across the fields, closely followed by the plough.

All this activity has inspired another piece called Harvest Sun...I'll post pics of it when it's finished.

TV news...

Octopus Volcano is running this week on Nat Geo Wild and also on their HD channel.

Wednesday 17th at 2pm
Thursday 18th at 1am
Sunday 12am at 12am

I'd love to know if anyone is watching these in HD with surround sound!!! All the music was mixed in 5.1.

The Water Boatman continues on Discovery Shed on Tuesdays with a double bill starting at 10pm.

My Greek Kitchen is on many times over the weekend on Discovery RT and DMAX.

...and I should have news soon about TX dates for the new series of Highland Emergency.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Moleskine Sessions

I reckon that my appreciation of Moleskine notebooks has been noticed by readers of this blog by now. I use the pocket reporter notebook to note down any ideas and reminders and the pocket music notebook for sketches and even complete pieces.

Although I love using Cubase and Sibelius and the various software programs and plugins that are available these days, I find that there is nothing quite like putting pencil to paper, particularly when out and about for getting fresh and novel ideas recorded for later use. I've written a couple of complete pieces in there too…‘The Shipping Forecast On Lundy’ for oboe and string orchestra and ‘That Which Rolls’ for flute, Bb clarinet, harp and string quartet.

Both pieces are very influenced by ‘Pataphysics. I am sure that I will continue to enjoy the writings of Alfred Jarry, but I think that this will be my last '‘Pataphysical pieces' for a while as I feel that it is beginning to get in the way of the music. Here are the pieces presented as photographs of my notebook.

That Which Rolls
...for Flute, Bb clarinet, harp and string quartet.
This was written on and inspired by my cycle journeys around the footpaths and bridleways which are close to where I live.

The Shipping Forecast On Lundy
...for oboe and string orchestra.
Written on the island of Lundy which is in the Bristol Channel. I wrote this three piece suite after hearing the BBC Shipping Forecast and realising that I was in one of the places mentioned.

On TV this week...

Engineering Ancient Egypt, More 4 Sat 6th at 10pm (and +1)
Engineering Ancient Egypt, More 4 Sun 7th at 1.30am (and +1)
My Greek Kitchen and My Cypriot Kitchen continue on Discovery.
The Water Boatman is showing on Discovery Shed on Tuesdays at 10 and 10.30pm.
Central Steam is also on at weekends on Discovery too.

I'm just writing some more music for VenturaFilms and preparing for a visit for musical meetings in Dublin at the end of the month.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cubase 6

As the music I’m working on hasn’t got any serious deadlines, I’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade to Cubase 6. First impressions are very good.
The video handling is much improved, with sizeable windows and no need to specify the type of imported video file. The surround panner has been made larger and has more complex controls. I do miss the ‘in room’ speaker bars, but the mono/stereo input and 5.1 output meters on either side of the ‘room’ will be easy to get used to.

The new Halion Sonic plug-in is very intuitive and has some really nice sounds. The Mediabay is much nicer to look at and the whole look of the package is much softer.

So overall, I’m very pleased with it. My Ultimate Template loaded up without a problem so I’ll be testing it out over the next few weeks for stability.

On the wildlife front, the moorhen chicks are fledging and I think that, having observed the moorhen parents’ ‘behaviour’ recently, I think that there may be another clutch of eggs arriving soon!!!

We’ve spotted a sparrowhawk in the garden, so the smaller birds had better be extra careful and rabbits are becoming braver, but not yet nibbling at the vegetable plot.

The local fete went well in the Mission Hall Field nearby and had good weather although we’ve had lots of rain since. Our village won the tug o’ war!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

That Which Rolls

Originally uploaded by garry.judd

I started a new piece this week which is called 'That Which Rolls". It's for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet...Here is the title page!!!

My Greek Kitchen is on DMAX and discovery on many times over the next week and Giant Octopus is showing on Nat Geo Wild (and HD) on Wednesday 20th at 8pm.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tumbledown Studios

Originally uploaded by garry.judd

Lovely weather here in Hertfordshire!!! Moorhen chicks doing well...One piscine casualty probably due to an extra hot day last week. We also need to find a way to stop birds getting into the conservatory, because they're not always bright enough to find their way out again without help!!!

Talking of nice weather, My Greek Kitchen continues on DMAX on Sundays at 1.30pm and on +1 and +2...Beautiful weather, scenery and food.

Screenings went very well for the two jobs I had in over the past few weeks, so I am now getting a couple of albums ready for Artful and maybe an EP for Chillville...More news on that soon.

Monday, June 20, 2011


It's always great to get a nice email about some music I've written...Particularly when it comes from as far afield as Canberra, Australia, like the one I got today.

It was asking if the music for Escape To The Legion was available for purchase. I get asked this about various programmes I've written for quite often. Unfortunately, if the music was written especially for the programme, it's not made available to buy. However, I do have a lot of music on iTunes which is available for download...There is a link on the right hand sidebar which links directly to the albums that are available...Please check them out!!!

Workwise, I'm currently working on a short from VenturaFilms called Banquet Royale and a film for Jackdor Productions.

Back to wildlife news...We've spotted seven moorhen chicks on the lawn looking very fluffy and lively. We're keeping an eye on Buz the cat to make sure that he doesn't spot them too!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Power cuts and moles.

The herb garden is coming on nicely thanks to the recent rain!!!

I was about to start work on some music for a short film the other day, when the mains power switched off. I checked the main fusebox and all was well and then remembered that I'd had a letter through about a planned power outage which I'd put aside and forgotten about. I found the letter and it was the day of the power cut. So, after thinking myself lucky that it wasn't a couple of days later when I was expecting an editor in the studio to work on an ongoing project, I spent a pleasant morning hammering some ideas out at the steam piano.

At lunchtime, because I had nothing much to eat in the house that didn't need cooking (no mains gas here!!!), I was forced...Yes, forced to go to the village pub for lunch and a pint of Westons' Perry. It was a nice afternoon, so, using my Moleskine music notebook, I noted down some of the ideas I'd had for the film for string quartet in the garden.

The power came back on fairly soon after that, so I recorded the music part by part and was very pleased with it!!!

I bought a CPU as soon as we moved here, but the power has been very reliable. Nvertheless, I am looking into generators, just in case...Better safe than sorry!!!

Mentioning Moleskine has reminded me that we have some new arrivals in the garden, the new batch of moorhen chicks and a mole who has started throwing up some molehills under the shrubbery. Molehills are good for collecting and using to grow seedlings in.

There you go...There probably not many blogs that mention music composition and gardening tips in one post!!!

Monday, June 06, 2011

News and Weather...

At last a bit of rain in Hertfordshire!!! It's made the landscape a lot greener already and has topped the pond up.

Good news...There will soon be a new series of Highland Emergency with my music on ITV1. The show has it's own Wikipedia page HERE and its own website HERE

Here are a few other shows with my music which are on this week...

Knut And Friends...Wednesday and Thursday this week on Eden.
Engineering Ancient Egypt...Saturday and Sunday on More4
The Water Boatman...Tuesday 2pm (and +1) Discovery Shed.
Central Steam...Saturday 10pm (and+1) Discovery Shed.
Mission Implausible...Saturday and Sunday at 6pm (and +1) PICK TV.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moorhens and music...

We've had some lovely Spring days here in Hertfordshire. The wildlife is thriving with sparrows, blue tits and great tits nesting around the garden. Sadly, the first clutch of moorhen chichs didn't survive, but a second batch of eggs have arrived and are due to hatch in a couple of weeks, so good luck to them!!! A duck with three chicks has turned up from somewhere and they're whizzing around the pond like mad things.

I finally got round to putting the finishing touches to the suite for oboe and string orchestra which I wrote on Lundy earlier this year. It's called The Shipping Forecast On Lundy and was inspired by listening to the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4 and realising that I was actually in one of the featured places in the broadcast!!!

Speaking of travel, I'm pleased that I am at home now that another Icelandic volcano has erupted. While it was very nice to spend some extra time with my friends and family in LA because of Eyjafjallajökull, one month was far to long to be away from home!!! Hopefully, Grimsvotn won't be as disruptive...Although it would be interesting to see the sky empty of contrails...Something I didn't see last year.

Village Green Studio has been busy...I'm just finishing the 5.1 documentary I mentioned a few blog posts ago. As often happens, I'm leaving the opening sequence until last so I can write the music to picture and get the title music in the right place. It's been an interesting project and has involved a lot of different music influences...More news soon.

I still have Cubase 6 to load up into the music computer, but I won't do this until I am 'between jobs' just in case!!! :-)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Diana Years

I've noticed that, due to the Royal Wedding at the end of this week, a documentary series I wrote the music for quite a while ago has been reshowing on a couple of channels...The Diana Years. I'll post details if I spot it repeating again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tumbledown Scrumpy and Parsnip Wine

Tumbledown Parsnip Wine
Originally uploaded by garry.judd

When we moved into our new home, we inherited a veg patch and some fruit trees. We made pickled onions and beetroot and apple puree, but thought that we'd better do domething really useful and make some *booze*.

We took a load of apples to nearby Hopleys Nursery in Much Hadham where they had an apple juicing day and got a demi-john full of juice. We just put an airlock on and left it to ferment naturally with natural yeast. It started out a muddy brown colour, but as it fermented, it got lighter and looked like a rather nice scrumpy.

Yesterday was the tasting day!!! Unfortunately, a slip with the syphon sent the lees moving and clouding the scrumpy, so I've left it to settle again. However, I did get a tiny amount out to taste. It's very dry with a slightly vinegaryness to it. Doesn't sound too good in that description, but I've had worse!!! I've decided to syphon it into a new demi-john and to see if I can get it refermenting with a bit of sugar.

We also inherited two rows of parsnips...Many more than we needed for a winter of roast dinners, so we made a couple of gallons of parsnip wine. This is what the pic above is.

It's a lovely golden colour and has the consistency (and almost the strength) of a medium sweet sherry...It's very nice indeed and well worth the hours we spent boiling up the ingredients!!!

On the music front, I have just written a piece inspired by the septic tank.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Sticks

Allen Green
Originally uploaded by garry.judd

One of the unusual things about moving more into the countryside has been how much easier certain things are due to being near to a different set of bigger towns. For example, my journey time into London has been cut by a third and also, it's much easier to get my hands on tech gear in a hurry.

At the weekend, I needed to get a new comms computer and a couple of disk drives. Rather than buy online as usual (I needed them urgently), I took a short drive south, through Allens Green, past the really unusual semi-detached pub there (pic above), through High Wych, past Victoria and David Beckham's place and into the outskirts of Harlow where there is a PC World and a Maplins where I got my gear.

It was a lovely sunny day and beautiful countryside...Sad to think that some of this countryside is under threat of development...For details see http://www.stopharlownorth.com/ .

I bought a mini notebook for comms...I was hoping to use the iPad when out and about, but it's not suitable because of the inability to hook up a hard drive via USB. It's a neat little thing with a nice keyboard. I'll just be using it for Outlook, Word, Excel etc... and maybe Skype when I'm away, so hopefully that won't tax it too much!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Greek Kitchen, My Cypriot Kitchen

Beautiful Mediterranean scenery and wonderful food introduced by Tonia Buxton...With music by me!!!

I'm a big fan of Greek and Cypriot music, so it was a real pleasure to write music for these two programmes. I bought a bouzouki especially which records very well through the Neumann U87 and Universal Audio 6176. I'm hoping there'll be another series soon, so I can try the bouzouki through the channel strip emulations on the Focusrite Liquid Sapphire 56.

The shows are on this weekend...

My Greek Kitchen...

Saturday 16th, 0900 and 0930 and Sunday 17th at 1200 and 1230 on Discovery Health And Living.

My Cypriot Kitchen...

Saturday 16th, 1200 and 1330 on DMAX, repeated on DMAX +1 and +2.

Sunday 17th, 1100 on Discovery Realtime repeated on +1.

Hope the weekend weather is as nice as it will be on the TV...And don't forget London Greek Radio for some great music on 103.3 FM!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lost Tribe Of Palau

...with music by me is on National Geographic and Nat Geo HD at 9am on Sunday 17th April and repeated at 10am on Nat Geo +1.

This was a very interesting film to do as it required sounds from the Pacific such as conch shells to place the music geographically...Very interesting subject too!!!

All music was mixed in 5.1 but I'm not sure if the UK broadcasts support surround sound.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


St. Stephens Green, Dublin
Originally uploaded by garry.judd

Back from a promo visit to Dublin...That's a pic of St Stephens Green, just a few minutes walk from the centre of the city.

I took the chance to finish the rewiring of my studio on my return. All ins and outs are fully functional and 5.1 is now fully up and running.

I have a copy of the new Cubase 6 which I'd love to install, but I'm in the middle of writing some incidental music for a feature film and so I'll leave it until that's finished..Just to be on the safe side.

I'm still getting to grips with Cubase 5...I've found the folder tracks very useful in making an all purpose template for recording vocals, instruments and/or MIDI in stereo and 5.1 which will make starting a project much quicker and simple.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Village Green...

Originally uploaded by garry.judd

Had to dash to the postbox to send a DVD of surround mixes I've been working on for a documentary...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Originally uploaded by garry.judd

There's an interview with me on the AJA website...Here is the address...


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Shipping Forecast On Lundy

The Shipping Forecast On Lundy
Originally uploaded by garry.judd

Writing music on Lundy again!!!

This time a three part suite for oboe and string orchestra.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Wales This Week...More info...

Here is a link to Wales This Week. I arranged the title music for the show's relaunch...

Wales This Week

The show is on every Tuesday at 7.30pm.

Here are a few more shows over the next week which I wrote the music for...

Giant Octopus is on NatGeoWild and NatGeoWild HD  on 12th MArch at 10pm.

The Hottest Place On Earth is showing on BBC HD on Monday 14th March at 9pm

My Greek Kitchen is showing regularly on DMAX and Discovery Realtime.

Friday, January 14, 2011

That was the year that was...

What a strange year...It seemed to have gone really quickly and rather uneventfully, but looking back, it was packed with stuff!!!

In short, there was MIDEM in Cannes, several visits to Dublin, a few days in Lundy by helicopter, POPKOMM in Berlin at the Flughafen Tempelhof, holiday in Cannes, NAB in Las Vegas as part of a whole month in Southern California as a result of the volcano ash cloud which included a visit to family near San Diego, a trip to Santa Barbara and an earthquake, moved house and studio , music for three big TV series, a duo for violin and ‘cello, began an orchestral piece called Bluebird, a couple of wildlife films and theme tunes and a new biological nephew...Phew!!!

MIDEM was great and it was lovely to have our shot of sunshine and warmth in January. Lots of our sub-publishers travel to Cannes via London and it was a pleasure to show our American, South African , Danish and Japanese friends London from PARAMOUNT at the top of Centre Point. This is my favourite stop off in town and I could spend all day up there watching the tiny traffic and people below.

Dublin remains a great place to visit although the economic situation over there is bad. We discovered the Powerscourt Centre which is a nice collection of shops in the centre of Dublin around a grand space which houses a rather nice cafe/restaurant.

I went to the US for two weeks and ended up staying a month!!! I was one of the first people to have their flight cancelled...I was sitting in a restaurant in Pasadena with my US sub-publishers a couple of days before I was due to return when I got the text informing me of the cancelled flight. By the time I’d got through to the Virgin Atlantic call centre, the soonest replacement flight was in about a month!!! Over the next few days, I managed to get that reduced to couple of weeks. Rather than sit about and fret about it, I decided to go on a couple of trips and took a train to Santa Barbara. Unfortunately and very unusually, I took some British weather with me and it rained both days!!! The last day I was there, however, it was glorious and I had a good stroll and lunch in the town which is very nice...Lots of bright adobe houses and palm trees bordering the Pacific Ocean. I also took the opportunity to revisit family near San Diego and have a few more music meetings in LA. Virgin Atlantic were very good with my compensation and the girls kept the office running perfectly, so no harm done...Although it was great to come home and see Jane and the family and have a curry!!! In fact I had curry for three days in a row on my return...Lovely!!! Btw, NAB was great and I even won fifty buckaroos in the Bellagio which I spent on a rather nice dinner.

I paid a flying visit to Berlin for POPKOMM and met a few of our sub-publishers there. It was held in Tempelhof airport which I’ve wanted to visit for ages. It’s an extraordinary place and almost completely unchanged from the sixties when it was featured in Funeral In Berlin starring Michael Caine. Very atmospheric place. Sadly, I didn’t book in to the Ritz in Potsdamer Platz, which is the home of the Curtain Club which, at the moment, tops my Martini list. I wanted to stay in Tempelhof itself as it’s nearer to Schonefeld airport where I arrived from London and departed to Nice to meet Jane for our short break in Cannes.

It was a rather confusing arrival, as Germany and France are both Schengen countries, so passports aren’t shown on arrival. I only had cabin baggage, so after a short walk through a corridor from the plane, I emerged blinking into the sunshine, not sure if I’d taken the wrong turning and was about to be arrested by airport security!!!

Our holiday in Cannes coincided with a yacht festival, so it was busier than usual. Howeber, the first evening was brilliant as we watched the prizewinning yachts do a turn around the bay and do a ‘twirl’ just by our balcony.

On the commission front, things were thankfully pretty lively and I wrote music for three series which will be long runners as well as a couple of wildlife films. I also revised the music for an ITV show which will be airing soon...More details when it airs.