Door 4, Circle Q, Row 1, Seat 29

Bugger. See below.

I’m home now with everything but my favourite biro. It’s a Mont Blanc. It’s expensive. It’s the only thing I feel like I can write with. It’s smooth. Reassuring. Effortless. And I’ve lost it.

I know where I had it last. Seat 29, Row 1, Circle Q, Door 4. I’d got it out of my bag – the hand-me-down from Ryan who’s now in Los Angeles – and wedged it under my leg.

I’d intended to write some notes during the concert. It wasn’t long after Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace started on their programme tonight I realised that note-taking was redundant. And when the performance was over and we’d finished clapping, I got up and the pen must have dropped to the floor. Fool.

I know that seems like a cop out. Lazy diarist. Couldn’t think of anything to say? Well, no. Other than documenting the fact that every work in the running order was performed with that kind of perfection that defies explanation because if you tried you end up sounding like a twat.

Roxanna Panufnik’s opening work received a well-deserved warm and appreciative applause. Really pleased for her. Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten was exquisite. If you’re struggling with life, you can’t go far wrong with tonight’s Mahler. Here is life’s torture, pleasure and ultimate reward packed into a life-affirming 77 minutes. I was transfixed. Wrung out. Sated. I can’t wait to hear it back.

All of this – of course – is in no way influenced by the fact that a good long-standing friend was playing in the band (see above). I’ve known Patrick for 20 years since our days at university (shame on Lancaster for culling your music course, shame on you).

Every time me and his wife Jacqueline convene its for an occasion. Tonight was no different. As the crowd roared, me and Jacqueline hugged. A necessary hug. You can’t listen to Mahler 6 without reaching out to the nearest human being. You just wouldn’t be human otherwise.

So, yeah. The pen. I’ve tweeted RAH. I’d love to have it back. I fear it’s lost forever.

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