As I look back on my extraordinary career, I sometimes wonder if it’s all been in vain. I mean, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet but if I could, I’d certainly be blowing it every day. It seems, however, that no one else feels confident enough in themselves to ask if they could blow my trumpet instead. I used to love the time I spent alone with my trumpet, polishing it with Brasso, cleaning it lovingly in the bath like a newborn baby, oiling its pistons, emptying the build-up of saliva from its valves. Blowing my trumpet just after it has been cleaned remains one of life’s unique pleasures. I could blow all day. I used to play the theme tune from Dallas, then Rocky. Usually I tired of these tedious tunes pretty quickly but this was okay because it would give me a chance to move onto more exciting compositions, including a number I myself had come up with. Blowing notes through a big silver trumpet and then listening to the results using my finely-attuned ears remains one of life’s strange and eerie pleasures. It’s like I’m a bat. Or an elf. Do elves play trumpets, or do they just blow? I’d love an elf to blow my trumpet for me. I’d like to see an elf and a bat blowing trumpets all day long. I’d like to write a composition for two trumpets, played by two elves and three bats. The details escape me but the big concept remains one of life’s tremendous build-ups of pleasure, the satisfaction of which only comes when I blow long and hard. Better still, I’d like to see an elf blowing a bat’s flugel horn, lowingly and keen. Do cats blow? They certainly do. Just ask Andrew Lloyd Webber.