Today began as follows: after turning the alarm off a couple times, I rolled out of bed and made myself a coffee. So far so good, not too different compared to pre-pandemic. But it’s roughly from this point in the day – about 15 minutes in – that things really do begin to look a bit different.

Andrew Blanch Andrew Blanch. Photo © Bec Lorrimer

For a start, I’m not on tour. At the time of writing, and in a pandemic-less parallel universe, I’d be performing at the Melbourne Recital Centre tonight, and the Sydney Opera House tomorrow night – an exciting album launch tour with my fantastic guitar duo partner Ariel Nurhadi – before flying to Germany the following day for a series of solo recitals in various European countries. Well, of course none of this is actually happening – but that doesn’t stop the calendar notifications popping up on my phone, declaring the imminence of all this activity as if all was well and normal. I find the notifications mildly amusing at this stage, and preferable to the bleak calendar of white nothingness should I go through and...