Welcome back to the Southbank Centre

About a million years ago, I performed at the Royal Festival Hall with the Young Musicians' Symphony Orchestra. It was a horrible experience that made me realise how much I love playing jazz with jazz musicians.

It came about as I was playing with the Fairer Sax and the orchestra needed guest sax players. Heaven forbid (in the early 1980s) they should have performed musical regularly that needed saxophones.

So we were drafted in, rehearsed and performed. And went away again.

Somewhere, there's a photo of me in long black evening dress on the balcony overlooking the Thames. I even have the dress in the back of my wardrobe, kept in case I was asked back. Fortunately I was soon asked to play in a pop band that required me to look far more stylish.

Now, I'm back at the Royal Festival Hall - now better known as part of the Southbank Centre. It's all part of The Write Stuff, a learning programme for aspiring jazz journalists run by Serious Music and Jazzwise magazine. I'm definitely learning more than I did the first time I was in this building. More of use, anyway.

Today is the last day of both the course and the EFG London Festival 2016, bringing a new start for me.