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There’s a little white noise around the edges of what I expected from the Anghiari Festival, a changed piece here, an extra arrangement there, but apart from that it does looks as though my time should be more relaxing than in 2011. I have already met various members of the latest incarnation of Southbank Sinfonia, and am looking forward to our time ahead.

This does not mean that I am not missing home, however, and those there. I was back from Nashville on Saturday, but, apart from spending that day trying to stay awake and shake off the old jet lag, I have been out of the house most of the time, playing and rehearsing right up to my departure for the festival. As a result I do not really feel as if my feet have touched the ground for a couple of weeks, although, as a choir member pointed out to me tonight, at least I shall be in the same time zone for more than a week, which will be a relatively novel experience.

I keep coming back to thoughts of what I am going to do in August, and keep refining those thoughts. For the past few years I have subscribed to the point of view that if you haven’t got a plan you haven’t got a prayer, thus I sketch out my ideas almost obsessively in the various exercise books I have purchased on my travels, the latest bearing a Ferrari on the cover with the motto “Close To Limit”, said Ferrari clearly travelling too fast to waste time with the definite article. My latest plan, entitled “Ideal Day” runs to all of four very short lines, with the phrase “ta-daa!” scribbled next to it. I almost feel short changed at not having to jump through more than one hoop to find out what I want from my life, but let us take simplicity where we find it.

Having a plan is all well and good but worth nothing if not put into effect, and here is where I need to be harder on myself, but that tougher edge will make the free time all the more deserved. I have no other option if I am to get all those notes on paper which I need to do before the end of the summer.

While I am in Anghiari I shall be spending spare moments continuing work on my latest competition entry, although we shall wait to see just how many spare moments there will be. Last year was just a little too frantic, so my fingers are crossed that this will be a more manageable experience, although I know that the musical delights will be at least as good. There is something very special about arriving in a foreign place and having people greet you like an old friend.

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