So the Anghiari Festival is over, another year done, and as I left my apartment at five o’clock on Saturday morning I took a snap of the dawn behind the town. The lights were still on and everything was quiet, and even the hellish pap-pap-pap of the motorini had hushed by that time – it was rather special.

On Saturday I was going to get home as part of a giant loop that would see me go from London to Somerset to Leicester and then back to London, but my plans changed on the fly and I ended up ensconced in the burrow and shouting at Ferrari’s totally shambolic display in Formula One qualifying. That all meant that I did not get home until Sunday, a day later than expected, but at least the Grand Prix provided some decent entertainment in the meantime.

Each year I refine my approach to the Festival ever so slightly, so no red wine this year and only a little limoncello, light on the pizza and pasta and heavy on the salads, and I think that my week was the better for it. Maybe I am actually getting more sensible as I get older.

There was some fantastic music making, of course, but also that wonderful sense of being among friends and supporters, of meeting old acquaintances once more and getting to know new ones. Every now and again, in a small period of calm, there is even the chance to catch one’s breath and take it all in.

Thanking anybody inevitably means leaving people out, but the following definitely need to be mentioned – Simon Over, David Corkhill, all the amazing staff, players and supporters of Southbank Sinfonia, the Allegri Quartet, our guest musicians, the inspirational Anghiari Festival Chorus who put up with my tantrums yet always deliver, Val & Paul, Lucrezia and her lovely family, Nando and his fantastic staff at Bar Baldaccio, my game group (Alessandro, Giulio and Stefano), the Sassolini family, Piero, the mayor, the omnipresent, omnipatient Stefan, and many more besides who I will no doubt kick myself for forgetting as soon as I post this. One thing is for sure, though, and it is that the tiredness will fade to leave the happy memories behind, and we shall most certainly be back.

Dawn rises over Anghiari as I begin my journey home.