Time out

A change is as good as a rest?

Huw Williams | 18:46, Friday 24 January 2014 | Lyon, France

I am ashamed to say that I write this in Starbucks. My defence is that I am in temporary exile, across the border in France, Lyon to be precise. The search for a good coffee changes in foreign places to a search for a comfy seat, a higher probability of someone speaking English and maybe even an internet connection. Right now, any kind of coffee will do. Which is just as well, because the beverage I am about to enjoy is not only extremely hot, it is also extremely average. But the seat is comfortable, and no-one here looks as though they will mind if I take my time.

I am in temporary exile, across the border in France

I am here to see my old friend and erstwhile conducting teacher in action. The prospect of hearing real live music again feels quite luxurious, that thing that was once an everyday occurrence for me has now become something of a rarity. I listen to music often of course, but as any musician can tell you, there's no substitute for hearing real musicians sing and play live. And it's been good to catch up, too - family news, what's going on in our lives and for me, to catch up on some of the comings and goings in the music business.

I am sure that I shall enjoy the opera this evening. Although these little flavours of the past can be unsettling too. Our 'new life' in Torino is rich and blessed in may ways, and we are grateful for it. And I am grateful too for a little break, to see a new city, to hear some music and to do something different for 24 hours. Sometimes it's very welcome to have some variety on the journey.

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