Our Beethoven project in New Zealand was a year in the planning, and now it has come to an end. After a big event, it's important to take a moment and breathe before moving straight on to the next thing.
I often forget to do this - usually, no sooner has one event finished than I start immediately filling my head with thoughts of my next project. But there will always be a next project, and I invariably feel better if I can create a sense of closure by taking some time to relax and reflect on the experience that has just ended.
On Monday evening, the night after our three-day series of Beethoven performances, Justine's husband Marc treated us and some other friends of theirs to a carefully crafted five-course meal, with each course paired to a wine.
It was a special evening filled with conversation, great food and conviviality, lasting well into the night.
In this time of constant activity, connectivity, optimization and maximal productivity, it's easy to lose the ability to relax and be present in the moment. Monday night was a good reminder of the pleasure of just sitting back, savoring delicious food and wine, enjoying the majestic setting of the surrounding mountains, and the delight of getting to know people from other cultures and backgrounds.