We are just returned from the fourth opera (in as many days) of a noble and exciting cycle of Wagner’s Ring from The Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg conducted by the thrilling Valery Gergiev. Oh yes . . . and we only had to get as far as the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff!

We are now basking in the post-catharsis phase which I reckon is one of the main reasons why people subject themselves to this particular ordeal. It is like trudging over hills and plains to Epidaurus to see crazed women do terrible things to their children and men marry their mothers. You feel cleansed for having gone through it and it is SO good when it stops . . . !

We woke (not very early it has to be said) and sun was streaming in through our window. As this photograph shows, the GOLD was safely back in the Wye (as well as the Rhine) and all looked good. Back, now, to ‘real’ life!