The Circle of Life

When I was a little girl, I learned to play the piano – a bit.  My true musical love was the violin.  One day the violin came to me, and decades later, we are still together.  However, after the first few years, it took a backseat to my love of horses, and was unplayed for a long time.  Horses could remove me from my environment as music could not do, and so it was ……  then a few years ago, a mandolin came to me.  Mandolin and violin are tuned the same, and I have to say, it was love at first sight when I happened upon it. So the mandolin and the horse co-existed for a time, as the horse and I took our walks down to the river, where I would sit and play on the river bank, while the horse Sally grazed.

Then we moved………….  and we lost that freedom….   and then Sally got ill…. and then she was gone.

Difficult as it was without her, and without any horse in my life, I made the decision that horses were gone and that music was to come forward again.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like piano music, I do, and in recent times had been playing a little on a friend’s modern Kawai. A lovely piano, yet somehow lacking the ‘soul’ I felt, of an old piano. Talking with a piano tuner, I knew there would be a compromise to be made between an accurate sound from a modern instrument, and having the feel of an old one. But lets face it, I was never going to perform in public, just amuse myself.

I’d had a couple of electronic keyboards over the years, but found them unsatisfactory for anything other than exercising my fingers.  My lifestyle though, of frequently moving house, deemed it not appropriate to get a proper piano.  They are not the smallest or the lightest of instruments to cart about. 🙂

However, not long after moving to my current address, I came across an old piano in a Salvation Army Opshop.  It was at a price I could afford, and it included delivery. (They didn’t know I had steps!) I sought advice over the phone, and examined the internals, played it, and even found out it’s recent history.  Yes, it was old and battered, but was playable and had a lovely sound, and would perhaps respond to some TLC and a tuning.  It’s now had some TLC and is awaiting the arrival of the tuner.  Slowly, I’m getting back into it again.  And soon, I hope to pick up the others again.  Stay tuned. 🙂




At home


My friends together

7 thoughts on “The Circle of Life

  1. First, I’m so sorry about Sally. Dixie’s getting to the age where I know her years are limited, despite her basic good health (we share a little arthritis). They leave gaps larger than anyone with no experience of animals might think.

    But doesn’t music fill a void? The piano’s beautiful, but it’s the mandolin that tickles me. My grandfather played mandolin, and some of my favorite musicians, like David Grisman, do magical things with the instrument. A fiddle and a mandolin? Add a guitar, and you’re entertaining the crowds at the fair! I’m looking forward to your updates!

    • It wasn’t until after I got my mandolin, that I found out my father had played one before I was born. I wasn’t able to track down what happened to it, but in my fancy, I wonder if it’s the one I have now….. stranger things have happened.

      Yes, animals reach out to some of us in ways that humans somehow don’t manage….

      • It wasn’t until I began varnishing — and had been at it for some years — that I learned my grandfather earned a living varnishing woodwork for a time, with my mother helping!

  2. What a lovely looking piano! What is the wood? The grain looks a bit like walnut.

    I took up the guitar again after someone made me a present of one a couple of years ago. Never was much good at it but that hasn’t prevented me playing, as I get such a great deal of pleasure from it.

    • I also think its walnut, but cannot be sure. I’m amazed at how it’s responded to my treating it with a mix of lemon juice and olive oil. It’s a mix I’ve used on other needy furniture with success – and it’s nice on my hands too!
      In many ways, the advent of the radio and recorded music, dealt a blow to simple homespun playing and I say whatever playing gives us pleasure should be continued!

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