One of the ‘ideas’ I’ve seen for filling the time during lockdown is to learn to play an instrument. Well, okay, if you happen to have one lying around that you’ve been meaning to learn for years and never had the time or inclination. But if you haven’t, I’m not sure that they qualify as essential and therefore, in this country at least, buying one might be tricky. In my case, I’ve always wanted to learn the piano, but I’ve never owned one. If I could order one online to be delivered now where would I put it? Perched on the table perhaps? Suspended over the shower? Maybe ditch the bed and sleep on the top of a baby grand? Somehow I suspect a veto from Neil on any of the above.
Apparently, as a child I danced to Petula Clark’s Down Town when it came on the radio. It’s still one of my favourite songs, right up there with Sweet Child O’Mine and Bridge Over Troubled Water. I have an eclectic taste in music, and it makes for some interesting adventures in the how-quickly-can-you-get-to-the-fast-forward-button game when I have my iPod on shuffle. Once an older tradie was working in the house when Barry Manilow (and I’ll thank you to keep your comments to yourself) came on. ‘Nice to hear something good instead of all that hip hop crap around nowadays’, he said. Yep, you guessed it: cue me Dukes-of-Hazzard-style-car-bonnet-skidding across the kitchen benchtop towards said fast-forward button when the next track was a particularly sweary Eminem song.
There is rarely silence in our house. Well, I do talk to myself a lot… No, seriously, I usually have music playing in one form or another: the iPod on shuffle, a CD, some new-fangled thing involving spots, the radio. The only radio station I can cope with listening to regularly is Concert FM, most of the others being nothing more than annoying and playing the same dozen songs on rotation, interspersed with inane ads clearly aimed at those a lot younger than me. At what age do you turn into the generation complaining about ‘that modern drivel’ on the radio?
I suspect my piano playing will be an unrequited dream. I seem unable to make my hands do different things at the same time, evidence of which is seen daily in my attempts to type, random letters appearing out of nowhere as a recalcitrant finger presses a key when its partner on the other hand does and it should be keeping well out of the way. I think I’ll stick to listening to the creations of others, and playing along on my air guitar. At which, I might point out, I’m particularly good. That’s another story.
Finally, here’s a link to a song by one of my favourite singer/songwriters, Dar Williams. The lyrics are particularly appropriate right now.