Looking in the Cloud for a picture of a frog I came across a photo of my piano: a white horse (Schimmel). My friend Marianne who left me the old caravan had a digital piano here. I took that across to the UK and started having lessons with John who came to the house.
The next year (2009) I even took the Grade 1 examination. Turned up at the venue to find bemused children staring at me. I passed, just short of a Distinction. As a reward, I got a proper acoustic piano. Found this lovely Schimmel with a warm European sound.
Horror! One day I lifted the lid to see a moth appear from between two white keys. Yes, a proper infestation. Fortunately, the wonderfully eccentric tuner, also called John, managed to take the piano apart and deal with that. I continued with lessons. But I was too anxious to go for the Grade 2 or Grade 3. When I moved into the flat, so did the piano. On its side, still a mellow sound. I sold it a couple of years ago. It went to a good home …
The poem Music is from my second collection Nothing serious, nothing dangerous, published by Indigo Dreams Publishing (2019).
There was always music going on in our house,
live music, piano and song. The organ was
down the road, past the Catholics’ houses.
We were Protestant then, some of us, anyway.
There was always music in our house.
Bach on a black piano and Brahms
Mein Mädel hat einen Rosenmund.
My mother, the diva, practising before
her weekly lesson with the best alto
in Holland, who kept a pet monkey.
My father, with his piano hands,
shaking his vigorous black hair.
In our house there was always music.
More often than not it would be
minor chords, discordance, long
silence above the empty bar lines.