Today is our wedding anniversary. We both forgot, until I had a text from a friend with congratulations – I’d told her last week, saying that it was quite likely that Ofsted would come to call either on our anniversary or the baby’s birthday. The Sage took me out to lunch, to the caff in Yagnub. Later, he bought me flowers.
I went to Norwich, intending to buy myself a present from him and possibly even buy him a present from me. I wasn’t in the mood, sad to say, and bought clothes for the baby instead. I felt a bit emotional actually, buying tiny baby things, and am starting to get very excited.
I did buy an electric mixer, a hand one to replace my very old one that is starting to make slightly grindy noises. I also bought a chopping board and some staples. Not staple foods, actual staples to go in a stapler.
Anyway, I’d only been home a few minutes when the Sage called from the door to say someone had come to see us. I went to investigate, wondering why he’d shut the door – it was to give me a surprise. It was the piano tuner, with news of my pianola.
It’s a lovely piano with a very good tone and I spent my childhood happily pedalling when I wasn’t playing the keys. It looks almost like an ordinary piano – actually, look at this one here and it’s very like the one at the top of the page. The two doors at the top front slide apart and you insert a perforated paper roll, then you slide another door at the bottom front and a pair of pedals can be pulled out and down and, as you pedal, the roll goes round and the music plays.
When my mother died, we found that the mechanism had rather fallen apart, she hadn’t told us about it though it must have upset her. The piano itself still worked fine, but we asked the piano tuner about getting it restored. Knowing him and how long it takes to get things done, I reckoned on four years. In fact, he picked it up in his truck in January 2005. I know just when it was, because I last went to India on 28th December 04, two days after the tsunami, and returned three weeks later, and as I came down the drive, the pianola was being taken away. It’s been rather a saga, but it’s finally been returned to him with the mechanism mended and now the strings are being – I don’t know, mended, replaced, whatever. He reckons that another two months and it will be good as new. It will be brilliant. And expensive, I daresay. I didn’t like to ask. I’m going to buy that iPad while I can still afford it.