A family production

We spent a couple of hours today on the next sale catalogue, and that has cheered me considerably. Weeza is coming over tomorrow morning to help with the condition report – her younger eyes are better for spotting the smallest damage or restoration, although I’m normally fairly alert at observing restoration in china myself.  With her baby due in mid-August, she wants to get the catalogue finished this week, not to cut it too fine.  We certainly want that too, I don’t fancy the job.  I do the typing, photography and proof-reading, she does the condition report and catalogue, the Sage, of course, provides the expertise, dictates the description of the china and the price estimates.  In due course, Ro updates the website.

It’s Ro’s birthday today.  We’re planning to meet up for lunch, probably on Tuesday, as he and Dora both have the week off.  They are also coming over for our party on Sunday – I really must remember to ask the Sage exactly whom he has invited.  And decide what to cook.

I’m also hoping to hear about my piano before long.  The tuner said the end of July and we asked him to give us a week or so warning that he was bringing it.  In reality, I’m expecting a couple of days, tops.  If he has any sense, he will tell us in advance, so that we can have a cheque waiting for him.  I’ve no idea how much it will be, I’ll have to play it a lot to get my money’s worth, that I do know.  I’m never going to be much of a pianist again, I’m afraid.  Hammering out hymns on the organ for the last twenty (or whatever) years has ruined me.  Apart from anything else, keeping going has been the main thing – if there are too many notes, I just leave a couple of them out nowadays.  Instead of practising until I get it right, I simplify it until I can play it without too much trouble.

In addition, I’m about at a tipping point with the clarinet.  I’ve forgotten some of the notes and have to work them out – in fact, I can’t do a couple of the high ones at all any more and am going to have to look them up.  I’ve had my clarinet serviced, at any rate, and it is much easier to play.  I was relieved to discover that the amount of puff I had to expend and the danger of the occasional squeak was down to the instrument more than the musician.  All the same, if I’m ever to get reasonably good again, hours of work are needed.  I don’t know, maybe.

This afternoon, I looked out of the window and the partridge was clambering over the heap of soil removed to make room for the slabs.  She called for the Sage, but he was busy so I went to the door and she watched hopefully, so I fetched her a handful of corn.  I’ve got the awful feeling that I can’t bear, at present, to worry the birds by introducing a dog into the family.  But then, I haven’t got time or aptitude to train a puppy right now, either.  So I have to accept that we won’t have a dog for a few months, at least, unless the unlikely event happens that an unmissable opportunity arises.


13 comments on “A family production

  1. sablonneuse

    Wish you well with the piano and clarinet. It’s ages since I seriously practised and I discovered last week that I couldn’t play some of my favourite pieces properly.
    As for the clarinet, it would take me a long time – in short doses – to build up my lip muscles again. It’s so true, “if you don’t use it you lose it!”
    So keep it up, Z!

  2. Z

    I do enjoy physically playing the clarinet, though I’ll have to go through the sore lip stage first.

    Not killing birds is my aim, Dave, that was rather the point of what I said.

    Thank you for the suggestion, Chris. I shall work on my simultaneous clarinet and piano playing skills.

  3. Christopher

    Ah. Well, have it your own way, if you’re into contortionism. I had hoped we might give the world what it has waited too long for, and Dave could turn the pages.

    I don’t mind being secundo.

  4. Mike and Ann

    It’s not as impossible as everyone appears to think. If you could learn to play the piano with your toes Z, there’d be nothing to stop you accompanying youself on the clarinet.
    P.s. Pat- Zoe is playing scrabble. I think I am about to be thrashed (or ‘whully troshed’ as they say in Z’s area) for the second game running.

  5. Mike and Ann

    Dear Z, we are all being very slow. As I believe your instrument is, in fact, a pianola, it would of course be perfectly possible (indeed usual) to play the thing with you feet, whilst also (this part is possibly not quite so usual) playing the clarinet. I am surprised that Christopher (a musician) didn’t spot this possibility straight away (unless he’s been pulling our legs again).

  6. Z

    Pat, you’re going to beat me on the last tile. Well done. Mike, too soon to say, we’re level pegging!

    Chris, ooh, now you’re talking.

    Of course, Mike, of course. I’d overlooked that entirely.

  7. 63mago

    I understand this “hammering out hymns” part very well. I do not have any practice anymore and our piano is cheap old thing, ot serviced some years ago. Sometimes I sit and listen to a tone or an acchord. Stupid, that.

    My eyes are still sharp, but I need new glasses. And sometimes I do not want to see details.

  8. Four Dinners

    I want a dog. Asked the DSA whether I could take a dog out in my car whilst training students to drive.

    “Only Guide Dogs” was the reply.


    I think he was funnier than me!!!


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