Elegy for a Well-Loved Friend

The day has finally come. I’ve known for a long time that it was terminal and nothing could be done to stop the inevitable demise of my dearest friend, but I carried on ignoring his infirmities and imperfections because of my love and huge affection for him.

The experts have been advising me for years to ditch him and transfer my allegiance, turf him out, put him out to grass – but when you have grown up knowing every little nuance of a character, it is not easy to make the decision to turn your back.

The final straw had been on Wednesday this week. He was in trouble again. Only weeks after his last check-up and and fitness tests, I had had to call the doctor back and he just couldn’t do any more for him so yesterday was the day I went out and bought – a new piano!

Stephen and I hit the shops and tried out digital ones and acoustic ones till our heads were reeling. Then we found it.

For years, Barnaby Fitch, the piano tuner (known as God!) has been saying, “Get a Schimmel!” I’d never even seen one till yesterday. Linda Lowe in VALE PIANOS (whose husband, Craig, many years ago was one of 7 piano tuners I went through in 5 years trying to find someone to put my beloved Challen right) showed us a very nice Kawai which was within what I thought might be my budget. It was “nice” but nothing was going to come up to the standard I wanted before I would be happy allowing my piano to go to the Great Piano Maker in the Sky. Then she showed me the Schimmel and I made the mistake (or was it?) of trying it. And I played it; and I played it, and played it, and then she asked me a question. I couldn’t reply and I cried and even Stephen wasn;t totally dry-eyed, and . . . yes, I bought it.

I have no idea quite yet how I’m going to pay for it. But it’s the right one for me. Linda said (having now heard me play obviously) that I need a musician’s piano and although the Kawai (£2,000 cheaper) is “nice” – “it ain’t ever going to be a Schimmel”.

So Old Faithful, having been my pride and joy since I was 15 and seen God-knows-how-many children through their learning, is now to retire. They could only offer me £200 in part exchange as he is so bad at staying in tune that they couldn’t sell it on. So if they are intent on scrapping the poor thing, I shall give it to the local High School for nothing so that I can keep en eye on him and see that he still gives children pleasure in his old age.

A sad day but an exciting one – and bugger the next door neighbours. I shall be playing the new one all day every day!

Published in: on December 11, 2005 at 7:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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