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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Sad goodbye and an excited hello

BP1 leaving home..

Not so such outdoors life but indoors these last two days... Today Little Miss Outdoors and I had a tear in our eye as we said goodbye to our wonderful old piano. It's strange how you can become attached to pieces of furniture – and our Beloved Piano has been a big part of our life for many years.

In fact, Beloved Piano, while an upright, is huge and heavy. It used to be a pianola (my uncle removed the mechanism some decades ago) and so it's very big and very heavy. It first arrived with us about five years ago when my cousin moved to Australia. Before that it had served her five children, and before that it had been the piano that my cousin, her two siblings and her dad had played for many years. Before that it was owned by my late grandfather, a piano tuner, and father of my mother. So it has history!

It's not a piano of great distinction in terms of sound and tuning but it has enormous character and it's been part of our family for a very long time. It has moved twice with us and in this house it was necessary to build an extension to fit the piano because it would not fit into any other room!

For three years Little Miss Outdoors has been learning to play on the BP. I occasionally sit down to bash out a few rudimentary tunes.

So why have we said goodbye to it? Well, while downsizing home my mother decided to give me her Better Piano. BP2 arrived a few weeks ago – and since then I have been trying to find a new home for BP1.

The Salvation Army, which has a second-hand furniture shop, came and took one look at the BP, said it was way too heavy and then disappeared! Various enquiries via a second-hand piano for sale website came to nothing after people realised the size of the piano. Then a chance mummy chat found a potential new owner. I am giving the piano away but it did require someone to pay for delivery.

And so, this morning, West End Removals arrived to take away the BP. True to form the removal gaffer took one look, shook his head and retreated back to his van to the mummy who is giving the BP a new home. "Too big and heavy," said Mr Removal. "We'll get it out of your place but it's getting it into the other house, which has stairs, that will be the problem." Further big intakes of breath, much shaking of his head and quite a few derogatory remarks (I stopped these when I told him how fond I was of the BP) and his removal men (five of them) finally decided to take the piano away.

They made seemingly light work of the job – and now I have a huge space left in my living area. (BP2 fitted neatly into another downstairs room.) I'm thinking, nice flat-screen TV and bookshelves for the new-found space... Well, I need some retail therapy to get over the large hole that has been left in my heart now that our beloved piano has gone to a new home.

And the "excited hello"? That took place yesterday after finally realising that my work life could not continue without a new computer. For more than a year I've struggled with a tortoise slow system, a keyboard with 90% of the letters erased and at least four keys actually missing. The final straw came when both the "I" and the "O" needed to be hit repeatedly to work. I could not go on.

And so I am now the proud owner of a beautiful new MacBook Pro. (In fact, The G-Force should be concerned about my new rival, Mr Gorgeous Mac!) If you're an AppleMac user you'll know why I had to spend at least four times as much on this laptop as compared to a PC. If you're not a Mac user then there is no point in explaining my expensive purchase.

Perhaps I need to get out more?!

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