As I was flicking off a faint sprinkling of dust from my piano today, whilst studiously avoiding the burgeoning forest of cobwebs hanging from the lights above my head, I had to laugh at my priorities.
Whilst not claiming to be in the same stratosphere as a concert pianist, I am in love with my piano. I’ve pretty much always had one around, but none so fine as this. It was last November when I became the excited owner of my Yamaha Y3; a proper piano, loud, crisp and with notes that play however many times you touch them. Of all the inanimate objects in my house, the piano is my favourite which is why it receives most of my limited cleaning concentration span.
I’m going away tomorrow, to cycle the Pyrenees across France with nineteen others (hence the, admittedly, limited pre-‘holiday’ cleaning) and the fast approaching prospect has me lurching from great waves of excitement to petrified nausea. It isn’t so much the cycling uphill which worries me, I either will or will not get up, it’s the losing the pack, losing my way and ending up in Spain (sense of direction is not a phenomenon known to me), or my brakes failing downhill. At this late stage there is nothing I can do about this so I have to practice a little distraction.
From thinking how nice it would be able to sit down at the piano instead of on my bicycle seat on my return, I started thinking about which of the two pursuits I prefer. Cycling is much more sociable but for total relaxation, the piano wins every time. And then there’s running. That’s my favourite sport, not least because I write my best ideas in my head while I run, but because it’s the ultimate drug - I know because I’m addicted.
If I was on a desert island, which would I have, piano, bike or trainers? Of course I’d also have to have a notepad and pen. And books; a mobile library which turned up on Thursdays. I cleaned (sketchily) the entire house to the choosing between the aforementioned items and aside from dismissing the bike on the technicality that the wheels would get stuck in the sand, I couldn’t choose between them. However I did conclude that there wasn’t anything else I couldn’t do without (other than a special request for my favourite people to join me, of course). As my chosen items would all fit inside the mobile library van, I decided my demands weren’t excessive.
So while I’m away, I thought I’d leave you pondering the same question: you have a day to pack, which activities would you take with you and why?