Saturday 17 September 2011

Dusting the Piano

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?


  1. Love it, Jax.
    Your attitude to cleaning sounds much like mine - 'you spend all that time dusting and hoovering and six months later it all just needs doing again'. (Not an original comment,I know, but it serves.)
    Maybe I'd take a pair of decent walking shoes. I can't run, but love to walk and enjoy the scenery.
    And a garden, with time to enjoy it and get it properly in shape before it rains again. (Can you tell I'm desperate to cut the hedge but can't get out?)
    And then, of course, a nice glass of wine to enjoy in the garden after a productive day.
    Come to think of it, my desert island is right here!!
    Enjoy the cycling.

  2. Great answer, Pauline! I'm with you on the trainers and wine but would prefer to opt for a self-gardening garden, I'm afraid. Thanks for reading!

  3. I am right there with Pauline, was just wondering if my newly acquired greenhouse could come with me, I'd only grow flowers in it so it wouldn't be functional which I imagine isn't allowed. Anyway if Pauline can take her whole garden I am sure I can too! Glass of wine also sounds good to me!

  4. Gardens and wine, there's a theme forming here...!

  5. where was I before so rudely cut off in my prime? Ah, yes, I was saying that when I was a very earnest teen I had a bag ready to snatch should the house burn down or I be kidnapped in the night, full of totally dull things like my building society book. Nowadays my many bags all boast a basic raw ingredients, a scratch make up kit, a notebook and several pencils, a hankie to clutch at moments of crisis. My phone has about 5000 photos on it and my Kindle, bursting with books, is never far from hand. So I'm ready to go. Just still waiting for those kidnappers! Or, if you will, Desert Islands.
    Interestingly, my last blog, no, my one done on Sunday, I've been unfeasibly busy and done another today (distraction ....!) was on cleaning, too. The reluctant duster writes.

  6. He he Milla, that's brilliant. Off to pack my 'snatch bag' right now! I'd ditch some make-up, as long as I can take a never-ending mascara, in return for a bic razor. I don't care how lonely it gets on the island, I'm NOT having hairy legs. Off to read about the reluctant duster...


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