Music to my ears

It was decided that I should learn a musical instrument of some sort as both aunts were very proficient musicians – Angie with piano and organ, and Emily with violin and other stringed instruments. There was a mighty row over who should be my teacher. Eventually it was decided Angie would teach me the piano. So my lessons started with my learning the lines and spaces, E G B D F and F A C E for the treble cleff, and G B D F A and A C E G for the bass.

These were drummed into me at every lesson and I was getting along nicely, and was even playing simple tunes with both hands when trouble struck. At school we were learning the vowels and consonants, and they were also being drummed in to us. I started getting them mixed up with the music notes, so that when I sat down for a lesson and was told to recite the lines of the treble cleff, I smartly replied with A E I O U. I got a frosty look, but no comment and was asked for the other lines and spaces over and over several times. Then suddenly the piano lid was slammed down and I was forbidden to touch it again. I still did not know what I had done wrong until our next English lesson, when I realised I had quoted the vowels by mistake, and that Angie must have thought I was making fun of her. Oh well, it saved me from hours of practise and from singing lessons. They had already taken me to a singing teacher, but he said that when I could accompany myself on the piano he would consider me for a pupil.

Sometimes on a fine weekend we would go for a walk down to the beach where there were donkey rides on the sand. One day as a special treat I was given a ride but I was disgusted with it. The poor old donkey was led by its owner a few yards along the beach and back to where we started. It was pathetic after I had ridden all over the farm on horses three times as big as that poor donkey.

Other times we would go up through a little wooded area that was carpeted with bluebells and only a narrow path through them. They were so pretty I decided we should have some in our own garden and when no one was looking I pulled up a couple of bulbs. I sneaked them home and planted them in the garden near the gate where they could be seen and admired by everyone going past. I did not know they were regarded as a weed but was quickly informed and made to remove them.

During school holidays we would go on day trips to some historical site or an old castle in an attempt to further my education. I cannot remember anything about them except a heap of old stones.

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