Scaling Dizzy Heights

Keyboard Keys Close Up ca. 2001

Given the musical bent of our children – they know all the words to Mary Had A Little Lamb and I caught Miss7 tapping her foot the other day – we have decided to buy a piano.

Oddly, the only comment we’ve managed to illicit from both Tracey’s mother and my own when we mentioned this is, “Where the hell are you going to put it?”

They have a point. We only just manage to fit the children in.

Naturally I gave each of them the same answer, “Wherever Tracey says.”

Another reason we MUST get a piano is ever since Tracey came up with the idea I’ve been entertaining a secret desire to learn to play Billy Joel’s Baby Grand (only I’d sing both Billy’s and Ray Charles’ parts cause I’m needy and want attention).

Sadly, I also secretly know that as I have stumpy fingers and no rhythm it would be nothing short of a miracle if I learned to play chopsticks.

Weeks of searching on eBay finally secured us a slightly used Beale Upright for $50, and only five kms away from where we live.

Getting it here turned out to be a problem. All the internet sites I visited called for four blokes with experience and muscles. Well, that’s not going to happen. Master19 has gone to Brisvegas and between the two of us he’s the only one with muscles. I plead guilty to having the piano moving experience though, but only because I’ve watched the Youtube videos.

So I rang a local removalist. Only an hours work, tops. Couldn’t be more than a hundred bucks, right? Oh, so wrong. $220, plus extra for each step. Added onto the $165 for tuning the beast when it arrives and this $50 piano is becoming serious money for a bunch of as yet unproven virtuosos.

So I’m thinking, maybe if I grab a couple of young fellas and give them beer.  Four blokes at a carton each will cost us $120, steps included. Actually, five cartons: forgot to pay myself.

But then Tracey calls up the seller and discovers the description, “The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended,” was a little exaggerated and the old Joanna would play everything in the key of O (as in ‘O no that sounds awful’) cause we would also need to refelt the piano. Whatever the hell refelting is. Cost? Something like a kidney.

Needless to say we’re still looking for a piano.

And the kids – Elton, Tori, Kate, Ray, Carol & Alicia – will have to wait a while longer until they belt out their first number one hit.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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