The Good Old Days

31st October 2015

Hubby had an errand to run this morning, and after we’d both walked the dog, I stayed with Mum, though he took Maggie with him.
Sir Barkalot is worse than ever today, and I took to not only shouting him down, but glaring at him as I told him to shut up and get on his bed. He complied, eventually.
Actually, he is missing out in the walking stakes, as if he had been more accepting of us, not only would he have had a walk this morning, but he would also have been taken for a ride down to the beach where like Maggie, he could have had a swim.
Instead, he was subjected to something he has never probably heard before, but something that mellowed his mood and he actually settled down. This afternoon he even sidled up to me for back rubs, a subtle hint that he wanted his dinner so I’m his new best friend for the next few minutes.
the good old daysMany years ago, in the days of The Black and White Minstrel Show, there was also a programme called The Good Old Days, where the audience dressed up in costume befitting those attending the Music Hall theatres. You had a Master of Ceremonies and a variety of ‘turns’ from acrobats, magicians, comedians and novelty acts, polishing off the evening’s entertainment with the likes of Danny La Rue, Babs Windsor or Roy Hudd leading a good old fashioned sing song.
The songs of yesteryear were those that I picked up as a child, perfected with my own twiddly bits, and would while away the hours at the old ivories, especially if I had something on my mind.

For the first time in two years, I sat down to play.
Mum’s piano is almost a hundred years old, a second hand gift to her when she was eleven.
With ivory keys, now chipped and yellow, housed in a walnut casing, it’s the same one my nephew tried to feed cake to in 1969, the same one that brought me solace and pleasure, the same one I played duets on with my Dad all those years ago and the same one we gathered round at Christmas and sang Carols. It could tell a thousand stories.
It stands in the hall at the bottom of the stairs in my sister’s house, a redundant piece of furniture but a home for family photographs and fresh flowers every week.
It’s a honkey tonk now, badly in need of tuning, some of the notes are stiff, stick or don’t play at all, whilst others twang through lack of use but I sat there and played for well over an hour and a half.
piano handsIt was a trip down memory lane as I stuck to the ‘oldies’, and could hear Mum singing or humming softly in the lounge to my renditions of If I loved You, Some Enchanted Evening, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, Born Free, Stranger on the Shore, Titanic, Danny Boy, Streets of London, You’ll never Know (just how much I love you), a compilation of several versions of Ave Maria, I could Spend My life Just Loving You, Memory, Wind Beneath My Wings, All I ask of You, Ode to Joy, The Spirit is Willing, Nights in White Satin, an operatic piece from Phantom of The Opera on Ice that I have always loved, my version of the theme from Ladyhawk, and Exodus before finishing off with My Grandfather’s Clock.

The years rolled away, and apart from the more recent stuff, I was back in the dining room of my parental home, playing for myself and perhaps anyone wanting to listen.
My natural gift is still there, impregnated forever in my fingertips, just as I’d hoped it would be.
Lurking in the depths of my mind are hundreds of other melodies I have heard, played, fiddled with and linked together (Theme from The Terminator runs very well into the music from We Were Soldiers as does Rocket Man into The Only Living Boy in New York). I couldn’t grasp them all to play today, but then it has been a long time since I played. My hands held up well, though I hit a fair few bum notes, lost the rhythm on a couple, and changed the note order on another!

But none of that mattered.
Judging from the look on Mum’s face, I wasn’t the only one transported back in time.
She said she remembered me playing Danny Boy at a wedding and the effect it had on her father, who never knew I could play. It was as vivid in her mind as if it was yesterday, even though it was over 45 years ago.
I remember too Mum. Happy Days.
happy birthday


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Family, film/tv/book, home, Memories, music and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Good Old Days

  1. When my mother moved from her house to an apartment, she gave me the spinet piano. She said she knew I would appreciate it because I spent so much time playing that piano, especially whenever I was upset. I would play for hours, transported to a better world by the music. It’s been sitting in my living room for over 20 years now, and no one’s played it in a very long time. At this point, I doubt that I would remember how. But it stays, and every time I look at it, I think of my mother. Thank you for your sweet post.

    • I could always lose myself in my music. You’d probably find that you haven’t forgotten how to play, just how to read the music perhaps? I play by ear, and I was quite surprised how the music just seemed to flow on Saturday. It’s been a long time, but the gift is still there, for which I am thankful.

  2. Pingback: Sign of Aging | pensitivity101

  3. Pingback: Tents, caravans and boats | pensitivity101

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Music | pensitivity101

  5. Pingback: Writing prompt 25th June, Mothers | pensitivity101

  6. Pingback: Music to cry by | pensitivity101

  7. Pingback: Safe Haven | pensitivity101

  8. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Nomination | pensitivity101

  9. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award: 17th August | pensitivity101

  10. Claudia says:

    Hi there and thanks so much for pointing me to this post. I look forward to reading more! Now, I’m going to head over to the questions you posted yesterday, curious what’s awaiting me 🙂

  11. Pingback: Dog days #17 | pensitivity101

Comments are closed.