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Last week I went away for a few days on holiday. We rented a cottage in Cornwall, and had a great time apart from my wife getting sick on the last day (She’s OK now). It’s always nice to get away for a bit and I love to be in the fresh air and by the sea. However whenever I go away, there is always a part of me that misses my piano. I tend to play him every day when I am home, and I get slightly itchy fingers if I don’t. The piano for me is the most versatile of all instruments, allowing you to play almost any music, but unfortunately it doesn’t travel well.

Whilst we were down in Cornwall we took a walk along Gylly beach near Falmouth. Our own visit coincided with the end of the college day and there were at least 2 different students wandering on the beach with guitars: One with his strapped to his back, the other was actually walking around playing, clearly trying to impress the girl he was with. You can’t really do this with a piano; you have to go to it. Last year we stopped at a B&B near Dartmouth that actually had a piano in the dining room. My eyes lit up when I saw it; unfortunately it was so out of tune as to be completely unplayable. What a disappointment! Perhaps there’s a website out there that lists holiday destinations that have working pianos at them?

I am also always slightly anxious when I go away that the piano will be OK when I get back home. I realize that their lack of portability makes them difficult to steal, and that burglars are usually looking for electronic goods or jewellery. But they are also quite valuable; my own, which isn’t a posh name like a Steinway, still needs to be separately listed on our insurance policy. If I did come back home from a holiday to find that the house had been broken into, the first thing I would do would be to make sure that the piano was a) not missing or b) had not been vandalized, before checking anything else.

My much loved piano Humphry

My much loved piano Humphry

So it was with a little relief to come home last weekend to find that all was well with the house, and therefore with Humphry. And it was nice to feel him back under the fingers again.