Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sing us a song, piano man!

So, the story goes that when I was about 13, a hippy recluse with stringy hair befriended my parents. Not long after, he purchased a 'vintage' piano from a garage sale. Being that he lived in the back of buggery in a small caravan with no running water, he didn't exactly have the space for said piano.

Piano was offered to my parents in the short-term, to reside in our garage until he worked something else out. 

Rewind the story about a year, and I had commenced piano lessons with a lovely old lady whose home simultaneously smelt of mothballs and toffee. I discovered a passion for the instrument, but given my parents could not afford an actual piano, was practicing on a borrowed mouth-organ with one octave. I also used to practice on the tablecloth, over dinner. 

Needless to say, my parents jumped at the chance to borrow piano for their desperate daughter. And I happily spent hours rugged up in the chilly garage playing the theme song from Country Practice and similar. Years later, hippy recluse with stringy hair sells piano to me for $1 -- a bargain on HIS part let me assure you. 'Vintage' piano has spent one too many nights left on someone's verandah before it reached my loving home, was missing some keys, was hopelessly out of tune and was on permanent loud pedal. I didn't care, I loved it. 

But 10 years later when I bought my first home -- a tiny dolls house masquerading as a grown-up pole home (with 15 steps up into it) -- the piano finally had to go. The girl I gave it to could see past its imperfections and promised to love it like a mother. 

For the last 6 years, I've often thought about my old piano. Once music is in your soul it's a permanent part of you and it's been like a piece of me has been missing. But pianos are expensive. And large. And heavy. And the timing has never been right.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I came back from coffee with my mother in law on the day of my 5th anniversary to find a shiny, brand new, mahogany piano parked in my living room.

Here she is, in all her beauty:

Dear husband. Thankyou. 

ps. I've had the piano less than 24 hours... but I am so excited that I've already ripped the top off the kind-of-ugly fake leather piano stool and replaced it (temporarily by a wing and a prayer until I get some new staples for the staple gun) with some leftover Warwick fabric I scored from the upholsterer when I had a vintage dining chair recovered earlier this year. I loooove this fabric, and it was such a score when he handed me the roll -- it would have cost several hundred dollars if I had had to buy it. It had been the end of the roll and there wasn't quite enough to cover a lounge, so the manufacturer sent it for nothing. Yes please!

Anyway, here's the before:

And the after:

What do you think?? 


  1. Lucky you! I can imagine your excitement! The stool looks fantastic - great job!

  2. I love it and am soooo jealous. I'm a pianist at heart too, and yes, it never leaves you. I find playing a piano very therapeutic but since having kids just don't have the time. My hubby bought me an electric one a few years ago but it's just not the same....

  3. That's fantastic Nicole!! Do you remember Michelle and I standing beside you in that same cold garage singing bad lyrics to 'The Rose' while you played?? Only your sisters would be so loyal.

    Priceless :-)

  4. BTW why oh why isn't MY blog one of your 'blogs I heart'???

  5. How cool is that. I love the stool and I now secretly love your husband for being soooo cool. :)


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