The week in which the harp fell down the stairs …

the donkey tried to climb upstairs and then Dave fell down the stairs.  I had been to this hotel before and missed the matching white marble step just coming out of the ballroom.  My stomach still does butterflies when I think about it but somehow I managed to hold onto the harp as I flew down the 3 steps in huge ball gown and somehow I managed to hit the bannister and safety avoiding a fall down the full flight of stairs.   I remembered before I started this gig … it did me no good.  The harp went down and hit the marble steps at full force half way up the forepillar.   This consists of 2 pieces of wood glued together.   One snapped and one held but it ‘scissored’.   The completely stressed out hotel Manager decided to run past exactly at this moment and shouted ‘so now we have no harp have we?’ … ‘no’, I answered grabbing the forepillar, squeezing it back straight ‘just a bit of trim’.  With one hand I undid my bag strap and wound it round the forepillar a few times and tied it in a knot.  Miraculously, it held.  I thank all the people who commented how brilliant the music was and apparently did not notice the extra ‘bow’ on the forepillar.   My husband saved the night by bringing one of my other harps to play at the second part of the evening.   On Tuesday we were just getting ready for Karate lesson when we heard a strange sound downstairs.   We set off to investigate and couldn’t believe our eyes when we met Dodge the donkey on his way up to the half landing.  I remember a pony bolted in the middle of Haworth a few years ago and shot into an open door and straight up the stairs of a small weavers cottage.  It took the fire brigade hours to get it out because a horse or donkey, for that matter, cannot go down stairs – only up.  That is, all, except Dodge.  He had untied the rope around the garden gate he had managed to open last week, he had climbed up the steps to the house and opened the door handle.  On spotting our horrified faces he made a massive backward leap, jumped through the door and porch, missed the steps completely and landed in the flowerbed.   No damage done except for a bit of necessary ‘cleaning’!   Not so lucky – Dave broke his collar bone in a completely separate incident – ouch! … get better soon x

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Dodge the Donkey is no game

He’s done it again.  The weeks go by with routine harp lessons, feeding the hens, cat and dogs – everything follows the same pattern with the same sounds.   Then you wake up to an unusual sound.   This was like what you would imagine a scarp/breakers yard to sound like.   Ear splitting sounds of metal banging metal, wood splitting, dogs barking … and a donkey braying.   A few seconds of panic and then you realise – its got to be Dodge.   Scramble into clothes, get the ‘bribe’ bucket ready (peelings mixed in with pony nuts), shove your feet into wellies, unlock the doors and follow the noise.  We had locked Dodge up in his winter stable as the rain was unrelenting the other night.  He had smashed the door past the locks and then smashed the outer door open.   Then he had decided to go back in and upset all the metal feed bins and ransack the last of the hay, neatly piled.   Arghhhhh!  He saw me coming and quickly slid the bar on the old metal garden gate with his nose to let himself onto the drive.  I shook the bribe bucket enticingly which stopped him in his tracks then I had 2 seconds to get a head start, sprint across the farm yard and open the field gate before he galloped through the garden towards me.   I dumped the bucket in the field entrance and dived into the hedge just as Dodge did his emergency stop to get his pony nuts (all four legs outstretched in front skidding on the mud).  Chorus the harp gets an outing this week for an international corporate event – the sound of that harp is improving with every week so I am looking forward to it immensely.

cold hands

Whilst visiting the Photography Museum in Bradford we all noticed that my face and hands appeared black on the heat imaging camera screen!   My circulation is terrible but I hadn’t realised just how bad it was until then – the place was lovely and warm!   The more I play the colder my hands get – it’s always been the case and I can still play whilst outside in the winter!   (I have hand warmers hidden in my pockets though)   Came home for a hot cup of tea which reminded me that my Dad visited Chicago in the 70s and came across his very first teabag.   He had just landed and being a typical English Gent searched for a cup of tea.   He was sat in the café with his pot of tea looking very puzzled at this little bag.  He always carried a pen knife so he got it out to cut the bag open and make his cup of tea.   He was quickly joined by the Sheriff and nearly got arrested.   Instead they became very good friends for the rest of his life but it seems so long ago now when we didn’t have teabags!