‘What instrument would you like to learn?’ asks my Dad. I am 12 years old, maybe, and my younger brother has just started learning the guitar. I’m jealous. Looking back, I guess I’d made my feelings pretty clear and am pretty sure there may even have been some spectacular tantrums or possibly even one of my world famous ‘cats bum’ sulks (a humiliatingly accurate description provided thoughtfully by my step dad who has clearly witnessed more than his fair share).
‘The piano,’ I say. I loved the romance of the piano. The long, sleek lines and the monochromatic mystery of the keys. Keys that when played in a certain way could produce music so light and ethereal it lifted my heart carried if somewhere light and free and wonderful. I wanted to make music like that.
‘No,’ my father told me, in no uncertain terms, ‘it’s too expensive. Pick something else.’