Uke and Roll

I have been having a very eclectic time over the last twenty four hours.

I have been to see Abigail’s Party at Curve theatre in Leicester. It was most excellent. Not only did it make me howl, but it also reminded me very, very, almost painfully much of my Seventies childhood. The set dressing and props department need a medal. It was scarily documentary like in places.

It is still running for a few more days if anyone is passing by and fancies a night out. My friend Auntie Squirrel recommended it, and was spot on in her recommendation. She liked it so much she is going again this week. High praise indeed.

I am very glad she twisted my arm with regard to pulling my finger out to get tickets. To mix some very physical metaphors there.

This morning I went to my first ever ukulele lesson with my friend Kim. Kim has been going for a while, and is an absolute whiz on the uke. I, on the other hand am diabolically inept.

There are many things that hamper me.

1. My ability to tell left from right. I am right handed. For the first ten minutes I held the uke like a lefty and was none the wiser. If you are equally gifted with your left and right hand in terms of writing etc, you are called ambidextrous. I do not know if there is a term for someone who is equally rubbish. Ambi-cack handed maybe?

2. I am using Oscar’s uke, that we bought him from Amazon for about £12 when he wanted to be a rock star guitarist but his arms were too short for the real thing. It has been in the toy box for four years. It has not helped it sound beautiful. It detunes itself every ten minutes.

3. I have no musical knowledge whatsoever. I played the recorder for three weeks when I was eight and gave up when I was not the Mozart of the recorder world. I have not touched an instrument since then.

4. Music, it transpires, is essentially maths. As well as being pathologically unable to tell my left from my right hand, I am also mathematically dyslexic and consequently have no idea what the teacher is talking about 95% of the time.

5. My fingers, reasonably dextrous under most circumstances turn into bunches of hairy, fat bananas when faced with delicate strings and fret work.

6. I am also very easily led. This means that instead of playing the bit I am meant to play, I forget what I am meant to play and attempt to play whatever the person next to me is playing, with disastrous results.

I am terrible.

The good things:

1. I knew I would be terrible when I went in. I was under no illusion that I would suddenly be on stage with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. There was no epiphanic moment of awfulness to crush my dreams of top musical skilz.

2. Everyone was absolutely cool with me being really terrible and either ignored me, was patient, or was incredibly nice.

3. I enjoyed it despite the awfulness of my playing. The hour and a half flew by and I was not bored for a second. Bewildered, confused, entertained but not bored.

4. It was a fiver. A fiver. It is an absolute bargain.

5. The teacher has ukes that don’t go out of tune that you can borrow, so that if by some random chance you happen to hit a right note somewhere, you sound for a millisecond like you know what you’re doing. Which is lovely.

6. Everyone was really nice.

So I shall go again next week.

Another bonus was getting to go for lunch afterwards with Kim. Which was entirely excellent.

The rest of my day was spent putting together some stuff on Romeo and Juliet to help a friend whose son is having the worst of worst times with Shakespeare. I sympathise with him. Romeo and Juliet is a godawful play for fifteen year old boys to wrestle with. No matter how much stabbing there is, you always have to deal with the mushy bits in the end. Rubbish.

Then I spent the evening testing some more of Liberty London Girl’s recipes from her book; Friends, Food, Family.

And eating them.

With enormous enjoyment, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know. But just in case you’re not sold I will provide photographic evidence of the deliciousness in tomorrow’s blog.

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