Awakening memories ...
Long, long ago, when all the world was young and I was in my teens, I was a competent violinist in a very good school orchestra. My sight-reading ability meant I was reliable in busy passages (think Schubert's Unfinished, Handel ...) and I finished school with two years as the leader of the second violins. When I left, I didn't think I'd be good enough for the University orchestra (I may well have been mistaken) but played in the Unitarian Youth Orchestra (so-called because it met in the Unitarian Church in St Vincent Street) and the Edinburgh Rehearsal Orchestra (scary but fun - played music that was being performed at the EIF). Then I met and subsequently married a musician, and took up singing instead. I felt it would cause him less pain and let us perform together on an equal footing.
But every now and again I wish I still played. Really, I wish I still played with other people - I've never been satisfied with my sound as a soloist. But when you live in Dunoon there are limited choices - I'm no play-by-ear fiddler, which is more usual here. I need the music and then I'm fine.
I spent this morning playing with an old friend and colleague - the one who taught me to abseil more than 20 years ago, with whom I worked in school. We were playing Scots fiddle music, but using the music - and some of it was in two parts. Some of the time, he played the mandolin. (He'd made the mandolin. He fixed my wonky bridge. I've been scared to try in case my sound post went. He can rescue sound posts ...)
Can I just say I had a lovely time? Outside it rained, and the mists came down over the Holy Loch; inside I made the odd horrid noise, played two strings instead of one, wasn't always in tune. But it wasn't all bad, and it promises to get better. And sometimes, if Mr PB isn't listening, I may risk practising a bit.