My daughter would walk past the piano shop on her way to college. She was training to be a Nursery Assistant. She thought she would like the job but in the end she left as she didnt. She walked past the piano shop in London Road, dreaming of having a piano. Piano Pavillions was the name of the shop in London Road, Southend on Sea.
She had a little keyboard and would listen to the radio, play the songs on her keyboard. A lot of patience to be had.
We had left my marital home after leaving my husband her father, he had become volatile and could no longer bear it, we lived in a two bed flat in Southend over the Will Shop. I miss my nice house in Hockley, when you looked out the big window in the back bedroom, you could the countyside, it was good.
I decided i would get her a piano, we walked to the Piano Pavillion one Saturday morning and found the cheapest upright piano we could. They were about £1200 which seemed a lot of money but really cheap for a piano, made in China, where else! A heavy job, replica of more expensive model
The piano was delivered to the flat, it had to be taken upstairs, the delivery men didnt realise that, it was extremely heavy! Susan from the Will Shop below was standing there waving her document, the document that said you were not allowed to make noise and at least not from a piano! They managed to get the piano up the stairs. The charming man who owned the shop and his fellow workmen. He was a charming guy for sure and i learnt later that he had died an early death from cancer what a shame.
Well Susan in the flat below did not like us having a piano and would bang on the ceiling with what we believed to be her broomstick, wearing her black cloak and pointy hat for sure at the same time. We didnt make lots of noise but she would write letters threatening us eviction but to no avail. I would take these letters into the Tax Office where i worked and a colleague would advise me and compose a suitable reply. Dont worry they said just keep writing, it will likely cost her an arm and leg in Solicitors fees.
The piano had to go in the back bedroom as there was no room in the lounge, it sounded lovely when Chrissy played in, tunes from the film The Piano, i would sit on the steps to the flat and listen … it was wonderful.
The Chinese man next door had a Take Away Shop and whilst he was cooking, he had the chinese radio station playing through the window. He could also hear Chrissy playing the piano. One day he said to me, would she teach his two daughters to play. Hmmm i said, i dont think she would do that. I did convince her eventually and the two little chinese girls, like dollies turned up on the doorstep. They each in turn, sat at the piano and didnt really want to play. The smallest one would tidy all my drawers whilst she was waiting for her turn. They were a quiet as church mice and just looked seriously on at us and then when the time was up i would take them home. How did they do, their father would say, as he forced into my hand the payment which was a paper bag with some money in. He would insist, though i didnt feel it was at all justified as they had learnt nothing really only tidied drawers. Eventually, we managed to extracate ourselves from the procedure and the lessons ended.
Well the piano sat there in the bedroom and eventually i bought the house round the corner and again there was the upheaval of carrying it to the new home. What a bother! Did the Chinese not realise that these pianos should be made a lot lighter! We had to get the piano shop people back to move it for us to the new house.
Well the piano was a good place to put the photos, books, notes anything that piled up and was not played so much. Nicholas would have a go, he too could play a few songs very well, it always sounded great, probably because he could play very well, mostly and also because he was my son, and you know when you are a proud mother, anything your child does is great!
It didnt get played that much after that, as said, a good place to pile things on. I had a go but i really am no good at it at all.
It hardly got played
The children left home
It is a sad piano
A very heavy piano
Then i am moving to Shrewsbury to be near Chrissy and Mike and hear we go, the piano has to come with us! What happens! the removal men drop it in the middle of the road and smash the front of it! They dont have the proper lifting equipment and so this happens, one nearly drops it on the others foot! They swear! They shout! It comes with us in the van and then they say their boss says they could take it back to repair and then bring it back, i dont agree and this doesnt happen. I arrange for a piano repair shop to take it to repair, it costs a lot of money to do so, i try to get the removal company to pay but they wont. The palaver to take them through a small claims court is too much bother and they get away with it. It is repaired and brought back, after several months.
There it is put again in the corner, it is not played, i cant play it, Chrissy doesnt want to play it anymore, nor her own.
I decide i will give it away. Or sell it. I cant give it away for love nor money! A chap comes to look at it fromShrewsbury with view to it being put in a music cafe, never heard from him. I try and get people to have it for love but no, cant give it away. It is too heavy, far too heavy, that is the trouble with these pianos, they are nice but they are too heavy. You would think the Chinese would make them lighter!
Well the piano has sat there and been a place for a light and also my nans brass cherubs looks quite nice but it is sad as it is never played. It has to go, so i find a piano shop and Stuart decides he will have the piano and Chrissys too.
They are collected
I feel sad, i remember the memories of the piano, the chinese girls, chrissy playing the piano in the flat, its a sad memory really, we should not have been there, we should have been in our nice comfy home in safe Hockley.
Perhaps now it is gone, i feel a wretch and also a relief that it will go and be played by someone hopefully. Whoever buys it from Stuart at a profit no doubt.
I think i will get a keyboard or an electric one in its place and try and learn. It will be a lot easier than on this real piano that we had.
The piano has had a journey, its very heaviness has caused problems in its removal. The heaviness of my heart it reflects at what has happened to me and the misjustice and bad treatment. Every time it was moved it was difficult and either bumped or fell or strained those lifting it.
It is a weight lifted. I miss it, the place has been filled with a few odd things and a space, never mind, should i stay in the bungalow, there is a darkness about it and i dont know if i can stay. I need lightness and love
I want to live in a little cottage by the sea, that would nice, to hear the waves lashing on the beach in the morning, never mind the view.
my vision is fading, that is awful, what can i do? i have to keep going, there is no one for me to help, my family dont understand it …..
What can i say about the piano, it was extremely heavy and caused a bother whenever it was moved. The last time i saw it was when it was taken by the removal men today to Stuarts shop for resale. I did feel torn that i should have kept it but hopefully as said, i hope it will go to a place where it will be played. In a way the heaviness of the piano is like the burdens i have on my shoulders, it has been lifted.
I think it will get a keyboard, digitial, electric and then i can learn, they have lessons embedded. Electric piano with all those sounds and noises and effects, what a good idea!
End of an era
I really enjoyed that film The Piano with Harvey Kartel, i wonder what happened to him. I remember the film and my husband bought me the box set with the book, photo book and the film in a sleeve, i really loved it and the beautiful music from the film. This was the music that Chrissy and Nick would play on my piano…. my piano has gone.. the memories are gone… the piano has gone somewhere happy i hope to be played with happiness not with the sorrow that i have held…. it is a wrench but i am pleased it will be played….
Chrissy could play it very well but she said today she couldnt play it any more. She had done lessons and passed grades? Nicholas has an electric piano, i offered him the piano when he got his house but he didnt want it after all. He has done grades and lessons too… the piano has been on their minds..
Heavy pianos. Heavy hearts
Digitial, thats the way forward, a digital keyboard or piano…
a digital or electric keyboard is the way forward….
you cant beat the sound of a realy piano, the Chinese make them very well, they always do replicas very well. Though heavy!
Well thats it, the way forward what is it….