I am not talking about friends, as treasured as they are. The precious thing I am talking about is a possession: one of my most prized possessions, in fact.
I am missing my baby grand piano, which is currently in storage in Munich.
We had to make the heart-wrenching decision to leave it there when, after signing the house contract over here, we discovered the landlord didn’t allow musical instruments for fear of annoying the neighbours. I appreciate the walls are very thin and I would therefore not be at all popular if I played as I would annoy both those downstairs and those to each side of us – probably disturbing seven apartments in total.
But it was either live here, in a lovely area, with transport links and shops very close by; or find somewhere bigger, with more space in between dwellings, but in less of a well connected area. We experienced living in the latter in Sevilla, and I learnt the hard way it is not the area for me at this stage in my life. The ME means being cut off from the world is all too easy, and right now living somewhere that doesn't enhance this isolation has to come before pianos.
••• We had a bit of 'fun' (ie stress time for me) at the Munich end of the move. We had told – warned – the removal company it was a baby grand piano rather than an upright one. When the removal guys came to collect our belongings they walked nonchalantly into the apartment, coming to a screeching halt when they saw my piano.
“We are not touching that!” the three guys each exclaimed in turn.
It turned out the removal company had got its wires crossed somewhere internally, and the poor guys were expecting a Klavier (German for upright piano), but got a Flügal (German for grand piano) instead. A specialist piano removal firm had to be bought in to take my beloved piano away.
Someone, one hearing this tale, told me there are apparently a couple of pianos dotted around on streets of the city, free for people to play...
T and I went around our local grocery store to buy food for a barbecue on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago. Knowing how I feel about my piano, T bought me a treat:
Asking for it in French at the bakery section of the store, he faltered on the word for piano. The woman behind the counter spoke English, so he asked her what ‘piano’ was in French.
“Piano,” she replied...