Once upon a time, in the middle of the last century, little gof was awarded the dubious promotion into Grade 3 at school. One of the perks of this high office for me and the other 24
brats children, was participation in the class orchestra.
Our teacher allocated the various school instruments on the basis of his assessment of our individual talents. I watched as 24 of the most highly sought after instruments were awarded. Drums, bugles, trumpets, accordians and a whole tribe of woodwinds were distributed.
To everyone else.
"So who is left ?" enquired Mr Bull. (like he didn't know the answer!)
Now, Mr Bull has made a previous appearance in The Bucket, as the dispensor of corporal punishment (and received appropriately rave reviews from my commentators).
Accordingly, when, to the accompaniment of massed sniggering, he shoved the triangle into my raised hand, I was not about to question the democracy or intelligence of his evaluation and selection process.
My heart was, however, not into playing the triangle.
My mind also was in one of two other places.
As an accomplished player of marbles, I was dreaming about buying that threepenny tom bowler and some stunning agates that were in the corner shop, and making mincemeat on the marble playing field of those little smart arses who now had drums and trumpets to play.
I was also partially consumed with some new information from my little friend Max who advised me that it was the consensus of the boys in class that "Valerie Grimmett and Dawn Harder were the two best looking sheilas in Grade 3". ****
I had no idea what to do about this proposition, so I just allowed it to stimulate my imagination for a few years, whilst I got on with the more serious business of marbles.
Up until this point in life, being an only child, I thought girls were the same as me except they grew long hair, wore skirts, and chose to play together on the opposite side of the school quadrangle.
Anyway, be that as it may, any miniscule musical talent I might have had remains to this day buried deep by the overburden of life's trivial pursuits, and wondering whatever became of Valerie and Dawn.
Now, finally, all these years later, there is a glimmer of hope for me.
A group of 65 modestly talented musicians in Edinburgh, who, under the baton of Sir Richard Neville-Towle "distract the audience with speeches and adlibs…..anything to limit actual playing time."
If a passage of music in the manuscript looks a little too difficult to play, they simply leave it out altogether, or improvise, until they get to the next easy bit.
I am sure Beethoven and Mozart would understand.
They have a gig in the Town Hall, New York in April. (The RTO, not Beethoven and Mozart). I wonder if they need an inept triangle player. A little far for me to travel, but I hope they hit the big time.
So, are there any fellow bloggers here who would like to put up their uncoordinated hands and volunteer to join the talentless tone-deaf GOF in forming the Vox Nilharmonic Orchestra?
And NO, you can't play the big bass drum. Its mine. Mine.
**** Names have been changed, not for the purpose of maintaining their anonymity, but to protect my backup plan should Mrs GOF ever decide to explore greener pastures.