The conundrum the other day was how cold it was in the conservatory, aka our dining room. It was probably slightly colder than it was in the fridge (that’s the fridge that came with the house, and which is integrated, and that is why we put up with it being a little on the warm side). It felt ridiculous.
But with the help of an electric heater, the breakfast area improved. That’s the same heater we used to fry our former piano. (It’s not former as in late. It just became unwell.) The Grandmother used to sleep next to the piano when she visited, and she felt the cold, so we put the heater in. It made it nice and warm, and the wood on the piano decided to split.
The piano tuner solved it by adding water. Underneath. It got better.
Fifty years ago I never liked sharing sweets with other children. As you know, I still don’t like lending books, for instance. I’m a bit of a Scrooge. But then came the business of moving house and needing to shrink the belongings.
The piano had to go. So did the saxophone. It didn’t look as though we could sell either instrument and make a satisfying killing. In fact, we’d probably be lucky to give them away. So we did.
Luckily the literary world stepped in, and it turned out one of my author friends had a great need for a saxophone. Problem solved. Another author could use a piano. She sent two piano collector men round to pick it up.
For some reason we started chatting about our tuner. ‘Who did you use?’ asked the men. I told them Mr Sandwich. Within a split second they were both bending their knees and bobbing their heads towards the undercarriage of the piano.
‘No water,’ said one to the other. ‘Phew.’
It turns out Mr Sandwich has quite a reputation for curing ill pianos with water. On some occasions it has still been there when the collector men start tilting the instrument prior to conveying it elsewhere. So they’ve learned that if Mr Sandwich has been involved, it pays to look before you tilt.