He was in his mid-sixties, at least. Maybe even in his seventies. Let’s just say he was of an indeterminate age at the upper spectrum of a human life. He was also in our lounge, and carefully set up a stool and a folding table that he’d brought. Outside his banged up small lorry was neatly parked.
His clothes were tweed and that; the blazer had leather patches on the elbows. His grey hair had probably not felt the touch of a comb in years, and was competing with that famous picture of Einstein for trying to reach outer space.
He also brought an old leather case, and for fifteen minutes he carefully ruminated on tools, and then put every one he would use very neatly on the table. If one ended up a millimetre off, he corrected its position.
All the while he looked at the piano that he was here to tune as if it had committed some grievous crime for going out of tune; as if it was responsible for bringing him out to our house on a Tuesday morning.
And… whenever me or Mark tried to speak to him after he started, he hushed us and put a finger over his lips. Eventually we got the point, and left him alone. For hours he sat there, carefully going over each string and bringing the piano back to working order.
When he was done, he spent as much time putting the tools back in the case as he had when he took them out, and then he opened the lid again and played Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. And it sounded fantastic. It also made me feel a bit discouraged because I could never make this piano sound like that.
Before he left, with £45 of my money in his pocket, we decided to believe him that it needed to be retuned eventually, and he’s to come back in three months for another tuning. We got a good price from him with the proviso that we employed him when the piano needed retuning. I don’t have a problem with that.
I’ve been plonking on the piano since he left, and just getting the feel for it. Maybe I’ll become one of those horrible people that does piano ballads instead of playing the guitar like someone objected to elsewhere. :3 Mark however seemed happy, and he even tried to play too. I wish he would do more music. He has a lovely, if rusty, voice. I just wish he had a bigger repertoire than hymns memorised. 😀