I realised today that I have let an anniversary go by without mention. A little over a year ago, I got my beautiful ‘Siomha’, the Celtic harp of my dreams. It only feels like five minutes, but the hours of pleasure she’s given me can’t be underestimated. I still love her as much as I did the day she came, if not more, because now I can actually get a few tunes out of her and get lost in the playing.
I’m glad to say that my left hand, so uncoordinated in those early days, is now under my control. Even the double-jointed thumb is stronger. Unfortunately, the arthritis that the rheumatologist promised me was on the way six years ago, is now showing up in swollen knuckles on a couple of fingers. But they don’t hurt and I’m convinced it’s the playing that’s stopping them from stiffening. Exercise has to be good for them, doesn’t it?
As far as performing goes, I’ve done a lot more than I would ever have believed possible at this time last year. From a simple concert for my parents, to a private tune for an Irishman who knew everything there was to know about O’Carolan, then onto the school’s Presentation night where I played with a lovely flute player who covered my mistakes and on to St Patrick’s Day when, dressed in a red wig and emerald dress I tied my fingers in knots in front of 300 kids …and they still told me I was awesome! I need to work on those nerves though.
Happy Anniversary, Siomha!