Daughter Charis has been playing piano for Sunday services at our local church for nearly a year now and has been given all sorts of opportunities as a result. One such opportunity was to learn the organ. The synchronicity of organ tuition and a serviceable second hand organ available with a modest price tag made the purchase seem almost inevitable. Only 'almost' because I was worried that we would struggle to find a place to house it.
Saturday morning, I set off with my husband and little ones for a walk through town to the canal for some duck feeding. I found myself thinking about the organ - wondering if it would be available still or if some other enthusiast would have snapped up the bargain. As we looked through the charity shop window, there it was. No SOLD sign in sight. Enthusiasts are maybe in short supply. We went in to have a look. It was an Eminent Solina F225 - bigger than I imagined but my husband was not deterred. He was ready to buy it there and then but I suggested we think about it and bring Charis back later that day to see if her enthusiasm would offset the the hassle of having to rearrange our home to accommodate it.
We had a lovely walk by the canal. Two beautiful swans and more ducks than we could count delighted the children with their antics as my husband and I acknowledged the start of December with a celebratory mince pie (or two!)
Back home we told Charis about the organ and she was in her shoes and ready to go before we had even finished describing it. I stayed home with the little ones while she and dad went back to the charity shop. Although the organ was tucked behind a rather large wardrobe and getting to it meant clambering over piles of assorted occasional furniture, nothing was going to stop Charis from treating the charity shop volunteers and customers to a good attempt at a tune! Money exchanged hands and the organ was ours.
The whole rest of Saturday was spent moving furniture, clearing out clutter and reorganising. Miraculously we created an organ sized space. On Monday, the organ was delivered. Three volunteers manhandled it into position. I plugged it in to make sure it still worked and spent much longer than I needed to 'make sure it worked' fiddling with knobs, sliders, switches, pedal and keys to make some very satisfying noises.
When Charis got home from school she could not resist the lure of her new toy. I was impressed with how well she adapted to playing the unfamiliar instrument making recognisable renditions of some popular tunes that she was sight reading from the yellowed pages of an organ music book that came with our purchase.
This is a 30 second video of her first attempt at Greensleeves.
With a little more practice and some tuition, I think she could quickly become an accomplished organist. I look forward to the house being filled with hauntingly beautiful Christmas music and the Gothic classic toccata and fugue. I would be disappointed if she didn't throw in a few cheesy uptempo pop songs and the odd waltz. It would transport me back to the opulent splendour of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Time to push the furniture out of the way, put on my sequins and dance!
I love that a charity shop and a talented daughter can bring so much richness into my life.