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Friday, 7 February 2014

Oh dear, no musicians to be found in this family, but there might have been ...






This week's theme photograph shows a gentleman playing the piano while a lady watches on, perhaps singing to the music. I've searched through both my mother's albums and my own and sad to say I haven't come across any photographs of people gathered around the piano, or even playing any kind of instrument. Sad to say, we appear to be a most unmusical family,  and although we enjoy listening, we have no musical talent! The photograph below is the only one I can find that features any kind of musical instrument at all. It's of the Christchurch City Highland Pipe Band, circa 1945, and my mother's then boyfriend Bruce Clarke is playing and marching in the front row, second from right.  I think his being a piper installed in Mum a love for all things Scottish. Her maternal grandfather Charles Forbes was a Scot from Glenmuick, Aberdeenshire and her great grandparents on her mother's mother's side Charles Young and Jane Paterson were also from the same area, although she never knew them. Mum could well be in the stands watching the band, but I can't identify her. The photo was professionally taken, by Green & Hahn.



Here are Bruce and Jean together at the Teachers College Freshers Ball in 1945.


The following year Bruce was replaced by Allan, and the story goes that on one occasion one beau was being farewelled out the back door while another was ushered in at the front.  However in 1949 Jean met Ian at a tennis dance, he swept her off her feet and that was it.

I only have three other photographs that feature a piano of any kind. The first two are of a piano shaped cake that I made for one of our daughters for her ninth birthday party, which she celebrated with a ten pin bowling party. I think she was having Suzuki music lessons at the time, but wasn't inspired to continue for long. It was an easy cake to make! That's the stool in front, just in case you were wondering, and although it looks a bit like she is sucking the bowling pin she was given by the centre, she is in fact blowing out the candles. Not sepia, and nor are they the greatest of shots I'm afraid, but they do feature a piano of sorts!




The last photograph was taken on New Years Eve 1999 at a family gathering in the Herefordshire home of my husband's English grandmother Doris Olds. Doris was 96 at the time and lived to see her 101st birthday. She certainly enjoyed our visit and the NYE celebration, complete with tiaras, blowers and even a sparkly vest or two.  In the background sits the family piano, covered with Christmas cards and photographs. I've never seen anyone actually playing it, and the same goes for one in my mother-in-law's home, but perhaps someone did in the past.
Claire and Laura with Great Grandma Doris and Great Aunty Mags, partying like it's 1999!

Post script:
 While searching rather fruitlessly for music related photographs, I came across more aprons, more snow occasions and even a couple more bag photos, so I've belatedly added them in at the end of the relevant blogs, as they are quite appropriate and amusing. If you have a spare minute to check them out, click here for pretty in pinafores,  here for funny white stuff and here for happy travellers and just zoom down to the bottom of each post for the additions.


When done, go to Sepia Saturday 214 for no doubt more seriously musical contributions.

16 comments:

  1. What a fun cake. But I wish you had shown pictures of how to cut it and serve. It looks like it might topple over. OK, I'm off to look at the Post Scripts.

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  2. The piano cake is great, almost like a piece of folk art.

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  3. The cake is fantastic! Looks like the toy piano that Shroeder plays in the "Peanuts" comic strip!

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  4. I'll add my kudos for that great cake! What fun. And thanks for the looks back at snow & aprons - the snow add-ons were especially cute.

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  5. Many old peoples home seem to have pianos that are never used. I think it's the expense involved in keeping them tuned that means they are often not in playable condition.

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    1. Maybe they were played back in the olden days and they aren't kept tuned because nobody plays them any more.

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  6. I remember making a cake in the shape of a guitar from son's 4th birthday - long thin licorice for the strings.

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  7. Yiour mother and Bruce made such a good looking couple. And I admired your skill in creating the piano cake.

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  8. Music makes the world go round no matter how it is made.

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  9. I like the story of your mum and her boyfriends.the bagpipe shot fits well with the theme

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  10. Loved the 1999 photo with Doris Olds and the piano in the room.

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  11. How great that your mom still had a pic of a prior suitor...most of mine insisted I destroy evidence of anyone who went before them, because they were sure they were going to be the last. You know how that works out, I bet.

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  12. An interesting post Jo and I bet your daughter loved that cake! It really doesn’t matter that your photos aren’t sepia - as we say many times- you posted some wonderful examples to match the theme.

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  13. One always finds the photos you wanted two or three weeks too late, doesn't one? We will both probably find the piano ones in a couple of weeks time.

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  14. You certainly can tell from the comments which people have a sweet tooth!
    Piano's are furniture as well as musical instruments, and they do good service as display shelves in many homes.

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  15. For someone who had no piano photos you sure came up with a good post!
    I love the piano cake - my mum never made me one of those!

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