When I was six, my two front teeth had already fallen out, and two adult teeth had grown in their place. So, when my Year 1 class was invited to take brass lessons, I was the only one considered, because I was the only one who wouldn’t be spitting my front teeth into the mouthpiece. So I started playing the trumpet.
I played al through school. And boy, was I terrible. I remember trying to play a scale of C major (i.e. The Original Scale) and I couldn’t, because I was crying too much. I was crying, you understand, because I was No Good. My dad comforted me by saying “you could almost tell some notes in there!” This made me cry even more, if I remember. If I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wouldn’t do it at all.
I’ve always been like that. I didn’t take ‘first steps’ or anything like that; I just started walking one day. I was in nappies until I was nearly 3, when I going to be a bridesmaid. My mum said I couldn’t be a bridesmaid if I wore nappies, so I just stopped and was dry from then on. I very rarely had accidents (I remember one, and that’s it). I never wet the bed. I like to do things well. If I can’t do them well, I don’t do them.
Back to me crying in the kitchen. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t play the trumpet. My parents were very proud of me for playing the trumpet, so they continued to pay for lessons, and I continued to avoid music at all costs. When I left school, I sighed in relief as I realised I never had to play it again.
So, why is it that I’m part of a brass band now? In fact, I’m baking cheese straws at the moment to take to our annual ‘Have a Blow’ party. Well children, one day I decided I was going to get good at the trumpet. I dusted it (I still had it), and took a tentative parp. All of a sudden, it came back. And you know what? I wasn’t half bad! That’s it. I wasn’t going to be some tuppenny trumpeter who just plays for herself every now and then, I was going to be Good! So I joined a brass band and play every week.
So the point of this blog post is to a) kill some time while my straws bake, and b) document my growing mellowness, if that’s right. I’m not going to play the Royal Albert Hall. I’m never going to play Ronnie Scott’s. But, you know, I enjoy myself. And, I’ve started to come to realise, that’s all that matters.
Blow on, you crazy diamonds.