Pianos: Through the Looking Glass

This piano is set to Greenwich Meantone and chimes every quarter hour...

...unless you hit the snooze button.

You're never too young for PPE. Sound check safety for all.

Obsessed with real estate? This Richard Lipp upright boasts an elegantly expansive bass bridge where the strings' backlengths are maximised, extending beyond the 'floor' (bottom board) of the piano.

I'd be delighted to learn more about getting a kitten installed. Oh, wait, it's kithens.

My sister's cat Nipod deserves to be an internet sensation despite not playing the piano.

What lies beneath? Song requests for the cruise ship's pianist.

Ship shape. It's not a problem to clamber from stool to bar to piano enclosure, unless you're one of the drunkards requesting songs. It was a slight problem that the lid could not be opened on the full stick (since it collided with the light fitting). It is not a friendly environment for removing the piano action. Fortunately I didn't need to.

Additional payment for services rendered. Delicious.

With a beautiful cabinet, this 'Steinsomething' (the client's term) in storage was worthy of being let back into the house, with managed expectations and a tray of kithen (sic) litter.

Will the real Steinsomething please step forward.

Here's an unusual find, a Steinway Z. John Lennon composed Imagine on the same model little upright. It's the one to covet if you live in a cupboard, Steinway's smallest upright at 116 centimetres short. The Zed that Lennon used just fits into the compact museum exhibit box in which it resides so it's a good thing it's not a larger piano.

Have we met? I never forget a face.

Oh, now I remember.

When I said 'step forward' it wasn't just a figure of speech. This piano has the unfortunate feature of a boomgate-style lid (behated the world over, well, by piano technicians at least). The only thing more irritating than the lid itself, is the means by which the hinge pin must be removed - towards the wall. The only way to get it out is to move the darn piano.

It's not a deal-breaker, just annoying. It would be a simple conversion to create a path for the hinge pin to be inserted from the front, at least. At a glance, it appears that the pin might fit from the front. Why the devil didn't I at least try it? 'But it's a Steinsomething... you might devalue it.' I was just restoring what I found. The piano had already been wrested from its nook under the staircase to remove the lid and get access to tune.

A cat appears to disappear. Where did it go? Don't say 'Narnia business'.

OK puss, try that trick with these legs.

Allow me to demonstrate. You Won't See Me is a Beatles song written by Paul McCartney with the aid of a southpaw-strung guitar. No Steinway Zeds were impugned in the imparting of that morsel of trivia.

Looking through a glass onion-style perspex fallboard.

I spent parts of this tuning resisting the gentle wiles of this doggy. The repeated soft 'donk' of tennis ball on floor demonstrated hopeful persistence. Every few 'donks' I'd give the ball the tiniest micro-nudge, not wishing to over-excite or escalate the game.

Most find such piano cabinets beautiful. Veneer slices are carefully selected with the neighbouring slice used on the opposite side so that the patterns are mirrored. 

But here's one of life's little mysteries. Why do I find these patterns (above) pleasing...

...yet this wardrobe to be singularly the most ugly piece I've ever seen.

Perhaps it reminds me too much of the haunting Kevin Rudd Prime Ministerial Wallpaper. Can you believe that we've had the wallpaper at The Lodge stripped and replaced five times in the last five years? Your taxes at work, people. Ridiculous. OK, I'll 'fess up. This paper adorns the swanky foyer walls in a Canberra hotel in which I stayed while on tour.

I've attempted to become more tolerant with regard to certain language and punctuation indiscretions. Really. The wonderful linguist Professor Kate Burridge is often interviewed on ABC radio. Burridge is almost too permissive (if you just want to table-thump and whinge) but she regularly pokes holes in callers' quibbles with examples, current and through the ages, of the fluid rivulets of English. 

Notwithstanding that ebb and flow, cop this crap and carp (Sydney Airport car park). As if we didn't all hate airports (and car parks) enough already, oncoming is one word. The redundant apostrophe needs to be redeployed somewhere where one is absent. That apostrophe just wants to be home, and so do I.

Match you, pitch you. What next for the Caped Regulators... 

...Kath and Kel Coogis? I hope so!

No names no pack-drill. This card perversely amused. Having been rapped over the knuckles for using the word 'registered' without having done the tests required for Guild accreditation, someone has edited with a ballpoint and continued to use the ten-thousand business cards they had printed for a price that surely ended with "99 cents". Piano technicians traditionally use their competitors'  business cards to shim upright keybeds.