Thursday, 20 March 2008

somewhere over the rainbow

the saxophone i am fortunate to have in my possession and play has had an interesting if somewhat varied history. It’s a Selmer (Paris) Super Action 80 Series II and came to me all the way from Germany where it lived a happy life with two ‘parents’, being occasionally blown but mostly adored for its gleaming good looks.

it was a pleasant and unruffled existence. in summer the sun shone happily and birds sang. at midwinter it snowed and the Christmas candles twinkled merrily at their reflection in the golden bell. Until one day one partner said to the other partner that they rather thought the partnership had been outgrown, had tarnished, perhaps (unlike the saxophone, glowing cheerily on its little stand).

the other partner did not react well. leaping to her stiletto-clad feet she grabbed hold of the nearest object, hurled it to the floor and stamped on it. very firmly. yes, dear reader, you guessed. the object on the receiving end of the rage was the saxophone. one short but furious tempest saw it wrecked on the shoals of the marriage. needless to say there was no hope of reconciliation after such an atrocious act (throw cups by all means, but an innocent saxophone?)

after the dust had settled on this trauma the saxophone was taken to various repairers in the hope of resurrection. the various repairers threw up their hands in horror and in hushed tones quoted figures not dissimilar from those related to buying a new and intact instrument.

about this time i had occasion to talk with the custodial partner, who had decided to visit our island at the end of the whirled. i suggested that Simon Clarke (of Presto music) might just be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and that in any event he would rise to a challenge such as this. Simon has an extraordinary collection of reed instruments in a kind of mini-museum, including a clarinet such as might have performed the first hearing of Mozart’s utterly divine Clarinet Concerto.

and so the saxophone embarked upon a voyage, sandwiched between a pair of Levis and an Armani suit in a sturdy case. sadly the photograph i took of the flattened instrument sulks irretrievably in some file or other, but a mere two months later it had been pronounced ‘not dead, but sleeping’…like Lazarus. that was some 7 years ago. Today i had yet another happy session with it and my kindly teacher John Kelley who weekly indulges me with melodies such as ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, ‘As Time goes By’ and ‘Misty’.

reflecting on the whole notion of partnerships while driving distances much later in the day i contemplated the qualities I would have liked in a companion (not that i’m on the hunt, being a textbook Sagittarian - don’t fence me in or i won’t even call you from the airport).

he would be gentle, kind, funny and strong. he would play an instrument (the piano would do); like dogs and cats, ride horses with understanding and be happy in the wild. perhaps he would write poetry, certainly he would be literate. he would have a passion for justice and be fluent in several languages. maybe he would draw, make photographs or paint. definitely he cooks and i’d say he can probably build stuff. he can spend time alone. he will be honest and truthful. looks good in jeans. at least my height. likes chocolate, especially the dark sort. i susect he sings from time to time. goes barefoot at home. knows plants by name. can tickle a trout and hone a knife. possibly mechanically inclined. prefers the woods over urban life. and he'd read Winnie the Pooh aloud with all the voices, just as i do.

perfection indeed…and where will I find this paragon, you ask? That’s easy, he’s waiting (Somewhere over the Rainbow) in the notes in the shoebox under my bed, ready (As Time goes by) to step in at about page 293 of the as yet unfinished novel, and of course he’ll save the (Misty) day.


  1. dark chocolate is indeed an extremely important detail...
    I think I have many of these paragons you talk about hidden as we speak in some of the pages on my bookshelves...
    but, I am sure my husband of over 20 years would convince me that I will have a lot more fun continuing to "paragonisticate" him ;)

    ...Page 293, you said?

  2. sounds a little like Every Man, and a bit like No Man; you can be sure if he exists he is already married, or gay.