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Quasimodo Taps his Clangers


girl sat atop an upright piano

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 by ADMIN-TOM

Once upon a time, when I was a mere tiny tearaway lad and the world was a much simpler place, my family had an upright piano in the dining room. If you have no idea what an upright piano looks like, then the picture herein should give the game away. And no, the girl is neither my mother nor did she accompany us on the piano in any literal or musical sense.

Said piano was used exclusively by one of my brothers who was the only one among us who could make sense of the keyboard. To encourage him to play, my parents paid for an old man, a piano tuner, to come to our house every couple of months and tune the piano. This is the bit I found fascinating. I was never musically inclined, but I do love a bit of tinkering with things that look complicated.

I only bring this up to illustrate how we change as we get older. Sixty years down my timeline and I live in Cyprus next door to the main church in my village. Every Sunday, name day, wedding, christening and funeral I can hear the bells clanging away. They don’t bother to do bell ringing as such, it’s more press a button and the bells will clang for a bit, powered by some sort of motor on the clanger.

However, the bells and clangers still need tuning. Last week I was guest of honour to the yearly tune up, which consisted of a man, a modern-day Quasimodo, in the bell tower some ten metres tall, clanging away at all the bells. Not a lot of rhyme or reason, just noise and lots of it, for quite a long time.

My fascination for tinkering with things that look complicated left me that afternoon and I’m in no hurry to revisit the experience.

Copyright © Tom Kane September 2022

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