Thursday, 4 November 2010

Mummy on the Edge Families NW Mag Nov/ Dec 2010

How Mini-Me gets her toot after Angelina’s fluteless mission.

Gosh, it’s been a while since we’ve met. What’s happened since then? Me? Well, the little person my life revolves around aka Mini-Me has started Year 4, acquired a stepmother (I know! - But no good can come from writing about that…) and has nearly finished reading Harry Potter 6 - The Sickly Mallows; He casts a spell to force the Deatheaters to eat 127 packets of Tunnocks Teacakes each and they all throw up and die at the end – okay he probably doesn’t, but whatever. I’m not sure it’s suitable for her but she insists it’s fine and isn’t giving her nightmares and she has read and watched numbers 1 -5 innumerable times, so I’m going to save a neurosis for something more worthy.

She has also somehow coerced me into allowing her to take up the flute at school. In the mistaken assumption that instructions would be issued as to what to get and where from, I didn’t realise that I was supposed to find a flute from somewhere before she started lessons until it was toot late (Ha! Geddit?) So, I sent her to her first flute lesson sans flute. But I promised her that I would work on getting one toot suite (Ha! Never mind…) Having borrowed the teachers flute for the lesson, Mini-Me came back with absolutely no knowledge of what I was supposed to provide. However, I had done a bit of research that day so I knew what to ask.

“Do you need a straight flute or a curved flute, hmm?”

“Um... I don’t know mummy.”

I went on recommendation and discovered it was possible to rent a flute for Mini-Me from Prozone Music, based in a little kiosk inside Clarendon Muse at Watford Grammar Boys School. I promised her I would try to get one before her next lesson, with the absolute intention of doing so (but with also the absolute anticipation of my probable failure).

The evening before her second lesson, I drove to Prozone to collect the instrument I had arranged to hire at a cost of £60 for 3 months. I was instructed to bring proof of address and two forms of identification and my credit card. Hmm, I wondered, am I hiring a flute or a Kalashnikov? I got there to find that the instrument had not arrived yet. I was forced to while away an hour and a half in TK Maxx down the road and this increased the hire price to £100 by way of a powder blue cashmere cardigan at £39.99.

Meanwhile, I pondered my friend’s email containing a link to a website that offered a curved flute (for her little arms) to buy for £99. But I needed this instrument by tomorrow’s second lesson, or I would acquire a reputation! (Of what? Don’t ask.) When I went back to complete the deal I was confronted with a wadge of paperwork with caveats about Insurance and Responsibility (read Disaster, Blame and More Money). I was unable to process this probably straightforward and sensible documentation due to the swift and final activation of my anxiety reflex (doesn’t take much, really) and I caved and went home without the instrument. Yes, I felt very guilty when I arrived home from this fluteless mission. I put my hands on Mini-Me’s shoulders and explained thus: “I regret I was unable to procure you a flute in time for tomorrow’s lesson. However, I will try again and I’m almost sure you will have one by your third lesson” This elicited a look of slight disappointment but mostly pity. The look said: “My poor, pathetic, neurotic mother. How I love her.”

Anyway, the long and the short and the curve of it, is that I ended up ordering the toot from Student Music Supplies. They made a note of my precise delivery instructions (If I’m not at home, please deliver to any random flippin’ house on my street except for my immediate next door neighbour because I’d rather use Encona as eye drops than knock on her door) and it arrived just in time, the day before her third flute lesson.

Of course, the next morning I forgot to give it to her, so after I returned at lunch time from teaching my Sing and Sign class in Stanmore, it was with slow motion horror that I realised that my poor child may have had her third fluteless lesson. I ran up to the school desperately clutching the black case, begging the universe for a break. “I forgot to give this to her! Am I too late for her lesson?” I panted at the school secretary. “No”, she said, “it’s at toot-thirty!”

Info box
I ordered Mini-Me’s flute from SMS, They were really helpful over the phone and delivery was super-speedy: 01256 350 282

Prozone Music have a little kiosk at Clarendon Muse, at Watford Boys School. It’s advisable to phone the main shop in Chesham first. They were also very helpful and knowledgable: 01494 776 262.

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