It's been a while. Seven years apparently. Seven years since I've had the piano tuned. I feel pressed into it now not because it sounds too bad - although I'm sure that to a sensitive ear it must do - but because there is a tiny doll stuck under one of the keys. Or behind a string. Or somewhere else inside, somewhere that stops one note from making even a sound. As I explained to the lady on the telephone, the children were playing hide-and-seek with the doll. She's really well hidden.
The piano doesn't get played much. Mostly by young visitors. I used to play as a teenager. I practiced hard and I got pretty good and I got certificates to prove it, but I was never a natural. I have tried to teach the children to play but somehow it has always got squeezed out. When I read "The Artist's Way" a few years ago I began to play again, but it fell by the wayside. My middle son has been trying to teach himself and has asked a few times recently to be helped to play. I have been tempted to try a tune, but the clunky missing note is really quite a problem and puts me off. It's time to get it tuned and fixed and, hopefully, played again.