excerpt from 'Those Happy Highways: an autobiography' pp. 31 (291 words)

excerpt from 'Those Happy Highways: an autobiography' pp. 31 (291 words)

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Those Happy Highways: an autobiography

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As a reward for passing the entrance exam to the Secondary School [age 11], my parents had bought me a piano, second hand, of course, but nevertheless quite a nice one, and which I have to this day. I was very keen to be able to play, and had a lesson once a week from a quiet ladylike teacher who lived nearby. This went on for two years and I practiced regularly, but then my father [who had been pensioned out of the navy and worked a regular job] began grumbling at the practice, especially scales, which he said sounded as if I was treading on the piano, and so I had to stop. […] To be fair to my father, I can understand that after a hard noisy day’s work, he wanted some peace and quiet in the evening, and in that small house, one could not get away from the sound, […] I did play when, and what little, I could, and sometimes I went across the road to visit an elderly lady who lived there and who had a small organ. Mrs Breen liked me to have tea with her occasionally, “give her a little tune” as she put it, and have a chat, and I usually went home with some small delicacy. [...] 


I would dearly have liked to have had singing lessons, as I had been told that I had a very good voice, but the budget wouldn’t stretch to thisSince reaching maturity, I marvel at all my parents achieved on their small income, they must have denied themselves in many ways to pay for everything, nothing was ever owed for, and to them, getting into debt was a cardinal sin.

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excerpt from 'Those Happy Highways: an autobiography' pp. 31 (291 words)


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