OK, maybe we should have bought a stand! But who cares if it doesn't have the most aesthetically pleasing setting - it's great to have something to play on again. My most loving and wonderful husband had obviously picked up a few signs that I was missing my piano (no, I wasn't hinting that badly!) and a few days ago said, "I was just in the guitar shop and they had a big sale on keyboards - do you want to take a look?" So we went and browsed around a bit, and he firmly dragged me away from the $1000+ models and made me look at some more reasonable ones, and after some discussion we went for this little Casio. It's more portable than the type with a built-in stand, which was a big consideration when we know we're moving in less than 2 years and I had to leave my old one behind for precisely that reason. It's got weighted keys so the touch is good; the sound could be better but it renders Bach quite prettily even if not really coping with Rachmaninov (let's face it; I don't really cope with Rachmaninov!). And I'm very very pleased to have something to practise on and not feel like I'll lose all my pianistic ability over the next couple of years.
It's the first Sunday of Advent coming up, and for once I feel fairly well prepared! Of course, the proof is in the (Christmas) pudding - whether I actually do all this remains to be seen. If you haven't even thought about Advent yet, do grab an idea to join in with. None of them require any advance preparation except for downloading, printing or book ordering - and one of them doesn't even start until 20 December. Something to do I recently went to a Mindful Advent workshop, run by the lovely Stacey and Ella from Create and Connect . We spent a happy couple of hours folding origami envelopes to make our own Advent calendars, with a few mince pies to nibble as the November rain poured down outside. I'm filling my envelopes with a short activity for each day, a Bible verse from the Christmas story, and a tiny treat for each of us. Thinking of 24 different activities was harder than folding 24 origami envelopes! Mine range from "listen to your favourite Christmas car