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.
We drove south on a wet, wet Saturday in August. The windscreen wipers swished endlessly back and forth, as we debated whether it was worth stopping anywhere except for the overcrowded motorway services. By the time we reached Winchester, the wipers had subsided to an occasional flick across the screen. We decided to stop. Of course, as soon as we left the car park there was a brief shower, but we ducked into the City Mill, now a National Trust property. There was a large room full of the usual kind of displays about flour milling; a recently renovated garden; and downstairs, the mill race running at full tilt. The mill is built right across the River Itchen. Winchester City Mill garden The mill race Water wheel (awaiting renovation) We stayed dry as we explored further into Winchester. There was even some blue sky for our selfie by the cathedral! But as we walked back to the car the rain hit us like a hose on full blast. An overhanging building provided some slight shelter, but the wa