Last night's piano lessons were not the model of approximate excellence that I usually strive for; the first lesson passed without incident, but that was as far as anything went. Partway through listening and watching a hesitant, but steadily improving journey through "Suite de la Rejouissance", my attention was distracted by a violent eruption of activity just outside the french windows. A blur of writhing brown fur finally resolved itself into one of our cats being thoroughly incommoded by a visiting spaniel which had made its way in through one of the many holes in the hedge.
I abandoned the young lad at the piano to his own devices while I shot into the garden yelling "that's my cat" at the top of my voice. The dog looked up at me as though I was mad, and the cat made good use of the distraction to leg it for the neighbour's garden. "Gerrr-ow-tov-it" I shouted at the dog, who gave me what Paddington Bear would have called "a hard stare" and loped away, exiting unhesitatingly through the same hole that he had used for his entrance.
There was no sound of music from the piano any more; the pupil is a handy lad, so I called him into the garden, and together we wrestled a piece of wooden trellis over one of the holes in the hedge, wedged the wrought iron back gate shut with a handy fence post, and blocked another hole in the rotten fence panel with a spare concrete paving stone.
Job done, we returned to the piano, and made a careful assault upon "the Sandman" for the last few minutes. Next week I shall try and encourage a slightly less martial interpretation of this famous lullaby.
The cat returned partway through the next lesson; I broke off teaching a Blues Prelude for a minute or so just to check the cat for injury. There didn't appear to be too much wrong with her; rather a lot of loose fur, and a horrible amount of spaniel slobber, so I merely washed my hands and continued with the lesson.
Hey - come to me for piano lessons; you never know what you might end up learning...