Piano!

Haven’t you always wanted to take up the piano?

Have you ever wanted to ‘lift the lid’?

Here is your chance!

I am selling my baby grand with proceeds going to The Red Hen Project a charity that supports vulnerable children.

The piano was made by the East German company, August Forster, between 1929 and 1937. It has the dimensions 126cm long x 152cm wide x 99cm high. It has been housed for the last few years by the family of a diploma student. It has been well looked after, but since the student left for University 18 months ago, it has not been tuned.

Having grown up playing mostly on an upright piano, I had only really experienced playing on a grand during lessons and at concerts. This was a totally different experience! Being able to play Miranda’s piano whilst working towards first my Grade 8 and later when beginning to prepare for my diploma was incredibly helpful; not only did I become more confident and creative playing on a larger piano, but the novelty factor of having a grand piano in my back room and being able to play it whenever I chose never quite wore off! I’ve really enjoyed having Miranda’s piano. It has made me fall in love even more deeply with the piano and I am so sad to be parting with it.  I owe a lot of gratitude to this piano which went a long way towards helping me improve my playing and building my confidence as a pianist. Whoever buys this piano will cherish as I have’.

Thank you to Maurice Hodges for running his fingers over my ivories! You can hear him playing the piano here: https://youtu.be/BmtfMXEtrKA! and here:https://youtu.be/zwM9N7c576w

Please DM to view. Buyer must collect from Cambridge.

The piano was purchased by my grandfather in 1957 from Jaques Samuel Pianos:

Not running, not giving up either

I am trying to prepare for the Cambridge Half Marathon on 8 March.

Since just before Christmas I have had a problem with my right calf. The muscle at issue is the Soleus, which lies under the thicker more exterior gastrocnemius.

It is tight and rolling/massage are not unknitting the knot in there. Not being able to get the miles up, is  really getting me down.

I did a 1/2 marathon back in November last year, and it was exhilarating. Made me feel top of the world! Currently, I cannot run even 1km and it is miserable!

Yesterday I visited a sports massage therapist and had a good old chat about what to do. So here is the programme that I hope will get me back to where I want to be:

To keep cardio fitness up I will work out on an erg, an in door rowing machine – I do both long and short, high intensity exercises.

By way of warming up, I am using two Youtube videos – Nike Run Club Joint Mission Work Out with Lauren, and 10 minute Abs workout for beginners with Amy.

Having really got into running last year, I fell out of swimming and cycling. But I will try and get back in the saddle and into the pool. I know I will find this hard.

I will do a weekly yoga class.

I will do exercises to increase strength in my feet and calf muscles, for instance by lifting up from my toes on stairs and standing on one leg, keeping it strong and closing my eyes!

Most importantly, to keep my mind in the game and also keep up with weight baring exercise, the therapist suggested that I get out for very short gentle runs. Just as far as I can go until I feel the tightness. She also recommended using the steps up Castle Mound.

So today, I turned right out of my front door and nipped up to the Castle. I went up and down the steps twice. It felt good. It was beautifully frosty on top. I then came down Castle Street, over the bridge, along the board walk. I ran the length of Park Parade with nice relaxed shoulders, and then turned left into Jesus Green. But that is where I had to stop. Not brilliant by any means but I am not crippled. I can still walk! Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I can gradually increase the distance. Hopefully by March 8, just over 6 weeks time, I will be able run the Cambridge half. And if I can’t, I just have to walk it.

Please consider sponsoring me! I’m raising money for The Red Hen Project, supporting children and their families in north Cambridge, to help them thrive, get the most from their education, and lead happy healthy for-filling lives.