"Excuse me." Raises eyebrows. "Does sir know JAVA?"
Shuffling my feet: "A little."
"Ah." A thin smile. "Perhaps sir has taken a wrong turn?"
My father is an artist who recently retired from teaching. He told me that anyone can learn how to draw, and I've always believed this is true of any skill or craft. I like the idea that we can do just about anything if we put our minds to it. I don't like artistic snobbery.
So I've taken another step into the Dark Side, and I've decided to learn how to play a musical instrument. To hell with talent. I might be tone deaf, but I am not going to go through life without learning how to play something.
My last blog post was a rant about South Lanarkshire Coucil, which, because I was so pissed off, extended to the entire county. This week my faith in humanity has been restored, thanks to Jim O'Neill, the manager of our local music shop. Jim did not wear a beret nor suggest that sir might prefer to master the nuances of the triangle first, but was actually very helpful and keen to offer advice to a newbie like me. It's always refreshing to deal with someone who cares more about their customers than their shareholders. He also runs an online company www.stringmail.co.uk, selling music strings worldwide, which I'm happy to plug.
Five of my friends play the guitar, and another plays the bodhran. I've opted for the violin because it's easier to take on a camping trip than a piano. I apologise to my neighbours in advance.