On Wednesday we had a bit of a break from induction activities, so I took that opportunity to go down to Surrey on the tube which is where Malcolm Healey's shop is. I got to take the bus too, because the tube doesn't go quite far enough, so that was good because it was my first opportunity for that.
The bus went right by Malcolm's shop which was good because that meant that I knew where to get off. I got there a little after two and was quickly let in and given a mug of tea. Malcolm showed me the bass that he had set aside for me and I tried it out for a bit to see if it was the same size. It was a good thing that I had given him the string length, because that means that the notes are in roughly the same place on the new instrument that they are on the one I have at home. So anyhow-I didn't have any problems with that instrument, so that is the one I've got back at Sundial now.
While I was at the shop though, people kept coming in, so there was an 87 year old bassist who still plays with local orchestras and a pair of friends who are building a mandolin and wanted some help seeing if their fingerboard plane was straight enough. Those friends then ended up trying out Malcolm's new musical saw too. It was a little ridiculous.
Malcolm gave me a ride back to the tube station (Morden, at the end of the Northern Line. I kept saying "Morden" to myself in the voice that they used in the Lord of the Rings movies when they say "Mordor" all dramatically.) And then I rode the tube all the way up to Moorgate with the bass. I perched on one of the seats at the every end of the car and tried to stay out of the way. The people who work at the stations were actually very nice about my having a giant instrument on the tube and helped me go through the luggage gates.
It is a bit awkward to carry- and I don't know quite what the dimensions are yet and it doesn't have shoulder strap- so Malcolm gave me a leather carry strap that hooks on to the end pin and around the neck of the bass. It is nice in theory, but I haven't quite got the hang of it yet. I'm trying very hard not to bang in to doors and ceilings and the like...
It's going to be £500 to lease it for the year, which I think is probably reasonable. I'm going to talk to Jose and Clare and see if perhaps I can get the Leadership office to help with the cost. I figure it is worth a try.
And now I have to rush off for yet another rehearsal...I'll let you know about last night's dinner in Highgate and the silent disco from two night's ago soon. (Do you like these cliff hangers? Okay, maybe not cliff, maybe short wall hangers...)