Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vegetable Slicer

The other evening, as the collective brains assembled here at The Towers attempted the Daily Telegraph Quick Crossword, one of the answers prompted my mother to suddenly reveal;

"My mother used to play the mandolin".

Now it wasn't quite as out of the blue as that sounds, because the clue was "Lute-like instrument" and eight letters, but the information was. Ancestry being what it is, my mother's mother is, or rather was, my grandmother. And I had absolutely no idea. Suddenly information flowed, and apparently she and her parents (Ancestral inevitability suggests they'd be my great grandparents) used to play together.

Well I'm damned.

My grandmother was not a lady of leisure, thrumming delicate stringed instruments whilst waiting to be swept off her feet by some passing swain. She was out of school and working at fourteen, and I imagine the solicitor's office she was working in was low on swains.

Anyway, mandolins. S'funny, 'cos I've always liked the mandolin as it happens. One of my favourite pieces by Vivaldi being his Concerto for two of same in G Major:

But more than that, I love the outrageous decoration on the flashier, bulbous-bodied examples. Generally I'm not a fan of curlicues and fancy twiddles on things, be they tools, furniture, or whathaveyou, but mandolins, lutes and so forth? For some reason I can't get enough. Which is why, when I see things like this, I wish like crazy there were approximately 3000% more photographs at four times the detail:

But still, you get the idea. And there's more, if, like me, you fancy an extended drool with possibly a side trip into fantasy. You know the one; where all those tools in the w'shop miraculously (and finally) make you into the genius who could possibly vaguely consider making such a thing themselves.

Of the plainer sort. Much plainer. If it could produce a note, that'd be pretty good.

It doesn't do to aim too ridiculously high in your fantasies.

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