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I prefer to call it paino practice as it seems more appropriate for the poor buggers who have to listen to it.

I have rather an ambivalent relationship with the piano. I’m not very good at it, and I doubt I ever will be, yet somehow I persevere. Granted, I don’t persevere very much – on a good week I might practice for half an hour a day, which isn’t nearly enough – but I’ve been banging away on it pretty consistently for over a year now.

On Sunday I took Mike to see a piano recital as an early Valentines present. Sort of to make up for my incompetence which he has to hear nearly every day. It was a really good concert. I’d never been to anything like that before, really – a small orchestra concert a few weeks ago, but not a proper piano recital. I did almost have to prop my eyelids open with matchsticks, but that was down to tiredness, not the quality of the performance!

My nan was good at the piano. I wish I’d inherited her talent. She must be turning in her grave listening to me! Maybe I should take up an instrument I’m actually good at, but I’m not sure what that might be, and buying an instrument is very expensive just for the sake of a trial run. So I stick with the one that’s already there.

On Saturday we went out for lunch at a country club restaurant in the middle of nowhere with a roaring fire and lovely scenery. It was the Christmas present from my father in law and very nice it was too.

I feel unaccountably happy. I have a lot to look forward to, work is challenging enough to keep me occupied and outside of work I’m busy but in a good way – a sort of homely and comfortable way. The days are getting lighter – 17:15 and still light in the sky today! – and I feel enthusiastic about creative pursuits.