Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2 new toys

Just had a great caravanning holiday in Devon (anti-caravanners might want to leave here). My fingers were getting restless when I stumbled into a music shop. Right in the doorway were some ukes. I've been asked to build a cbg uke but not sure about construction yet. I've been fancying one for myself and being too impatient to wait until I can make one, I decided to spend my birthday money and buy one satisfying the need for a musical toy for the caravan and a model for basing a cbg uke on. I avoided the cheapest painted ones you can pick up for about £15 and picked a natural wood concert model. It's a sweet little instrument and great fun for doodling on.

A day or two after buying it, I came across a junk shop. A proper one full of tatty stuff and run by an old chap who was fiddling with an old radio. I spotted a narly looking banjo-uke, all dusty, rusty and nicely worn. A ratrod uke if ever there was one! The bridge was placed up near the bottom of the neck - the wrong end of the skin. I asked the bloke how much he wanted for it - £25. I had a good look and moved the bridge roughly to where it should be and strummed it. "Sounds better already" he said. "That should be worth a fiver off the price then" I said cheekily. "Are you making me an offer" he replied. "You got a deal" I said and bought it for a crisp £20 note.

I got it back to the van and sat outside in the sun to play with my second new toy of the week. The strings were still on it and it all seemed pretty much intact. I tuned it up and had a little play on it. So far the wife hadn't objected too much but when I put my upturned straw hat on the ground in front of me, in case any fellow campers felt the need to reward my entertainment with some gold, she put her foot down and ordered its removal. It's a bugger to keep in tune but it's fun and looks great.