It's been a time of musical instrument disasters this week.
Firstly, my friend's daughter left her family heirloom, very expensive flute on the school bus. No-one handed it in, of course, it's probably in a second hand shop somewhere now for £50. I have lent her mine (to use solely at home!) until my friend can buy her a new one.
And then there was this:
Tomorrow daughter takes her first ever clarinet exam. So tonight she did her final practice and then she dismantled her clarinet while I cleaned it. I put the special cleaning cloth through the upper part, pulled the cord and ............. stuck!
It wouldn't budge.
So I asked for husband's help.
He used brute force to try and pull the cloth through the clarinet and then it was well and truly stuck. He then decided to use a chopstick to try and force it through, rammng it in rather like a soldier loads a cannon. It was not pretty.
By this stage daughter was in tears.
"Shall I try?" I said.
"Well, if I can't do it, you can't" he retorted.
"But I've got more patience than you" I countered.
He left me to it.
After using a jewellery screwdriver to remove one of the keys to see if I could remove the obstruction inside the clarinet, I realised that it was never going to go through, it needed to go back the way it came, but hubby had stuck it fast.
I used the chopstick and a hammer (I kid you not) to try and force the cloth back down the clarinet, until I could manoeuvre a sliver of cloth down the clarinet via the holes with the jewellery screwdriver to the other end, where I grabbed it with a pair of pliers and pulled it back out.
At least we don't have to buy a new instrument.
If anyone sees a Yamaha flute for sale too cheaply in the Manchester area, please let me know.