Old Dog, Old Tricks

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. With the joy and excitement of Sister Christmas Dublin and then NYE UAE I was a bit busy, and then the January doldrums got me and there didn’t seem to be much to say. But it’s February now and spring will be coming soon, ish, and I’m getting back into the world again.

In addition to scheduling more social engagements I’m taking a couple of classes to dust off some old skills of mine that may have gotten a bit rusty. My new job at the African Union will require me to speak French again, but after two years of disuse my parlayvoo is not quite what it once was, to say the least. Fortunately the Alliance Francaise offers half-price classes for diplomatic staff, so I’ve signed up for a conversation class to get that pulled back together for the fall.

I’ve also started taking an Irish fiddle class, which represents the first time I’ve picked up a violin since I quit playing in a huff back in high school. After 15 years even the muscle memory is gone and just holding the instrument again felt awkward and alien. Despite my previous experience, at the first class my attempts at turning noise into music were no less squawkily hesitant than those of the other students trying for the first time.

But it’s been three weeks now and some of the old tricks are starting to come back to me a little, though I’m also still making beginner’s mistakes like brushing extra strings. I’ll work that out in time, I’m sure. Building the finger calluses back up will take a little longer. I’m actually really enjoying it though, despite the awkward squeaking, in a way I never thought I would when I was 16 and the violin was the bane of my existence. (Although to be fair, a lot of things were the bane of my existence when I was 16.) Hooray for new old hobbies!