Saturday, June 23, 2012
Botanics with the Bro
It struck me that this is the first time since - oh, I've no idea - that my brother and I have spent more than a few minutes alone together. We don't see each other that often because he lives near London, and when he's here or we're there, our spouses and usually offspring are around too. I tried to think of when we'd spent eight hours with just each other and came to the conclusion that it was probably - never. When we were children, we got on well but had different interests: he's a scientist and I'm much more into the arts. He's also two years eight months older than I am, which seems quite a lot when you're little. So we co-existed amiably but on the whole separately. Then he went to live in America when he was 23 and some years later he moved to England.
It's odd and (to me) sad that brothers and sisters, who share such a lot of their childhood experiences, are often apart for most of the rest of their lives.
Anyway, it was nice to chat and spend time together.
He played my latest piano piece. He's been playing the piano for over fifty years compared to my six months and I was at first pleased that he made a couple of mistakes. "Aha," I thought, "no wonder I find it hard if even Brother doesn't play it perfectly" (though he was sight-reading, and did add twiddly bits that Bach hadn't quite thought of). And then it occurred to me that if Brother couldn't play it perfectly, I with my 20-minutes-a-day of practice have little chance of dazzling my teacher at my lesson on Tuesday.
In fifty years I would be a hundred and eleven. I fancy I shall no longer be playing the piano by then.