Richard Maun – Serious Ukulele

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Serious Ukulele

7 June 2015

I love my uke, it’s a beautiful concert sized Ibanez with a pick-up so I can plug in and rock, or go plug free and busk folky fun from one of my first floor Juliet balconies. The swans seem to like it, and who am I to deny them some evening entertainment?

However, life also has sadness and in March this year my dear nephew William (14) suddenly passed away after a catastrophic virus. Out of clear blue skies come storm clouds. Life is there to trip us up sometimes. I visited his grave a week ago. He was a lovely young man, full of beans and great at making people laugh. I thought about taking some flowers and then thought – aha – I could take my uke. So I did.

In the quiet of the evening I sat on the grass next to him and as my sister and brother-in-law sat there too I played some gentle chords and let the sound drift around for a while. The ukulele has soul and isn’t just for whacking out jolly tunes (I make up silly ditties to amuse the kids) – it has range and depth and is there to be enjoyed. As we walked home, my brother-in-law said kindly ‘thank you, that was really moving.’

The next day I was driving home and just had to go and say goodbye to Wills. I stood silently by his grave and then thought dammit, I have to play, he would have loved the fun of it, so fetched the uke from the car. This time I thrashed it…makes me smile to think of me standing there in the churchyard strumming loud chords at speed. A lady came over and just looked at me grinning and said ‘how lovely!’

So my first ever outdoor (out of the house gig) was an impromptu busk in a graveyard. Funny how life goes isn’t it?

And the point of the story is that it felt the right thing to do. Wills loved fun and to think of Uncle Rich playing his heart out would have tickled him. I’m sure he was looking down and grinning and I will go back and treat him to some more.

I was nervous. I fretted I’d make a fool of myself, or get told off for disturbing the peace. And yet I did it, did it with a bit of panache too. I’m so pleased with my serious ukulele.

What dilemma are you wrestling with? Can you hear that little voice urging you onwards? If I can play ukulele then what can you do? Life is too short to worry sometimes. We can just get on with it.

Have fun getting on with something this week.

Next week: The £500 Coffee Coaster


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