by Trina Beckett
FACEBOOK. Persuaded by my grown-up children, I subscribed. The initial avalanche of high flying careers, successful offspring, prodigy grandchildren and exotic holidays was like being trapped in a never ending Xmas newsletter. Suddenly everybody I remotely knew, and most of their half-cousins-twice-removed, wanted to be my friends. Two weeks later, a message popped up. ‘You haven't posted anything new lately.’ Did I need to post anything new? Perhaps I should have drip-fed details of my life, rather than squander it all on my initial, but impressive, profile page.
Something New. The phrase became a squatter in my brain, stubbornly resisting eviction, and challenging my ego to come up with something worthy of mention. My children don’t expect me to do anything new. They probably expect me to have stopped doing things they’d prefer not to think about; they’d be surprised.
My children don’t expect me to do anything new
Uninspired by Adult Education’s yoga, carpentry and IT for dummies, although Argentinean Tango momentarily had my attention, I headed off to Truro for coffee and retail therapy with a living, breathing friend. She was late.
“Sorry, my Appalachian Clog Dancing class over ran.” She flopped down opposite me. “Thought I’d try...”
“Exactly. Got a bit bored with book group.” I knew what she meant. An hour later, having swapped photos and grandchildren anecdotes, I headed back to the car park feeling slightly depressed. On the way, in the dusty window of a shop I must have passed hundreds of time, I spotted them - shiny, scarlet, seductive. Five minutes later they were mine. I drove home wondering what on earth had possessed me.
I spotted them - shiny, scarlet, seductive
“These yours?” My husband, home early, raised an eyebrow. I turned deeper crimson than my recent purchase.
“Why not? Felt like rebelling against the stereotypical, knitting, pearl-necklaced granny thing.” I gave a feeble laugh.
“Going to try them out for me then?” My mouth went dry.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have...”
“Promise I won’t laugh.” He didn’t. He put his hands over his ears, as I struck out random rhythms on my gorgeous, gleaming drum kit. “Better Google the nearest percussionist for emergency assistance,” he suggested.
I did. I’d never realised there was so much to it. A whole new musical notation; each drum and cymbal has its own line or space. Hands and feet beat separate rhythms that, after a slow start, eventually mesh to form a whole. Proof indeed that the brain can cope with several things at once, a sort of extreme multi-tasking, which begs the question why aren’t there more women drummers? I loved it. I knew then what I’d always wanted to be when I grew up. Bit late in the day, but who cares? There isn’t an age limit on following your dreams.
There isn’t an age limit on following your dreams
A few lessons down the line I was thumping blissfully along to Roxy Music, Scissor Sisters and the rest. A session on the drums does wonders for stress busting, anger management, relaxation and definitely keeps the ageing little grey cells infinitely more agile than even the most fiendish Sudoku. The bass drum reaches depths I didn’t know existed, generating a feel good factor rescued from my teens. I am belatedly living the ‘rock chick’ dream in my own home.
My grandchildren love joining in. As far as they’re concerned it’s nothing out of the ordinary. After all, don’t all grannies have drum kits? My Facebook Profile? I’ve unsubscribed, in case I find myself enrolling to become an astronaut next time THAT message pops up.