When I was ten, I was given an accordion. My dad said, it's all very well learning the piano, but you can't take it out with you.
So we got a beautiful accordion decorated with green mother of pearl from the Manger's shop and I learnt how to play it. .
When the last potato was dug, we had Harvest Festival. There were lots of Polish women who worked on the estate, and they would dress up in their colourful clothes. It was lovely. Then we would process from the fields following someone holding the last stalk of corn, and we would make music on the way.
Then there would be a big party, in the room below the distillery (the estate had it's own brewery, and even a train line that came into the courtyard), and in the afternoon we had tea. In the evening there would be big feast for about two hundred people, and we hired two cooks who would cook the food in the Manor House and bring it over.
There would be proper musicians, but in between I would play the accordion. Once I went wrong and I was so embarrassed.
My dad was the hero of the day. Because he was the one who gave everyone their money.
Everyone enjoyed themselves. And I loved playing my accordion.
The accordion has been passed down first to my niece, and now to my eldest daughter, who is teaching herself to play. We are hoping she'll be able to play for Rosemarie in the hospice this weekend...