No.6 of Mom’s Chopin repetoire – played at night on the Bentley upright while we lay in bed listening down the other end of the long passage. Sometimes she would practice her hymns for Sundays – she played the organ at the Harrismith Methodist church for a hundred-odd years – sister Sheila christened her ‘Mary Methodist’ cos o’ that. Other times were not as classical, nor as holy – that would be when friends gathered round the piano full of smoke and booze and belted out popular tunes with various degrees of talent.
Thanks again to the pianist standing in for Mary now that she’s 91 and can no longer read her sheet music. She still plays, but her favourite popular tunes ‘off by heart.’
In the comments Sheila informs me it was a Venning – Barbara or her daughter Lel who first christened her Mary Methodist. Well, it stuck!