A lovely break, thanks, which was spent mostly next to, on, in or under the Mediterranean. Two things made me particularly joyful: getting in a dive; and discovering we were sipping cocktails in the footsteps of Terry Thomas, who is Nearly Legal’s style guru and vocal coach. But such happiness cannot, in this fallen world, be complete. And so it was that there was a pinch of sand in the sun tan lotion, namely that dining at our favourite tapas restaurant carried with it the threat and all too often the actuality of being subject to accordion playing.
I detest the accordion, to the point where I have been accused of a phobia. It is the sound of the things, their tone of whiny, passive aggressive sentimentality, combined with the way that they are always wielded by individuals who appear to regard themselves as having a direct link to the whimpering heart of the common folk. This even appears to be so when it is a Spanish accordioniste torturing Rossini before a captive audience of Brits, Germans, Russians and French.
It is most likely the French who are to blame, having somehow managed to pass the wheezing horror off on visiting Americans as the authentic sound of the vrai Paris, or even La France Profonde. This is utter nonsense. In fact when the monstrosity first hit the faubourgs in the late 19th Century, it was generally regarded as being the commercialised instrument of destruction of the old traditions of song and music making, at least until the gramophone came along.
As the sheer volume of the thing – not for nothing are bellows involved – means that no escape or inattention is possible, it is only a sustained campaign that can rid us of the accordion. I beg you all – do not encourage or condone accordion playing, not even by a smile of vague amusement or desultory hand clap at the merciful conclusion of a performance. Only then will it finally wither and die.
Now, back to housing law…