Joanna Funk

music, gardening and my dog

The Grande Dame arrives

, The Grande Dame arrives

Last week I wrote about my Beale going to a new home. Well that sure did happen and I was texting photos like this to Hanna saying, “They’re taking it now!”

, The Grande Dame arrives
Gerard Wilkinson and his son Jordan take the Beale to Hanna’s in Logan Village

Later, she sent back…

“They’re here!”

I’ve said before that buying the Beale felt like putting down roots in Australia – I wouldn’t buy an acoustic piano if I planned to move countries again. So how do I feel about a Kawai GM-12 arriving in my home?

, The Grande Dame arrives
First sight of my new (second hand) piano

It feels like I’ve finally put down roots in my own life. I’m the countryside, in my little home playing music and writing. And gardening. No plan to be anywhere else, no dream to be a different version of me.

Gerard Wilkinson had been looking for me for quite a while – almost ten months in fact! He knew I wanted a second-hand grand piano, and he knows my home. My music room is the mezzanine level, the whole level, haha. In April he said a suitable one was becoming available. It was from a private school in Brisbane, one of several pianos that were being replaced. My first reaction was: “I don’t want a piano from a school, it will be trashed!” But he said it was not in the public area and would only have been used for performances. There were several other people interested in it so I had to put a down payment on it. It’s a 9-year-old Kawai GM-12, made and assembled in Japan. Gerard sent photos while he was refurbishing it. I was so happy. It’s in such good nick, look at those clean, unmarked hammers! He did great by me.

, The Grande Dame arrives

It’s a five footer, which is one of the larger baby grands. Gerard said it would fit perfectly in the corner, and I have a cathedral ceiling, which makes everything feel more spacious.

Gerard and Jordan were so careful, moving the piano down my stone steps (I couldn’t watch and daren’t take a photo in case it distracted them. They even called in Mike to help keep it steady as it made its way down 😬.) Once inside the front door, in the tiny hallway, they patiently moved it back and forward – not a 3-point turn but a 300-point turn – till they could roll it into my music room. “Be patient and think it through. Don’t rush, that’s when you make mistakes,” said Gerard. Bless them!


I spent the rest of the day in a happy, Scotch-infused daze, playing the piano and moving things back into my music room, and sending photos with lots of happy emojis. The next morning I went straight to the music room to check it was really there. Sigh! Happy me 😊.

6 responses to “The Grande Dame arrives”

  1. Kirsty Hayward Avatar
    Kirsty Hayward

    Oh I can just imagine the effort to get it into your music room! It sounds beautiful!

    1. Haha yes Kirsty, they were very patient and I had my eyes closed some of the time 😬

  2. So happy you love your new instrument Joanna.

    1. You and Jordan were great, Gerard! I’m very grateful to you for picking out the perfect piano for me. See you when you come back to re-tune it in a few months.

  3. Wonderful Piano , Wonderful Story , Wonderful Playing, Wonderful Wonderful Lady , with a dream come true 💕

    1. Thank you Lynne. Yes I’m very happy ❤️

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About Joanna

Joanna is British Australian. She worked mainly in financial news in London. In her forties she moved to her parents’ birthplace, Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, where she became a pianist in a hotel and wrote a blog about musicians. The blog became a book before Joanna came to Australia in 2012. In this blog she writes mostly about music, gardening, and trips to Sabah. Oh, and Wookie the Havanese.

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