John Helmer: Silent

November 28, 2017

 

“What do you want for Christmas, Poppy?”

 

“A saxophone.”

 

“Alto or tenor?”

 

“Like the one Lisa Simpson plays.”

 

“That’s a baritone.”

 

“No, it’s a tenor.”

 

“It’s a barry…” We bicker about this for a while, then Poppy pulls out her phone and checks on Google. “OK, it’s a baritone. But I want an alto.”

 

It’s Saturday and I’m in Lewes, dropping Poppy off for her 11am flute lesson. I’ve completely forgotten the house number, but I needn’t have worried: the sound of two flutes locked in mortal combat guides us to the door. Poppy’s flute teacher, Marielle, lets us in. “Just finishing up.” Poppy and I sit and listen as Marielle and her friend run through the duet again. Then suddenly there is a loud explosion from outside... [read more]

 

Illustration by Chris Riddell

 

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