Indeed, one might almost suspect the Aussies of exporting their crappiest soap operas and their nastiest beer on purpose to keep us Poms away
It worked on me for many years ... then when I finally did visit I found that it wasn't at all like Neighbours, and that the beer was, in fact, excellent. (We were discussing Neighbours at one point when I was over there. I said how much I hated it, then realised I was on a tram in Melbourne surrounded by Australians, so added a hasty "No offence" ... and got back a resounding "None taken, mate" from the locals.)
Hey, it's my topic, I can wander off it if I want.
But if I may mention pianos briefly
I found a moment on my way to choir rehearsal on Monday to drop by Paternoster Square
, in the shadow of St Paul's, and try out the piano there. This one at least turned out to be easy to find, standing right in front of you as you go into the square from the Tube station, next to another of London's ubiquitous monuments. (You can see the dome of St Paul's from Paternoster Square, but not, unfortunately, while you're at the piano, since it's facing the other way.) I found the piano unoccupied and played it for a while. It was a bit honky-tonk in places and the sustain a little on the dodgy side, but most of the keys worked. Although I did tend to stumble over the stuck ones when I tried to play "proper" pieces, so eventually I found an octave that mostly worked and resorted to random noodling. Nobody came up to talk to me, but from the looks I got from the people sat at the monument the noodling seemed to go over better. Until I tried to modulate into the wrong key and came up bang against a chord with only one working note in it
Maybe I should learn to improv ...