A Precious Banjo and a Great Big Apology

Dear Friends

I hope you enjoyed the last podcast, my interview with the Wrablers. Since I posted it, I keep seeing references to the healing power of music. Some of them, it has to be admitted, posted on Facebook by the Wrablers. But the message is consistent, music does you good. I don’t have many regrets in life, but I do regret that I can’t play an instrument. Still, life isn’t over yet, and, if I have a long and active retirement, who knows what I can achieve?

Let me share with you this excellent short documentary I heard on the radio the other day. ‘Vital Mental Medicine’ takes its name from a quote by Polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. On the fateful journey to the South Pole on the Endeavour, one of his team took along a banjo. Shackleton understood the power of  music to shore up the crew’s morale on such a long and difficult voyage and, as the ship was sinking, ran aboard to rescue the banjo himself. Their regular concerts had become essential to everyone’s well-being and they weren’t going to give up on these.

You can hear the programme here:


I realise theirs was an extreme situation, four and half months waiting to be rescued with their routine periodically broken by a good old sing song, but the priniciple applies to all our lives. And it doesn’t have to be music.

I’ve started reading other people on this topic of creativity too, and will share my thoughts in a later podcast.  I’m also thinking of taking a sewing class. That might not sound too adventurous, but for me it’s quite a leap. It was always a bit of a joke when I was at school just how bad I was at anything arty or crafty, and I wonder now if that was unfair. If anyone can sing, can anyone sew? Or bake? Some people will always be better than others, as is the case with singing, but is it possible to have zero ability? More on that later, too.

So back to the Wrablers and a huge apology. I neglected to credit one of the members who was part of our interview. So, Janette Lee, take a belated bow. After all, you introduced us to Pouffe Drums, and for  that we thank you.

I’ll be back with you again soon with a new podcast and more. In the meantime, Happy Creating.



Author: squattingtoad

Mel is a comedy writer and performer, with a particular interest in creativity and a cynical interest in the workplace and how its idiosyncrasies (nicest word she could find) can drive us all mad.

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