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I did something similar when I was 70 - but it was Oboe rather than violin. Problem was/is I never played even a recorder at school so despite very regular (daily) practice + weekend attendance at an orchestra over 4 years, I simply couldn't 'think' & move my fingers quickly enough.
I did something similar during Covid lockdown. in that I took up playing the tin whistle. There were understandably. some restraints - workshop only - not in the house. The net result is, I can now bash out a few tunes and I have a growing collection of whistles in different keys. I have also started making my own. in wood, which was a surprising turn of events.
The thing is - am I getting better at it? I would like to think I am, but I think the jury is out on this!

Nice one niall Y playing any instrument is better than playing no instrument and once you start it takes over as I've found now I'm playing violins; I look forward to at least one violin practice each day; I've just done the supermarket shopping and enjoying a mug of tea whilst the studio warms up; it's frosty this morning.

I can play half of Lara's Theme song but want to do this well before learning the last half; by Christmas I hope to play the full song; it's become an obssession. I think you'll enjoy making your wooden whistles as much as playing them; I've gathered lots of kit and materials in the hope of making a violin from scratch; the wood alone cost £110 from Poland and this isn't top quality but certainly expensive enough if it goes wrong; I'm forever short of time and it looks like I won't be making a start on a violin this year now the weather has turned to winter. Good luck with your whistles; any chance of a picture or two I'm always interested in what others make.

We have a two roomed rear extension and my studio is the furthest room from our front room so my violin playing isn't a problem regarding noise; I recorded a practice and let it play back through the amplified monitors whilst I popped outside to determine how loud it was; I could hardly hear it so no trouble to neighbours.

My problem even in retirement is lack of time to play my violins; it's incredible the number of times I'f got into the studio over the last year only to be interrupted and having to quit; on my birthday in August I was greeted first thing in the morning by our entire two roomed rear extension having broken away from the main bungalow due to subsidence; the intense summer heat had dried out the clay foundations; there was now an 1/2" wide gap up the three walls and full length roof joint. LV Insurance were absolute rubbish so I did the repairs myself; I phoned LV Insurance but there was at least a twenty minute wait so I hung up then completed their online claim form and waited and waited and waited; it brought us up to Bank Holiday so I sent a message to LV cancelling the claim and amazingly it being a bank holiday I received a rapid reply asking me to confirm the cancellation.

I made a start on the wall repairs but thought I'd get a roofer in to do the roof repair so arranged for a local highly recommended roofer to visit; he proved to be the invisible man so enough was enough I did the lot. Because it was subsidence insurance excess was £1,000; I did the lot using best materials costing £400 taking two weeks. At the start of this year terrific storms damaged our big willow tree so working in high wind driven sleet I got my petrol chainsaw out and removed the damaged section but was worried about the wind bringing not only the rest of this willow down but also our other very tall trees; I secured the willow with strong ropes to other trees then a few days later the wind had eased but still with sleet showers; I'd had enough of these tree problems during our 35 years here so I put on my heavy waterproof clothing and pulled out both my 20" petrol chainsaws; working on our very steep garden in sleet I felled and disposed of 15 very tall trees the only help being my lovely wife who kept the tea flowing.

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A few pictures of my violin practices (NOT) All I wanted was to have a bit of time to myself in the studio learning to play my violins; 35 years of non stop maintenance and every time I think I'm at last on top another big job bites me; The tree felling took a terrible 2 weeks to fell 15 of them the subsidence repairs another two weeks a month already gone out of the year on top of this I've done a huge amount of work around the bungalow and gardens. The bottom picture shows the subsidence damage looking out of the extension to the rear of the bungalow. The felled tree shown was 65' long the shortest was 50'. The intense heat opened up joints in doors and glass beading; I ended up repairing then repainting the front porch door and both garage doors taking another two weeks.

This work has never let up; now aged 75 and at last a bit of time to myself hence I'm passing a bit of time on the forum but I think the studio will be warm by now so I want to dash in before something else demands my attention.

I'm undecided if retirement is pleasure or punishment; either way I'm never ever bored. Rambling on as usual.

Kind regards, Colin.
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Hi there, Retired, I admire your work ethic. Like the Duracell bunny, you seem to be constantly on the go. I too, am fortunate, not to be at a loss of things to do since retirement ,which includes, maintenance, gardening and my own pet projects. Though, when life intrudes the projects seem to be put on a back-burner, all too often.

Re, the learning of a musical instrument, I have found it very satisfying, despite realising that it will take at least 10 years to get half decent at it. Still I live in hope, 3 years down, and 7 more to go.

I've been tempted out of retirement, to do a couple of jobs this year, the last of which was a modest camper-van conversion of a Transit. It's got the brain cells going again, but it has displaced any projects I was doing in the workshop. I now have an expanding list , both to start or to complete.


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