The (Less) Lost Legionnaire: Music, Family and Home

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Yesterday I came home.

Dispirited after a day at work, I’d put away my bike and plodded down the path to the front door of the house, where I was met by my seven-year-old daughter, who gripped me in a long hard hug.

‘Dad,’ she said. ‘Do you want to play duets?’

Hear ye, hear ye: music is one of the three best things. The symphony orchestra, for a start, is hard to top. Then there’s the piano, that band in a box, and my musical tube of choice, the trumpet, an ancient instrument first sounded by seven angels.

I’d wanted to be a musician ever since my tune-infested teens, when I dreamed of making sounds like those I struck in the symphonies of Sibelius and the songs of Led Zeppelin.

It was then, too, that I started to feel like a lost legionnaire – a solitary soul wandering the earth in search of home, a conscript separated from his comrades in the last great battle, a disastrous defeat. I’d felt alone and adrift ever since.

Well, less so now.

Yesterday, like Julius Caesar, who in 49 BC was neither lost nor a legionnaire, I crossed the rubicon, to the same sounding of trumpets that heralded the uncrowned king’s fateful deed.

The die was cast on the doorstep of my house, as I stood in the arms of my daughter.

’Sure,’ I said. ‘Let’s play duets.’

Soon we were tripping through our favourite tunes. Later my son joined us on trombone and we played music of my own making: a little trio called ‘The Lost Legionnaire’.

Hear ye, hear ye: never has this legionnaire been less lost.

In music the home key is the aural space to which sound gravitates. In life – in my life – the key to home is music. Music and the other two best things: my daughter and son.

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