Past life

As a conductor, my hands are the tools of my trade. And as much as players (and audiences) watch my waving baton, they are really looking at my hands.


Sparkly nails have been my thing for nearly a decade, and to have them performance-ready, I’m a regular at the nail salon. Some might call it vanity, but I’ve always seen it as a part of my work, and more to the point as part of my brand. I’ve not been without nail polish since…the early aughts, maybe?

Au naturel

For the last (nearly) 7 weeks I’ve watched my manicure fade and peel, my nails going back to their natural state. And to be honest, I don’t mind them like this, shorter, unadorned. They look fine to me, because my sparkly nails belong to a performer perched on a podium, under hot stage lights, and that’s just not me right now.

I don’t know when I’ll be that version of me again, and so it seems somehow fitting that for the moment I’m trying to make peace with this one, the version of me with trim, utilitarian nails, perched on a stool, peering at a screen for hours a day. My nails are fine. It’s the rest of me that’s really struggling today.

Have you noticed any small physical changes in yourself during lockdown?

My task today: first, you’ll be happy to know that I finally finished that email late last night! So I moved on to another task today, to wash Pinkerton, who smelled distinctly of pee. Now he smells like lavender conditioner (done!)

6 thoughts on “Past life

  1. ‘Have you noticed any small physical changes in yourself during lockdown?’
    I’ve noticed that I lost more hair on my coco (French slang for top of the head) since the beginning of the covid-19. Ah!Ah!Ah! I don’t mind.
    Seriously that covid-19 still has ‘surprises’ we will all have to live with.
    Resilience as would say Dr Boris Cyrulnik.


  2. I forgot to add one thing about fingers. I have some patients who suffer from diabetes. One is a professional acoustic guitar player. I’ll remain confidential. He is diabetic. There is a new system from the company Abbott -> FreeStyle. No more finger pickings to check your blood sugar. Their fingers become sensitive over the time with the pricking. With that new system you install a sensor on the shoulder then a tiny machine is reading the score when you pass it on top of the sleeves. My patient was so happy. I’m not trying to sell Abbott’s product or having a secret bonus deal with the multinational. No way. The system is covered in Canada with our Health care system and/or with your insurance. Pass the info along for all the musicians in the industry.
    n.b.: Sarah your fingernails ‘au naturel’ are just perfect but it is a humble man’s comment who doesn’t know anything about fingernails fashion. That being said the most important thing is to make sure the baton is happy with your magical final touch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s