I first saw her shop on facebook and went on over to have a gander.
Niki is much more than a shop keeper. She almost immediately became a friend. I like her. She has a lovely way about her and I think that's why her shop is doing so well, because everyone will like her. Some people just exude likeability and Niki is one of those people.
Not only has she set up and is running a successful business; she is a mother to her 5 small children, one still being a baby.
I have been playing guitar since I was a child, but soon my ukulele became my only addiction. My guitar didn't worry at first. She thought it would be a passing phase & that once the novelty wore off, I'd be back, but she was to be disappointed because what started as a wild fling, became my reason to smile.
Trouble was, I didn't have any ukuleles! And neither did Community Music Wales. So, I made a contract with them for 2 courses. The first, I would essentially get paid in ukuleles, which I would buy up front and the second course I would get paid in something that the bank manager would find a bit more acceptable than quirky l'il strummers!
Bless Niki, she got me a great price with Luna, because I wanted unemployed people to have access to fabulous instruments. I wanted them to feel like I felt when I picked up mine.
The courses were a resounding success and I now had ukuleles all over my house smiling at me: by my bed so I could play before sleeping and as soon as I woke up. One in the bathroom, so I could play on the loo. One in the lounge, so I could play in-between TV programmes, in the adverts. One for the road, so I could play if I had a gap between jobs. I have even been known to whip out my ukulele in traffic jams!
Why shouldn't ordinary bods like me compose Symphonic Poems on quirky little instruments!
I like that ... mine certainly is 'the gift that came here.'
And with that beautifully romantic history, steeped in culture, and with the thanks and gratitude I give to my ukulele for bringing such joy into my world, I want to give her the respect she so rightly deserves.
I am so emotional about my ukulele right now after writing about her, that I have to go and slink off to the bedroom with her, so that we can play together! We may be some time!