Hi to both of you and thanks for your replies and welcomes. I'm struggling a bit to find my way around the site at the moment so forgive me if I make a mess of everything. Nice to know I won't be completely out of my depth.
My current harp is a 26 string Harpsicle (http://harpsicleharps.com/
- hope it's all right to post that link, btw, I'll delete it if it counts as advertising), which was a great instrument to begin on, but I'm now in the process of having a 34 string Ossian made to my own design and it's one of the most exciting things I've ever done. Both of these are the 'lever' variety (not the big 'concert' type).
I'm in my 50s and have always wanted to play an instrument but never quite got round to it after the usual short guitar/piano stint in my teens. I've taken early retirement for health reasons so at last I have time to learn (and practice) properly and I wish I'd done this years ago. All my friends are very interested but none of them are musicians themselves so it'll be heaven to find a group of people who will happily chat music ad nauseaum without me woryying that I'm boring them to death.