I’ve made progress of a different sort, too. Yesterday’s clarinet lesson was a bit of a breakthrough. I have just started learning Brahms’ clarinet sonata No. 1 and finding it quite tricky – but really enjoying the challenge, and that’s the new thing. Until now, I’ve mostly been regretting that I can’t play anywhere near as well as I used to (and I still can’t) but I’m starting to get the feel for it again. I think that maybe I’ll start to improve, if I try hard enough, which I’ve doubted up to now.*
If you follow the link, by the way, he plays the whole thing and I’ve only got as far as one and a half pages out of eleven, it takes nearly half an hour, and he’s playing at full speed, which I probably never will.
LT is on his way here, but he phoned an hour or so ago to let me know that the M11 was closed and he was in a massive tailback. I’ve looked it up online since and it’s a vehicle fire and the road was blocked. Yet this was first reported just before 10.30 am and he phoned me around 11.45. So why hadn’t they diverted traffic? We’ve been using motorways quite a lot since October, visiting each other (or going from home to home, as we describe it) and the ‘smart’ motorway signs are anything but. Very often, there will be a temporary speed limit which goes on for several miles with no sign of a reason for the delay – this is not to regulate traffic flow, signs say there’s an incident or animals on the highway or a blockage or whatever, but there actually rarely is. And then suddenly the speed restriction is lifted and no one has a clue why. But when it’s actually a major problem, completely closing the road, it seems that nothing is done in time for it to be any use. A month or two ago, we were on our way here and, again, there was an accident on the M11, going the other way this time. The stationary traffic stretched for more than ten miles, nearly to the junction with the A11. You’d think they’d stop traffic joining the road there – it’s not a ‘smart’ motorway so physical signs would be needed – but no – we saw cars with carefree drivers who had no idea that, within half a mile, they’d be stuck solid, possibly for another hour or two. As we’d driven past the accident ten minutes earlier, recovery vehicles were just arriving.
Anyway, he’s now, at 1.15, an hour later than he’d hoped to arrive and I don’t know how much longer he’ll be. I’ve made asparagus soup for lunch. With croutons.
Update at 1.45 – traffic still hasn’t moved and no sign of it. Poor Tim!
*This is more hopeful and enthusiastic than it sounds, I’m being realistic.