Z plays the clarinet

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.


7 comments on “Z plays the clarinet

  1. 63mago

    This is D. Shifrin who fought his was through Debussy (and Copeland, as I learned from wikipedia, never heared this, prefer Debussy et al.) – but you are totally right : Look at the best !
    I think I know the “point” you describe – a bit like going over the hill, when one can finally see the trail – trust yerself ! It is all about you, your abilities, and insight. And if there is one reflected woman in this world, it is Z.

    Motorways ? Pff – I’m a driver. It’s pure anarchy here.

  2. allotmentqueen

    The older I get, the more I think that if you can find an ‘A’ road you’ll have a far better time. Ability to turn off if things look bad, better scenery, no BMW drivers (ie no indicators), less testosterone – what’s not to like? Okay, the scenic route may take a little longer, but then you can enjoy the “scenery” – which there’s preciously little of on the motorway. Hey, if you’re together, why not explore the ‘B’ roads??? Probably find a decent pub to have lunch at, which has to far outweigh any motorway service station.

  3. Tim

    I agree in principle, AQ; but when you’re half a mile past junction 8 and the queue goes on to junction 9, 10 miles away, A roads aren’t really an option. Also of course this wasn’t a pleasure trip – that was at the other end!
    And you’re wrong about BMW drivers – that’s Audis. (I’m biased, of course.)

  4. Z Post author

    I bought the sheet music several years ago, more in hope than expectation of learning it – there are some tricky note combinations, technically, also a very wide range of pitch, to the lowest nearly to the highest – it’s such a pleasure to hear it played beautifully and it’s fun to have a go, now that I’m picking up a bit more of the ability I used to have.

    AQ, my mother used to do that and the journey to my sister’s house by her route took a whole day rather than 4 hours or so, which I found very tiring. I like exploring an area and am quite happy to lose myself by taking a random road at a junction and seeing where it leads, but if I’m on my way to a destination, I just want to get there!

  5. PixieMum

    It takes Just a couple of traffic incidents for the whole system to fall apart. Whilst sitting in our dining room enjoying breakfast yesterday morning we knew there were traffic problems for there was a steady stream of cars going along our quiet back suburban street to avoid traffic queues on the main roads.

    The heavy rain had flooded a nearby train line, the exit from west bound A316, the road that becomes M3, there were accidents on the M4, exacerbated by traffic bound for Windsor Horse Show, this was cancelled as the car park was flooded.

    We are near the western stretch of M25, it is frequently gridlocked, we expect the whole of SW London, North East Surrey and BErkshire to be stationary soon. The discussions about HEathrow Airport and the number of terminals and runways is nothing to do with aviation and everything to do with surface transport, the rail and road links need to be improved before there are more runways.

  6. Z Post author

    I think a queue of ten cars is a major traffic jam in Yagnub, PixieMum but it’s horrendous in so many places, even without ‘incidents.’

    I did, Matt! I wore it for my third blog party and my dear friend Linda took the photo.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.