Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Stop being cruel to cars

At 11 pm the car in the centre of the car park was a wedding cake decoration. I scritched the windscreen, the driver and passenger windows, the wing mirrors. The rear window was hard iced and beyond me. The engine had been running and I got inside to fiddle with the heater knobs. But the inter-reacting system had a mind of its own and, without any direct instruction, blew the whole of the warm air output against the windscreen. After a few minutes I drove away safely.

During cold spells some do this every morning. It wastes time, the starter works harder against the thickened engine oil and the battery loses efficiency in sub-zero weather. Some people have no garage. But most on our estate do have garages which they fill with cardboard boxes, mowers, superfluous furniture, ladders and detritus. A car costing £20,000 sits outside and junk worth less than £1000 is sheltered. Cold bums too.

MAESTRO Last night he got a standing ovation and Brummies are stingy with those. He’d just played the Emperor, and made me think I was hearing it for the first time. The Berlin Staatskapelle was as much a virtuoso instrument as his piano. But half an hour beforehand he’d conducted Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. Now he was at the keyboard.

It’s one thing to do this with Mozart. Beethoven demands large and varying forces and from the piano the gestures must be unequivocal. He plunged into that initial chord as if entering a swimming pool, later he was a passenger in a motorcycle-sidecar race. He flicked his tails back and, as part of the same curving move, descended delicately on to the keys. The slow movement, always the test, was pure soul. He encored a Chopin Nocturne and the orchestra, now at rest, listened with self-evident and rapt pleasure. Daniel Barenboim’s day at the office.

Novel progress 1/2/10. Ch. 13: 4370 words. Chs. 1 - 12: 52,579 words. Comments: Clare rampant.