Of course there's a long way to go before I am fluent, but it's nice to feel that I am progressing.
The sheer concentration that is still required, though, is huge. By the end of an hour and a half my head was aching badly from the energy expended. For that reason, it has been very refreshing to attend a couple of English-language events in the past week. I know it's just a phase, but there is something about this particular stage in learning a language that makes one feel like a child amongst adults; you vaguely understand the undercurrents but seldom dare interject, in case you have misunderstood. The result, as I know from a few recent evenings out speaking only German, is that you feel as though you have mislaid your personality; and that which has replaced it is BORING! So speaking the occasional bit of English at this point seems invaluable. (Although I have to admit to accidentally failing to speak English at the last one, which seems utterly perverse - one of the other attendees was French, and in the course of a deep discussion it would seem we slipped unknowingly into speaking French; rapped on the knuckles, we apologised and the evening continued in English, but I was secretly delighted to find that my French had not disappeared for good - it was evidently buried at a level only accessible at present after a couple of glasses of wine!)