An invitation came from Mark and Yi Lin to celebrate their son’s, Louis’s, 100th day birthday. Louis was born on 5th February 2015, and so was 100 days old today (16th May) but it was his 101st day….There is apparently a mathematical difference in what that sentence says…but no matter. ( I can say that with confidence as I am neither a parent of Louis, nor a mathematician. In Mark’s household last night it created a heated debate!)
A number of friends and family gathered at the Kempenski Hotel, Suzhou for a BBQ Brunch to celebrate Louis being alive for 100 days. It is customary, though apparently more in the north of China, for there to be a celebration of living a 100 days. If a baby has reached this milestone then it is more likely than not going to reach adulthood. A celebration of “Great – our child is healthy” or “Great – we are amazing parents, we haven’t harmed the child yet” (not uncommon in my previous line of work -hmm still cynical.)
We hadn’t been to the Kempenski Hotel before, but essentially the entrance is found just of Jinji Hu Lu, which is one of the main roads round Jinji Lake. It is deceptive though, as the entrance, grand with it’s waterfall, is about a mile from the hotel which sits on Dushu Lake. Brunch was therefore outside on the lake front. I didn’t even think about hats or sun cream, so the Croziers are slightly pink. We asked parents today if they had any, but not a single person had, so I wasn’t the only irresponsible parent. It was a beautiful quiet setting. The grass front provided plenty of running around for the kids, together with the bouncy castle. On reading the brunch information it appeared that you can use the hotel pool if availing yourself of brunch…so we will know that for the future.
In China we have cooked more for ourselves at restaurants than anywhere else. We have cooked hot pot (large pot of flavoured stock where you cook meat etc) and Korean BBQ – again meat etc put on hot plate over hot coals. Today, we had a BBQ outside but on table top BBQ’s. Metal grids over hot coals cooked a variety of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
A great way to spend a Saturday. For the first time since July (i.e arriving in Suzhou) I had a lamb cutlet. Lamb, for some reason, is not a meat they eat a great deal off – or I just haven’t found it. There was also a variety of sides – mashed potato, sauerkraut, red cabbage…yes we were in a German pub within the hotel grounds! But the table I was on, cheated ever so slightly, instead of cooking it ourselves (we did some) we got the hotel staff to put the food on the big barbecues. When finished we then put it on our small bbq to make it look as if we had done it all. We also appeared to have had more food than all the other tables, but I think that is because we had all the kids at our table and only 4 adults -by the time the bbq food was ready the kids had filled up on sides and weren’t interested in the meat!
Having had a lovely Saturday brunch, great weather, good lake views and lovely company (I only mention the weather because yesterday we had thunder and lightening and torrential downpours from 08.30am to late evening), family Crozier headed to Dragon and Phoenix Tailors. Martin and my Mum have had clothes made there already, and Eleanor and I have felt a little left out. Today, Eleanor and I ordered summer dresses that should be ready by the 26th May. We both chose different fabric and different designs. Eleanor wanted me to choose the same as her, but I politely declined. Pictures of our dresses will come in a later blog I am sure.
We then went to the paper cutter stall and whilst buying a few pictures, the owner decided to re-create Eleanor’s picture in a paper cutting.