Christmas arrived in mid November when Eleanor performed with the DUCKS Piccolo Choir at the switching on of the Christmas Tree Lights at the Crowne Plaza, Suzhou. The hotel likes to boast it is the first hotel to switch the lights on. Is it too early? We pondered this last year and again this year but I don’t think it is. (Probably if in the UK definitely but as an expat I think it can be early!)
Earlier on in the day the choir had come to sing at Dulwich International High School. Our students gave them a warm reception and none of choir where overwhelmed by the noise or the photographs being taken.
The Choir sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in English and Chinese which is great to hear.
Sadly Martin missed both performances as he was in our sister school in Seoul for the Dulwich Festival of Music. To say Eleanor was upset would be an understatement but her performances were not affected.
In between all the performances we have had an Open Day at school for prospective pupils and Martin and I went to a White Collar Boxing Match again at the Crowne Plaza. Our friend Chris was boxing (Birkenhead Bomber) but also one of Martin’s colleagues in the Maths department, Marius also boxed.
The next day after the boxing and the Open Day in the morning I took to the stage at the EAS (expat association suzhou) Christmas Bazaar with our school group “Glee” singing “Do They Know it’s Christmas”. Martin also has a handbell group, playing with plates borrowed from a member of Wincantata. The group played “The Holly and the Ivy”, “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. One member of the group doesn’t even read music! And another member played with no practice at all.
Last Monday Dulwich College Suzhou lit up their Christmas Tree lights and again Martin and the bell team played. They then got an invitation to play at Eleanor’s school and when they played Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas the children spontaneously broke into song. It was lovely to see and hear. Not least because none of them could decide what verse or indeed language to sing We Wish You.
To finally finish off Christmas in DUCKS there was a Year 2 performance of singing, recorder playing, reciting of a poem and tap dancing and in the afternoon there was a display of all the dances learnt in the after school clubs. Eleanor was in the Hip Hop group.
Our school has also been getting in the spirit of things which is strange given the student demographic do not celebrate Christmas. Last week we had “Christmas Lunch” with our tutor groups. I managed to eat ham (a thick slice) with chop sticks. Our dining hall has been decorated and with a massive Christmas Tree we are feeling festive.
Then on Saturday Martin married Christmas with Maths when he and a number of students built a Christmas Tree out of fractals. (Probably not correct mathematically but the pictures are below)