Saturday, 17 March 2012
Caro mio Ben and a Coconut Curry
My super duper curry served in a coconut shell !
Well, I think this is the dreariest of my venues! I was on the transport bus for around an hour and having driven out into the New Territories some 35 miles maybe, I arrived at a school which is modern, but seems crumbling and with the all pervading smell of serious damp. I am sure the extremely high humidity just about eats into every building, and, I am told, that is why the air conditioning is on all the time, hence the sometimes freezing conditions in the halls !
Well even the air con has not been able to halt the rapid march of damp and mould in this building. It is still only 8.55am as I write, with a long day ahead of me. I think my clothes will need a good blow through or wash by this evening! This is when I need a strong and clean Paradise gale blowing !
Update to follow at lunchtime...........
Lunchtime is upon me, and I am writing this in the silence of the damp hall where I have just consumed my sandwich and banana. The damp smell has never left even though the air con has been blasting away for the last 4 hours or so. Being such an innovative people, and so into technology I cannot understand why they do not use dehumidifiers which, in industrial sizes, like the air con units, would do the job better maybe, and would use far less electricity, at least for the part of the year when it is humid, but not cold enough for the freezing power of the six whopping great machines in this hall alone. However I am sure someone has addressed the idea, and thrown it out as a scientific non starter!
The boy's class, set piece being Caro mio Ben at the end of the morning, was filled with ups and downs. Two poor chaps could not finish their song because the pianist was so poor, they had an impossible task just to hold the melody line. This is NOT usual. I have heard many many young accompanists who are truly superb and better than many of the adults infact. They play sympathetically and listen to the singers and even cover mistakes. So this mornings' debacle was my first encounter with the problem.
An American colleague and I went out for a meal last night which was lovely. I wanted to post a photograph of the food, as my curry was served in a green coconut shell! Hers was in a normal bowl, so not nearly so exciting. It tasted delicious too and was full of coconut milk and mild spices as well as a type of vegetable I had never tasted before. We tried to hazard a guess at the family type it came from, but neither of us could place it in any veggie family we knew. Suffice to say the small, green, rugby ball shaped fruit or vegetable tasted delicious. Fresh and juicy and totally unknown.
I now face 49 versions of I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, set to music by Eric Thiman and so difficult it is, I have never taught it in my life. I remember singing it at school - boy my teachers must have been ambitious and talented, and a teeny bit brave!
I will survive...........