I had a lively day at a smart and modern theatre complex in Sai Wan Ho, not far on the MTR train from my favourite Youth Square venue. This is is new place for me which is always interesting. By happy chance when I arrived my assistant was a lady called Connie whom I remembered from three years ago, and she immediately remembered me ! It was one of those small and gratifying moments when one feels a little more at home than usual !
The area was quite urban and full of delightful small shops with interesting and curious stuff to sell. I spent a full five minutes looking at all the exotic fruit in a fresh fruit stall wanting to try something new, but not really knowing what lots of the fruits were ! I tried to ask by gesticulating to the sweet lady seller as to which fruit I recognised and those items I didn't, resembled, but to no avail, so I plumped for the Chinese Pear, which in fairness I had seen before but not eaten ! My assistant asked me how much I had paid and told me very firmly that if they were sweet my HK $10 (70p) for three of them was TOO much ! I think she would have stormed back to the shop and returned them in great umbrage had I said they were sour !
I was not relishing another class of Over the Mountains by Roger Quilter and the 'wrong notes' being sung in my long afternoon class. I was worrying how I might deduct marks from singers who were otherwise very good, simply on the grounds of their voice type.......the Lord be praised, the word had clearly got back to schools and teachers, and every one of he 49 girls sang the upper line - even if they could not do it successfully - so I was relieved of making the somewhat cruel decision ! Hurrah !
I had a lovely dinner after returning to the hotel. I was totally whacked after my week 1 of work and badly in need of sleep and rest, but I had arranged to see Sally M, a very long standing pupil of mine from the JRAM who teaches and sings here in HK and has done for the last 5 years ! Older members of Inner Sound may remember her playing Mabel in our first Pirates, especially as at that time her voice was dropping from soprano to mezzo and her Poor Wandering One had to be transposed down a 3rd !
We had such a lovely dinner, she took me too Rats Alley (Agh!!!) where Thai, Indian and Chinese food all rub together under beautiful lamp lit canopies in a mish mash of cultures. It was gorgeous, I had a beautiful Chick pea curry with poppadoms and mint sauce followed by a coconut and mango dessert. I suddenly woke up and we chatted non stop until fatigue hit like a sledge hammer at around 9.30pm and she put me in a taxi back to the Luk Kwok Hotel, barely able to talk, having drunk only two sparkling waters, before anyone assumes the worst !
She is clearly doing much singing as well as teaching, and I am so glad that her career here is so successful. I started her at 7 years old and she was an amazingly talented youngster, and subsequently a very talented young adult. She felt the need to experience a new life after the Royal Welsh College and so got herself a job in HK.
She is singing at the British Consulate on Wednesday evening, two Scottish songs, The Road to the Isles and The Wild Mountain Thyme ! Now there's a thing !
What a satisfying is tiring day !