woensdag 30 december 2015

Fare thee well, my dear B3

In memoriam of my dear Viotto B3

We've shared many beautiful moments together; concerts, classes and rehearsals.

You were always by my side, well, on top of my clarinet to be precise. We laughed and cried together for many years.

Now you've turned green and to be honest, started to taste bad. Your sound got dull and my tone couldn't shine anymore.

I realise that it is time to let you go. Your replacement has been found but it will be hard to live up to what we had.

Rest In Peace, my trusted friend.

dinsdag 29 december 2015

Christmas party at the kindergarten

On Christmas Day I was invited to co-host the Christmas show for the kiddies. I did it last year as well and it is a lot of fun. There was a script, but the main teacher and I just winged it anyway, whilst occasionally glancing at the script ;) Best to be spontanous, right?

With Lexie's class and a former head of the kindergarten. Izzie was sleeping on grandma at this point.

Lexie and her class mates in action
At the beginning of the show the teachers and I performed a simplified version of Snowwhite in English. We had one rehearsal last week and that was a lot of fun. Leave it to the foreigner to shake things up a bit :P We recorded our lines so we play backed during the performance. 

Hunter! Go kill Snowwhite!!!
"Evil Queening" it up  
Unfortunately Izzie was not feeling well at all. We joined her class for "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" but she was only interested in cuddles.

Twinkle, Twinkle!

Lexie transformed into an ultra cute mini Santa and helped with handing out gifts to the children.

Santa and mini Santa's

Performance ready!
After the show with the head of the kindergarten
Straight after the show I took Izzie home and she slept on me in the carrier. Grandma joined the lunch group with the (ex) heads of the kindergarten. All in all a not very traditional but fun way to celebrate Christmas!!

In the afternoon I went to visit Molly and Adam. That was also really nice with yummy snacks (gluten free rum cake!!!) and mulled wine :) In the evening it was back to cuddle duty. That is also really nice and I'm enjoying it now while I can!

maandag 28 december 2015


The internet is being impossible once again so no pics today!
Today I taught my first ever trumpet lesson. It went very well and my student was happy too :)
We changed the time last minute so I ended up teaching before working out. After teaching I felt cold and unmotivated. The internet didn't work so watching a work out video was simply out of the question. I made a 12 min HIIT and smashed it. After that I felt a bit better.

Once I was warm I figured to try some toe push ups. I'm very new a these; I did my first "real" push up last week. I tried and managed 8 in a row. I rested for a bit and did 8 more.

Ayi arrived to clean so I went out to get a hair cut. I was in the mood to try a new place but my very frustrating internet search didn't help much (it is a sad internet day when even Chinese sites refuse service). I did find an address so I walked on over. The place looked a bit old but the service was OK. The price was great: only 30RMB for washing, cutting and a quick rinse.

I felt hungry so I decided to walk up to a mall where I hadn't been in ages. I got myself a lovely Japanese beef soup (great for the colder weather we're having) and some sushi since I was at the restaurant already ;) Yum, yum, feeling a bit warmer and I happily strolled home.

I was a bit sleepy and bored so I challenged myself to do 10 full push ups in a row and I did it!!!

On January 31th I'm playing solo in XingHai concert hall with the string orchestra from the 86th Middle School. Time to do some serious clarinet practise :) It is always nice to have a set goal to work towards. I'm going to play by heart which is "a thing" for me. The piece is quite easy so I should be able to do it. Looks like I'll have at least 2 concerts in XingHai this year. I've had at least 1 concert a year there since arriving in China. When I was still in the orchestra I played in that hall nearly every week ;)

Now it is time to go pick up the two little ones from kindergarten.
Izzie was back for the first day today as she had tonsillitis last week. That was no fun at all, especially not for her. She started feeling better over the weekend so that is great :)

vrijdag 25 december 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hi all!

Sorry, sorry, sorry, it has been ages yet again!
The biggest blogging obstacle these days is that my old Mac has moved on to grassy meadows and I'm (trying) to work with an Acer that weighs about 5KG's...... None of my pics are on here so in order to show you some images I must upload them through my mobile phone. Then it is onto Blogger where all images need to be readjusted and only then can the actual typing begin. All in all a bit mafan as you will understand.

Happy Lexie at kindergarten

Oh yes, if that wasn't complicated enough: everything needs to be done through VPN which is quite a pain in the @ss. But all worries and scaling the big bad firewall aside: I'm here now :)
Introducing the clarinet to Lexie's class
Life has been super busy but in a good way; I've been working (out)/teaching a lot and Lexie and Izzie take up whatever time there's left. They are growing up super fast!!

Izzie is on day 3 of being sick today. I hope she will feel better soon. Lexie is doing great and loves learning English. Her other passion is performing songs whilst singing and dancing (I wonder where she gets that from, hahaha)

Feverish yet beautiful Izzie
I've been very good at working out about 5 times a week. This week I managed to get some one legged push ups from my toes in. I honestly never thought I would get this far!! Next on my list is a strict pull up so I'm working on bar hangs and such. I can almost do a full chin up so I hope I can continue making progress :)

One legged full push up
This week brought some good news as Pippa (my flute student) passed her ABRSM Grade 8 exam with Merit :) That is my second student that passed Grade 8 succesfully! The other one was a shy teenage pianist.

Little girl proof Xmas decorations ;)
My students are all doing well and I'm impressed by their playing. It is a lot of fun to see them grow and it makes me a happy teacher. In January I will be performing in XingHai concert hall once again with the orchestra from the 86th Middle School. I'll be playing the solo in Rachmaninov's Vocalise.

I hope you have a very nice Christmas and you'll find me around more often!

Be silly, it is good for your health!!!