Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Teachers' Perfect Christmas: Ms Smith and Ms Hart

Ms Smith

What is your favourite Christmas song/carol and why?
My favourite Christmas carol is the Sussex Carol for its jaunty 6/8 time signature. It's a good Christmas when this one's on Carols from Kings. My favourite Christmas song is a bit trickier. I am a massive fan of Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues, so the logical choice would be Fairytale, but in all honesty it's been overplayed to the point that now it really irritates me. So not that. "River" by Joni Mitchell, "Another Lonely Christmas" by Prince, "2000 Miles" by the Pretenders. Anything off trigger-happy wall-of-sound mad genius Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You." There are lots of good ones. 



What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to Bedford Falls. There's something wrong with you if you don't answer, It's A Wonderful Life

What is your favourite Christmas book or poem and why?
Predictable Theology graduate answer alert: the Nativity from Matthew's Gospel.

What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
I was vegan for five years and, although I'm a bit more relaxed nowadays, the majority of Christmas food now holds limited attraction for me. Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes. And a nice glass of prosecco with brunch. 

What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?
Two years ago, my brother got me a Lomography camera (a 120-roll film plastic camera, a replica of a 60s toy camera). It was the first time I ever really did any photography, and it's been a passion of mine ever since. 

What do you most look forward to about Christmas?
It's pretty much the only time in the year when I can guarantee I'll be with my mum, dad and brother at the same time - my parents live up in Derby, and my brother is based in Islington, so it's rare we all co-ordinate. 

Ms Hart

What is your favourite Christmas song/carol and why?
"The Snowman" - it reminds me of when I was little, when we would eagerly look for the film listing in the Radio Times. Everything would stop for this film, including my mum, which was a real feat. I thought, and still think, the film was magical but now realise that it is as much the music as it the illustrations. As soon as I hear this piece of music, I stop, like my mum did all those years back, and I listen to it in its entirety, feeling like I am a child again.




What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
As above, for the same reasons. However, as those who have studied A Christmas Carol with me know, the Muppets' version is certainly up there. It is the most faithful version (if such a thing exists) of Dickens' classic tale. It is a great mix of humour and literary seriousness, and this is why I love it so much.

What is your favourite Christmas book or poem and why?
Ha! As above - my answers all link into one another! A Christmas Carol - I never get bored of it. I re-read it every year, love it, cherish it, then look forward to next Christmas when I will read it again. If I am lucky, I will teach it to my Year 7 class, but sadly not this year. It is such a moving story - one that, despite being fixed so certainly in Victorian London, transcends time and place. The moment when Scrooge looks back at his time at school and sees himself alone is one that sticks with me: "They went, the Ghost and Scrooge, across the hall, to a door at the back of the house. It opened before them, and disclosed a long, bare, melancholy room, made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. At one of these, a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire; and Scrooge sat down upon a form, and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be."

What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
My homemade mince pies - I make them completely from scratch and they are delicious! Coming a close second are my mum and dad's homemade veggie sausage rolls. They never last when everyone is home for Christmas.

What was the best Christmas gift you ever received?
Bizarrely, a small package given to my husband and me from a very old school friend of mine. We were travelling to New Zealand and had visited my old school pal, Karen, in Wanganui. We were heading south to Milford Sound and, before we left, she pushed a box into our hands, insisting that WE MUST NOT OPEN IT until Christmas Day. So, Christmas Day arrived, we were away from our nearest and dearest, and, feeling rather homesick. We opened the box and inside was a mini Christmas tree, a small bottle of non-alcoholic bubbly, chocolate treats and a lovely Christmas card with heartfelt messages from Karen and her family. It was brilliant.

What do you most look forward to about Christmas?
Family.



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