On Nov. 28th Christmas came early to U3A’s German Conversation group. The final class of 2018 was organised around a theme of “Christmas in Germany” and to add to the occasion, spouses and partners had been invited to join us. The group was greeted cheerfully with glasses of warm “Glühwein” and “Häppchen”- German nibbles. Having been put in the mood, we settled down to a series of quizzes arranged around our summer out of class activities and intended to test our memories and the German we have learnt this year.
This was followed by an extended break when two long, tastefully decorated tables to match the Christmas Theme, were liberally covered with typical German delicacies and liquid refreshments.
After the break the group were entertained by a three handed comic sketch built around the concept of guests arriving at what they thought was a typical German Gasthof only to find the proprietor practised an Alternative Style of Living. As the prospective guests were shown around they discovered to their horror, that they were expected to dine in the bathroom; sleep in the kitchen and bathe in the lounge! What strange ideas some people do have. Needless to say the prospective guests decided not to stay there and promptly left.
The class ended with the hearty singing of the German Christmas songs “O Tannenbaum” (The Fir Tree), “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) and “Still, still, still” (the same in both German and English) accompanied by recordings of German choirs.
Everyone had an enjoyable time and the class ended with a show of appreciation to Joan, Joyce and Norma in the traditional manner.
On 14th December the German Conversation Group held their Christmas Event.
Sixteen members of the group attended.
Norma, Joyce and Joan organised a varied programme also the provision of drinks (hard and soft !) and nibbles of the sweet and savoury kind.
Joan’s husband , Colin, had prepared an excellent printed programme and also took photographs during the event.
There was a short play from the more advanced group, anagram and a crossword puzzles to solve, (though none of those present were Bletchley material! )
The rendition of the beer drinking song was lame at the first singing and improved at a second attempt.
After a short break when we partook of food and drink, and chatted, there was role play presented by a part scratch crew from the less advanced course. This was slightly chaotic due to lack of rehearsal and the hard variety of drinks at break time.
The Singing of “O Tannenbaum “ and “Stille Nacht” were much improved on the Beer drinking song probably because all were more familiar with the tunes . They were a nice note on which to end the event.
All departed in good spirits and will meet up at the first meeting in January 11th 2017.
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Seventeen members of the group and our leaders enjoyed an early celebration. The eats and drinks were excellent, the singing enthusiastic though not always tuneful!! Thanks go to Norma Joyce and Joan for their excellent organising ability.
Instead of our usual twice monthly Wednesday meetings, our dedicated leaders and group members attended for three successive Wednesdays when in early September we had a planned visit from Alastair Sharp, the National U3A Adviser for German.
Alastair was complimentary about the organization and enthusiasm of all involved “It was interesting, informative and fun,” he commented in the email he sent to thank us.
Alastair Sharp, the National U3A Adviser for German pictured with Joan Ratcliff, Norma Wardle and Joyce Coppock
A specially convened session was held at the Ministry Centre to fit in with Alastair’s diary