This is a fairly common sight in the Chinese countryside - boards laid alongside the wheel arches of parked cars and vans
It's taken me some time to find out what the reason is. I'm told on good authority it is to stop dogs weeing on the tyres, because of the belief that their urine degrades tyres and causes punctures. I'm not sure dogs really do that, or that their urine has any effect at all but hey, this is China! Facts often have no bearing on local traditions.
We went to a mountainside picnic area where the kids could run around and play. Lunch was a DIY barbecue - you bring your own food and then pay for charcoal and the barbecue grill to cook it on. Fun.
The flat upstairs started their redecoration and remodeling yesterday and, pretty soon, the constant hammering of the masonry drills drove me out of the house. I headed for a reservoir I'd heard about, a half hour e-bike drive away. It didn't disappoint. A haven of fresh air and greenery just outside the city. And I was surprised to see a dozen folk swimming there too, so it looks like somewhere I might take JD to sometime.
My tongue was bleeding all last week from the number of times I had to bite it - JD's English teacher has been driving me crazy!
First she criticises JD for using joined-up writing. Then she sends home a list of the "mistakes" being made in his letter writing. I see nothing wrong with his G and k. I see lots wrong with her Q, and who puts a tail on a capital U? Not even JD's English textbook shows written letters the way his teacher insists on!
And then today we get "example sentences" to copy which include the following...
I'm told I should keep my mouth shut - it's the Chinese way. But sometimes it's hard to ignore a teacher insisting on mangled language!
JD had his first day back at school yesterday, preceded by some tears for fear of not having finished all of the huge amounts of holiday work his school gave him to complete. As it turned out, he'd done enough and, by the time he got to after-school homework club [see above], he was much happier. Here's to the new term.
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