JD's latest hobby is to go digging in a patch of ground near our flat.
He's convinced he'll find fossils and eventually end up in Australia!
Time's zooming by
The global lockdown does have a few positives. We've been meeting together as a family on Zoom every week for a month or more now. It's proven a good way to keep in touch and support each other.
'Today's meet-up coincided with Andy's 51st Birthday!
Piece o' Pizza
Having a whale of a time!
JD and I are on Lego Challenge #6. I don't think we'll make the full 30 days as JD's interest is gradually waning, but it's given us a daily creative challenge, whether we make it or not!
This was part of a long and very "Chinese" speech which appeared on my phone yesterday. It gives an idea of the narrative now being promoted by the Chinese Communist Party as the COVID-19 outbreak here gradually comes under control:
Flashback: This day in ...2006
Another in my occasional series of "Flashbacks" looking back at blog entries made before this Weebly version started.
One of the teachers I train was telling me last week how bad her students' listening skills were. So this week, whilst observing her lesson, I decided to have a go at her weekly dictation test. Admittedly, I had not done the homework so I had no idea what words to expect, but I feel like my "listening" skills were quite good. So I was very embarrassed to score only 3/10!!
However, I suggest that it might be her pronunciation that's at fault, rather than her students' listening! See how you get on with a few examples (as I heard them):
"of late" eg "your horse may be of late".
[Actual answer: "a flat" - eg "your house may be a flat"]
"bitten" eg, "bee has bitten a sea".
[Actual answer: "between" - eg "B is between A and C"]
"glum" - eg, "these students are inner glum".
[Actual answer: "column" - eg "these students are in a column"]
"bulgy" eg, "Mrs Wang is a bulgy teacher"!
[Actual answer: "biology" - eg "Mrs Wang is a biology teacher"]
….so, how well would you have done??
Komplete Food Carnage
We treated ourselves to a huge feast today to "celebrate" our 12th week of lockdown. Delivered to our door and dispatched within half an hour - very tasty!
I fort so
JD and I have taken on a "30-day Internet Lego Challenge", with a new build each day. Yesterday we built "a town" complete with a church, a hospital and a rescue helicopter. Today's challenge was a castle. I don't think we'll be able to keep up the build-a-day pace (and it's sad to have to dismantle each new creation the next day) but it's a little "carrot" to get him to do his homework quickly. He's back to school in 3 weeks.
Like many people these days, my job now involves hosting Zoom sessions. In my case, this is with a few dozen University students at a time, spread across China. It's hard enough to get them to talk face-to-face in a classroom but, when they have various technical excuses at their fingertips, "classes" can end up with an awful lot of silence!
Now and again, we are seeing small signs of life gradually returning to normality, such as people selling things that aren't real necessities!
Lake it or not
Today we ventured out for the first real time in three months, spending the day by a lake in the countryside with two other families whose boys were friends with JD back in his Kindergarten days.
Unfortunately, JD's kite was missing a few vital parts, he brought the controller for his remote-controlled jeep but not the car itself and his glider was missing a tail wing (a lesson learned by JD about last second packing)! But the three kids proceeded to play happily in the sand pit for literally hours and we all shared a barbecue lunch and snacks for tea. It was really good to get some fresh air, for JD to play with friends at long last and for Jiajia to have a good gossip with other parents.
Stick in to the rules
Although we are still largely confined to our neighbourhood, when we do occasionally venture outside, we are starting to see signs of restaurants, parks and museums reopening. Schools and university are still shut though as are half the shops. But the "Fried dough stick" snack bar down the hill from us opened yesterday, so there are definitely some signs of life returning to normal.
Over a million...
One small benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic is the lower pollution levels seen around the world. I also spotted this fascinating graph the other day, showing how Britain's energy mix had changed in the last 100 years. For example, I had no idea how little electricity we get from coal these days. Overall this graph seems pretty encouraging.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
Past blog entries