Another in my occasional series of "Flashbacks" looking back at blog entries made before this Weebly version started.
(Summer 2007) I had a little visitor to the flat today, and a more interesting one than the odd spider, cockroach or gecko. Whilst watching a DVD, a swift flew in through the open kitchen window, across the lounge and straight into a closed window – THUMP! He fluttered around quite a bit until, exhausted, he allowed me to get close enough to grab him and take him to the open window, where he flew off unhurt! There are hundreds of swifts around town at this time of year, especially around the rivers, flying low to catch insects – some just inches off the ground. Great to see, though not particularly welcome during an episode of Dr Who.
[30th May 2018: I was prompted to look up this story by a rather large bird flying into my classroom earlier this week. After trying to fly out through a closed window and thumping its head, it was dazed enough to let me pick it up and take it to an open window whereupon it flew off, seemingly none the worse for wear. Cue a round of applause from my students!]
JD was invited to a free Lego Trial Class yesterday. One of his school friends already attends every Sunday afternoon. The class had five boys in it and a very professional teacher who talked them though the different stages of making a sniper's rifle with the aid of a Powerpoint presentation (not my favourite object for them to be building, but it varies from week to week). JD loved the 1½ hour lesson, and he and his friend especially enjoyed "chasing and killing" me with the guns after class. Unfortunately, the Lego school is a good 30 minutes drive away, which has made us think twice about signing up.
JD and I spent this morning at the Kunming Railway Museum. JD was two years old when we last went and he had no recollection of it. But this time he thoroughly enjoyed seeing everything from the old steam engines to the new high-speed trains. I've been to the museum about half a dozen times and it just gets better every time with new exhibits and more English captions. Shame about the toilets though!!
We moved into our temporary flat eight months ago and renovation work finally started on our old house two months ago. Since then, progress has been slow but steady, monitored daily by Jiajia with her architectural plans, self-bought materials and design ideas in hand.
JD's bedroom will be doubled in size with a new extended balcony, windows will be double-glazed, central heating has been installed, new kitchen and bathrooms fitted, new stairs, extra walk-in storage cupboards and space for a balcony garden. It should be fantastic once finished, but we may be looking at New Year 2019!
China launched its first self-built aircraft carrier today. Its only previous one was a refurbished second-hand Russian ship. The military build up in China is getting very noticeable and a little bit worrying.
Closer to home, JD's choice of outing today was to YuanTong Temple across town. He's recently been copying Jiajia when she prays to Buddha and he wanted to try praying by himself! He particularly enjoyed the prayer wheels at the Tibetan Temple next door.
JD was having trouble grasping how long it is until we visit the UK, so I wrote a countdown on a block of post-its and now, every day, he rips off the top one and we stick it up on the top of the wardrobe.
We are all really looking forward to the trip. Six weeks seemed a lot of time for us to fill, at first, but we appear to be squeezing far too much in once again in order to see everyone and do all the things we want to. And of course, we're still waiting to see if Jiajia gets her visa without a hiccup.
JD's Birthday Party has been put back again and again, due to illnesses, bad weather and conflicting events. But, last weekend, he finally got his party with his preferred guests (American friends, Kaiya and Zaden) with a trip to the Waterfall Park to do various activities and share a picnic. Together the kids did boating, fishing, robot driving, a car ride, trampolining and ice-creams. We got there by e-bike, subway and tuk-tuk, and returned by open-topped bus and e-bike. The weather stayed dry, the picnic was enjoyed and great fun was had by all.
Yesterday saw my last lesson with the Foreign Affairs Department of the Kunming Civil Service. The course was supposed to run for 12 weeks but, due to cancellations and public holidays, it's been 16 weeks since I started. They have been a fun group to teach, but I'll be glad to get my Fridays back again - it's my only JD/work free day each week.
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