Sofa, so good
One of the final stages of our house move fell into place last week with the delivery of our new three-piece suite. So today, our old sofa goes to the old flat and a final cupboard is moved from there to our new flat. And then we need to pick up a new cupboard bought from a friend of ours. All change!
All going swimmingly
JD [corralled by his teachers, top left] finishes Kindergarten next month. His "graduation" photo came through a few days ago. I was trying to explain to JD that he will go from being one of the oldest students in the school to being one of the youngest, but I don't think it really sank in. He'll start "ShiDa Primary School" - considered the best in Kunming - in September. Then, sometime before those six years are over, we plan to return to the UK for his Secondary education. Time is flying!
Unlucky for some!
I got back in touch with an old friend the other day - a Chinese teacher who was teaching in the same Middle School where I was based some 13 years ago. She said she often thought of me as I still appear in the school's textbooks, and she sent me these photos as proof!
My annual religious vetting...
The tooth will come out
Yesterday was a small landmark in JD's life - his first milk tooth wobbled out (with a little help from some misdirection and a quick yank!). JD was very excited and proud. Many of his classmates have been losing teeth for a few months now (most are older by 6 months or more), Mind you, he did actually lose his first tooth at three years of age when eating an under-cooked corn on the cob!
Examining the examiner
Having finally qualified a couple of weeks ago, yesterday I started my new role, examining IELTS Speaking Tests for the British Council. Whilst I've practiced running dummy exams and graded recorded interviews, I've never before done both things simultaneously. It's tricky as you're aware that the things that you say, the timings of the activities (to the second) and your consequent analysis of the candidate's ability are all monitored and posthumously assessed in great detail. So I need to concentrate really hard and get everything right. And then do another one five minutes later; 20+ a day.
What do we want...?
I saw the answer
Last Friday was my first day alone in the house in many months - and probably my last for a while! So I did the manly things of sawing the legs shorter on my office desk, the less manly thing of vacuuming up the mess I had made and the positively unmanly thing of making a loaf of bread. Just call me Mr Gender-fluid!
Engand, here we come!
We booked out flights to England yesterday. We'll spend the whole of July in Britain - can't wait. We're doing less travelling around this time and hoping it will be a little less manic as a result!
Some new water drinking fountains have been installed around Green Lake, which is a great idea in the current hot weather.
But woe betide anyone who tries to drink from them! They have been commandeered by the local pensioners who queue up all day long to fill bottles, buckets and pots with the free drinking water! To say elderly Chinese people are "thrifty" would be something of an understatement.
Golf for it!
May the 4th be with you
JD and I have been enjoying occasional Star Wars Movie nights recently. We're up to Star Wars VII so far. Good chance for the boys to bond.
What's passed is past
Spent a few days this week back in ChongQing - smoggy city with a population of some 30 million. After a day of review and practice, I retook the 3-hour Certification Test and this time passed the thing. So I'm now a qualified Examiner for the British Council. I'm heading back to Kunming later today.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
Past blog entries