We fly to the UK this weekend for a month's holiday! Can't wait to see my folks, family and friends again ...and of course partake of a Wetherspoons breakfast or two!
The "Secret Forest" opened again last week now that the wet season has begun again here. JD and I apprehensively searched out our den to see if had survived the last six months. And survive it had! We've visited twice more since and added a rather pretty arch feature to the side of the main structure.
We call it the "Secret Forest" as it seems that only a handful of people know about it and we seldom meet more than 2-3 other people on a typical afternoon visit. In a noisy and crowded city like Kunming, it really is an oasis of peace, solitude and natural beauty.
Those that know any of the wider Hider family may be aware that "sticking out your tongue when concentrating" is a very strong Hider genetic trait. JD exhibits it all the time!
After a few initial bike-riding lessons back in February, we finally got the bike back out today for some more practice. Very quickly, JD was riding along without any help, tongue firmly sticking out! He seemed to enjoy it too, after the nerves of previous attempts. He'll soon be joining the older boys racing around the neighbourhood.
As I've grown older, I've found myself watching more and more documentaries. My latest binge has been, "The World at War". Despite being produced in the 1970s (with Laurence Olivier narrating!) it remains the best documentary series about the Second World War. With 26 hour-long episodes, it has taken a while to get through, but it's fascinating stuff and I've found the various WWII events I had heard of before have gradually been put into context and made more "real". Highly recommended.
After two dry months, the heavens opened today and Kunming immediately flooded. The city has never been able to handle heavy downpours. Thankfully they are infrequent. I managed to pick JD up from Kindergarten on my e-bike through the "river" below. Scooters seem better able to cope with deep water than cars can - unless you drop the bike of course!
JD and I made the trip across the city to the Horticultural Exposition Park yesterday armed with a large picnic and a kite. On arrival we were delighted to stumble across some festive Dragon Boat Racing - I'd been told on good authority that there was no such boat racing anywhere in Kunming this year! Then we got the kite out with mixed success - blustery winds but not consistent enough to keep it aloft for very long. Exhausted, we found some shade for our picnic before searching for a couple of ice-creams.
JD is growing in confidence all the time - riding the "Danube Rapids" water ride without me, approaching a fearsome looking Clown on stilts to blag a free balloon animal, chatting with the ids of strangers, etc. Great to see. We had a lovely day but we got very sunburned!
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!
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!
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