I was thirteen years old when the first Star Wars film came out - a perfect age. I can't remember how many times I watched it at the cinema (maybe 3?) but I've seen it at least a dozen more since. I've watched and enjoyed the seven episodes which followed over the years. It's been a huge part of my life.
Today I saw the last in the saga of nine, this one with my son who is already well-versed in TIE fighters, light sabres and the way of the Force. It's the end of an era. Not a perfect finale, but just wonderful to see all the main characters one more time and wrap up the greatest film franchise in history. Cheers Star Wars! I'll miss yer!
We celebrated Christmas last weekend, since Christmas day itself is a normal school/work day here. JD hung up his stocking on Saturday and left out biscuits & milk for Santa and and a carrot for Rudolph. He then woke at 2.00am, 4.30am and finally 7.00am! Just too excited!
His favourite present this year is a "hoverboard" [see above, right] and he spent Christmas morning whizzing around the neighbourhood!
We also shared a nice meal with our American friends Saturday night which, whilst not quite turkey and brussel sprouts, was still very tasty (Chinese hotpot). We even had Santa photo-bombing our post-meal photo!
We celebrated our Halloween a little late this year due to exams. We invited our American family friends over and played a variety of scary and silly games such as "Get the chocolate out of the flour" game [JD lost - see above], "Crisps on a string" [see below], Pass-the-Parcel, "Treasure Hunt", "Guess the crisp flavour" and a "Feely Box". JD dressed as a fish(?!), while I was Spiderman. Our guests were a witch and a Ninja! All good, but not clean, fun!
JD had his birthday party today. We had to rearrange the restaurant's balloons on arrival as they spelled "Happy Baithdry"! Ten of JD's best friends came along with their parents. Then, after lunch we headed upstairs to the cinema and watched the live-action "Dumbo" film (3D in Chinese). Everything went really smoothly and JD had a blast!
A nice shot of JD from our recent trip to the Astronomy Centre, waiting for his turn to look at solar flares. Behind the telescope are Kaiya and Zaden, two American friends of his who we spend a lot of time with.
Zaden (the boy, largely hidden behind the telescope) is exactly a year older than JD. He visited our house today, in fact, to play with JD's Chinese New Year present - a huge military plane complete with soldiers, jeep and a lot of weaponry! JD originally chose a "logging truck" but, after the crane snapped off as we took it out of the box, we had to go back to the shop to complain and he upgraded to a monster plane!
My University hosted a pleasant leaving party today for the half dozen teachers who will not be continuing next term. Amongst them is Nancy [talking to me in photo above] who is transferring to Kunming College. JD loves to play with her kids and we have become good friends over the last couple of years. Hopefully we'll stay in touch.
The event included a number of interesting performances such as a Tea Ceremony, Laos and Dai dancing and a kung fu demonstration.
I also found out that one of foreign teachers I work with has just decided to leave, and a new teacher who had been lined up has quit already! That means I'll be in a team of just two teachers next term where we formerly had 4-5. Could be interesting.
JD's actual birthday was back at the end of March, but with illnesses, conflicting parties and Ava being away we only managed to arrange his celebration this last weekend. JD dressed up in his smartest clothes, including gelled up hair and we met up with six of his friends, and their parents, at a McDonalds for a "happy meal" lunch. After eating, opening presents, playing games, blowing out the candles on a "Frozen" cake (the film, not the temperature) and singing a bilingual "Happy Birthday" we all headed upstairs where there is a large indoor play centre. The kids spent a happy couple of hours playing there before we all went our separate ways.
JD had lots of fun at his friend Kaiya's birthday party yesterday. He took great delight in trying to smash the piñata open and was very disciplined about not using his hands to eat the crisps-on-a-string! He left with his pass-the-parcel prize safely tucked in his pocket - an eraser! He's not see a real one before, although he regularly uses the eraser icon on the iPad, so he made the connection quite quickly.
Last Sunday, JD and I visited a lovely American family we are good friends with; Nancy, her husband NamSung, and their kids Kaiya and Zaden. Nancy teaches English at the same University as me and JD enjoys playing with her kids (especially as they speak English!). They set up a fun volcano experiment outside before treating us to a midday breakfast of waffles, bacon and eggs! JD loved every moment.
I took JD to a "Trick or Treat" get-together yesterday organised by an American friend of ours, with about 20 Chinese children and their parents. We visited 10+ flats in their neighbourhood and were duly rewarded with sweets. It was JD's first such event - and mine too!
JD couldn't decide whether to go as Spider-Man or Bob the Builder, but eventually settled for Spidey, although his uncomfortable mask only stayed on for the first five minutes! I managed to freak out a few of the kids with my mask though [see below]. We headed off after an hour or so for a long-promised MacDonald's Happy Meal. Thankfully the recent days of non-stop rain held off for our trip, although the ground was very slippery and JD slipped over three times! He was exhausted by bedtime and fell asleep quickly ...only to wake up twice with nightmares! The joys of Halloween, right?
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