We had fun last weekend, visiting a countryside village with JD's Kindergarten friends. First, we spent a few hours fishing. I only caught a minnow and JD only caught a couple of dead fish floating on the water! But the other parents had better luck and we finished with three large fish which were cooked up for lunch.
After lunch, we went to a small bakery and had a go at making and decorating our own biscuits. JD had watched a film called, "How the Grinch stole Christmas" last week and, when the biscuits came out of the oven, we were shocked to see that one of them looked spookily like the Grinch! See what you think...
Yesterday afternoon I was one of six foreign teachers from my University visiting a Primary School in the countryside. We represented six different countries and had been asked to give short talks to about 100 students about some aspect of our respective country's culture. I was asked to go first, and gave a ten minute Powerpoint presentation about London, complete with actions for the kids to copy for each place I talked about (cheering for Wembley Stadium, waving for the Queen, monkey impression for London Zoo, hands together praying for St. Paul's Cathedral, etc). The kids loved it and, being first, they were very focused and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, their attention wavered as the other teachers did their talks, some of which lasted up to 30 minutes or were far too complicated or wordy for the 8-11 year olds.
Outside class, the students were very outgoing and active (after a few minutes of shyness) especially when I taught them some simple magic tricks - my usual ice-breaker. It was a fun trip.
JD and I went to the circus again last weekend, this time with Jiajia and Ma-in-law in tow. At one point in the performance JD blew a kiss to one of the East European dancers and was rewarded with a big kiss blown back, After the show ended, he insisted on running over to get a hug from "his blue lady"! She seemed happy to oblige. What a flirt!
When a first ever zoo opened in Yulin, Guangxi Province, last week, residents flocked the see the "rare and exotic animals" advertised.
They were disappointed, to say the least, to just find some chickens, a couple of geese, a tortoise in a glass tank and six inflatable penguins!
Chinese zoos are not known for their animal care or suitable animal environments, but this one went too far and customers who bought tickets are now looking to sue!
JD was delighted to receive not one, but two, advent calendars this year. A fun one to teach you how to say "Hello" in multiple languages from our UK friends, Jo and family, and then a more religious and chocolatey one from my parents. He's more excited about Christmas this year than ever before. We even made home-made decorations the other day, having packed our normal ones away before the move to our current small flat.
Ma-in-law has been back in hospital this last week. She threw up a couple of times last Saturday (probably having caught the minor bug that JD had the week before) and was straight off to the clinic down the hill for IV drips. She then stopped eating for 2 days and started downing various boxes of medicines. Not surprisingly, she soon felt even worse and rang me on Monday to take her hospital. I first suggested she stop taking random meds and start to eat a little, then see how she felt in a day or two, but no - she insisted on being hospitalised. Jiajia was away on business, so it fell to me to transport her and her clothes/sundries and arrange food and visits. The doctors have done various tests since and said there is nothing wrong with her. But, as usual, she insists she is in great pain and they just haven't found the problem yet. Jiajia arrived back home yesterday so hopefully she can talk some sense into her Mum.
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