JD and couple of his little friends spotted this crazy phone box full of fish the other day. One has to ask ...why??
We've had bucketloads of rain every day here recently. Talk of droughts from a few years ago are long forgotten! But we were cheered up yesterday evening by the most amazing (double) rainbow - the clearest I've ever seen. This [right] was the view from my flat - photos don't do justice to the brightness and clarity of the colours. Students at my University had even better views [below] with the full arc on display. Very impressive indeed.
JD and I made some new friends yesterday. The Mum is a teacher of Vietnamese at my University, with a Chinese husband. Their two kids are a little older and little younger than JD which made for perfect playmates. The common language in JD's bedroom was Chinese, whilst for us adults, English. We shared a nice buffet lunch and chatted for many hours. I did wonder if they were winding me up about their English names - Grass, Plane and Boat!?
This week is a Chinese National Holiday celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China on 1st October 1949. This T-shirt sums up the prevailing mood in China these days. Whereas in the West there is a clear distinction between Country and Government, it is very blurred here and often to love one's leaders means to love one's country and vice versa. It's certainly an "interesting" viewpoint, if a bit worrying at times!
JD's been off school this last week with a nasty cough. But I took him back in today, as he's feeling better, only to be told by the nurses who check the kids' health on arrival that he still has a fever (despite their own thermometers registering a perfectly normal 37ºC).
So I've had to take him home and cancel the Halloween party he was due to attend. Instead, we have built a huge indoor Halloween den where he and I slept last night complete with snacks, sweets and ghost stories! Scary?
When I'm preparing a lesson for my University students I always try, amongst the grammar, vocabulary and pair work, to have one or activities which are more a bit memorable, enjoyable and fun. Thus, last week I had a song for them to listen to [see above] whilst arranging lyrics which had been cut into strips. On Friday, my class of fifty were moving around the classroom [see below] trying to match English shop names with Chinese shop names and pictures of things you can buy there. And today we had an auction where teams could bid for sentences - but only ones without any English mistakes were of value.
This Monday coming is Mid-Autumn Festival in China, so yesterday my University organised an activity for the foreign teachers to make traditional mooncakes.
Sadly, only three teachers turned up for it (myself a Vietnamese and a Burmese) but it was fun and, once packaged, the cakes looked pretty impressive. However, I'll let JD try once first before I risk anything!
Here's another one. Can you guess what the picture is?
[Click Read More to see the answer]
The Colosseum is elliptical, long 188 meters, 156 meters about axis; central is 86:58. The circumference of 527 meters, 57 meters high, covers an area of 20000 square metres, can accommodate 80000 spectators.
I saw a couple of barmy pictures in a restaurant the other day. Here is the writing which went with the picture. Can you guess what the picture was of? [Click Read More to see the answer]
Vintage car this concept began in 1973, appeared in the "celebrity and vintage car" magazine, despite its literal translation should be "the Cadillac T10 code ancient car" but because the word "vintage car" strong personification colours so....
JD seems much happier at school these days. Never a tear as I leave him there anymore - barely a hug these days! JiaJia attended a parent-teacher meeting the other day. They said that JD is academically just above average, but he is much-loved and his "personality" is "top of the class" - he cares, shares and has a strong sense of right and wrong. I'll settle for that. Facts and figures can come later and, after all, he does study in what is, effectively, his second language. This is his last year at Kindergarten and we are already looking at ways to get him into a decent Primary School (not easy when the rules keep changing and everybody wants a backhander!).
Apparently I'm an Uncle again, and JiaJia is an Aunt for the first time (by blood) ...not that she appears particularly bothered. We heard today that Jiajia's brother and his Laos wife had a baby boy a couple of weeks ago. They had told Ma-in-law, but not the rest of us. Ma showed us a couple of photos today. No name yet, but we believe mother and baby are doing well.
Well, after an unusually difficult start to the new term, a little bonus was finding out I have been awarded "University Teacher of the Year 2017", only tempered by the fact that it was only in the "Foreign Teacher" category and it was a joint win with another teacher (there are only ten foreign teachers!). In total 154 staff won the same award... BUT I STILL WANT A TROPHY!!
For those of you with limited Chinese, it says:
In accordance with the "Notice on the Selection of 2017 Excellent Teachers and Excellent Educators " (School Party Office  No. 54), recommended by the grassroots party committee (party branch, directly affiliated party branch), the school review team review, the following 154 Comrades are commended for the "Excellent Teacher, Excellent Education Worker" in 2017 and are now publicized.
List of 69 Excellent teachers to be commended.....
[...68 names plus...]
Paul John Hider
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