I guess in short the main highlights have been my sister Julie and hubby George visiting, more of which later, writing a book with Sam and going up to Beijing on the fast train to see the publishers. Teaching continued as did meeting friends. Snooky's leg/paw became a serious issues so we had to find a vet. ( I say we, I mean my Chinese friends who are gracious enough to come with me when I need translation).
So lets see where shall we start:......
Julie and George took the opportunity to come and visit China after a few days in Hong Kong. So I picked them up at the airport.
Next stop for Julie, after one day in the country - the police station!!
It was simply to register them as 'aliens' as they were staying with me and not in a Hotel. I think they were the first foreigners that had ever registered to stay such was the commotion....
Bars were visited and my chums were all introduced.
Then we went on a trip - George enjoyed the sights!
But soon we were at a place called Xitang which is a 'water village'. This is Julie and George in the back of our tuk tuk
With Carolines sister - I forget her name.
Later that week Julie and George gave a talk to the pupils of the International Department For those that don't know Julie and George work in the Tower of London - George is a beefeater and Julie looks after the Queens Jewels.
With some of my teacher colleagues.
Then all too quickly they were off. But it was a good holiday and they saw a lot of China you don't usually see on the normal tour.
Hmmmmm.... what next.
During Julie's visit the weather was really warm, warm enough to sit outside the bars drinking in the evenings and of course the blossom was out.
Stephen and I had a couple of barbecues ouside and beer of course.
And it occasionally rained - parents waiting for their kids - obviously a friday afternoon.
We went out to a local park with our students where they did some team building style stuff whilst we hung about and tried to fine beer (we succeeded)
This is a musician on the streets of Nanjing
Then the big thing is I had to go to Beijing So Snooky stayed with Mark and Ariel who she loves
I went to Beijing because over the winter months myself and a Chinese teacher called Sam have been writing a book. Its about the IELTS speaking exam - a sort of a primer - how to pass the exam sort of book and we were up in Beijing to see the publisher.
This is Sam
This is the forbidden city
As you can see the tulips were out in the park and people were enjoying the sunny weather
The cops around Tiananmen were ever vigilant
No double parking here.
After a meal a beer was needed it was a busy day!
Always the Angel in Nanjing....
Street kids - outside some of the most expensive shops in this known universe.
Woman selling stuff....
I took a trip to my local temple where the thing to see was the leaning pagoda
it has a bigger lean than Pisa...
Bright lights of Nanjing City
It was Easter
And we had some fun at school
Students having fun....
Elva (the queen of darkness - one of our bosses/administrators) cooking spag bol for the kids
Then it was back to work aiming for end of term exams...
Meanwhile poor snooky was having an issue with her leg
Its called a 'lick granuloma' and she had a little bit when we were in the UK but it has got steadily worse and then suddenly flared right up so we had to find a vet. The first one was useless, but this is an animal hospital and this vet is great.
My friend Caroline came to do the translations
And we got the medicine.
I went with AJ to the Nanjing Museum and very good it was too
So cold drinks were needed (after Titus was home with mum)
Nanjing at night
This is the blue frog I was treating Caroline for helping me on the 2 for 1 burger night!!
Ariel - Snookys true love ...grrrrr
The sun was shining so I invested in table and chairs from IKEA
I was asked to paint some pictures of pigs for a Childrens Charity for auction.
Snook sees the vet regularly
Its was dragon boat festival - I didn't see any boats but got some time off!
AJ, Titus and me went to a local Dinosaur theme park - it was fun
Then It was time to leave to go back to the UK - it was raining when I left
But unusually I was travelling light - most of it gifts for Matilda
Then all too soon Home. Back to a pile of mail.......
But of course the best bit of coming back to the UK was to see Darling Daughter. Here modelling her new clothes.
Also visited mum and Dad in Weston Super Mare
And generally enjoyed the sunny days in Plymouth
Often with Ice Cream
Pizza before seeing Cats at the Theatre Royal
More Ice Cream in Weston Super Mare seeing mum and dad again with Matilda
Horses on Dartmoor.
But soon it was time to leave again and return to China (Next blog will be what I packed etc) I really had too much stuff this time. Indeed by the time I got to Nanjing my bag had been broken - hey ho I got £10 compensation!!
I stopped in London in the tower with George my brother in law. Its the 100th commemoration of WW1 so it was a pretty spectacular time to be there.
These are the ceramic poppies commemorating all the dead of the war
Me and George my Brother in Law
21 Gun salute
Then WHAT LUCK. Seat on the plane but with all the leg room in the world! what a bonus! (no curry tho :-( )
Hong Kong airport - Ive been there 3 or 4 times but never seen Hong Kong.
When I got back to Nanjing it was still raining!!!
Back in my flat, after only 6 weeks away things had started to go downhill fast - mould everywhere..
Then I got Snooky. She wasn't impressed at me being back and was a bit 'men men bu le' (sulky) at first, but soon came around....
So I'm back. This has been a quick catch up of the last five months where I've been a bit slack in keeping up the news. But I hope to be better and Ill be posting again soon. Its a new semester with new challenges and new adventures so I will post them here. I promise...