Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Darn it Time flies....

Darn it time flies when you are having fun. I can't believe I have been so tardy that I haven't written a blog post since August 2014. It's now May 2015 thats 9 months and I'm already counting down the days until I go back to the UK for a visit.

What can I tell you about life in China over the last 9 months.  Well I guess, I'm not much different from the rest of you. I work most days. Do stuff on weekends and generally keep busy.

The highlights have been travelling to the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand during the spring break. It was a flying visit to each of the countries really.  Just about 8 days in the Philippines and 10 days split between Oz and NZ.

The Philippines was basically just a holiday with some friends. It was a bit disappointing really. I was expecting white beaches, blue sea, cold beers and a relaxing time. I didn't really get that.  The first few days were spent in the city of Cebu on Cebu island. The Philippines is poorer than China and conditions for the people that live there seems to be tough for the majority of them. I saw quite a lot of poverty. Then we went to the resort of Lapu Lapu. But again I was disappointed. Nasty beach at the hotel. All the other beaches privately owned so you had to pay to go on them. Not much swimming in the sea.

The trip to Australia and New Zealand was to visit friends and relatives. I mean in China I'm half way there so it made sense for me to try and get there while I have the chance.  So after leaving the Philippines I headed back to China to catch my flight to OZ from Shanghai. Stupid really as I should have gone direct from the Philippines rather than take Air Asia to Sydney. What a mistake that was to use that airline. Never again. Delayed and cancelled flights on both legs. Plus completely cancelled on the way back so I had to buy tickets with a different airline (got a refund though).

All I saw of Australia was Sydney which was Ok. The weather wasn't as hot as I thought it would be, I guess it was the end of summer, some rain and grey skies. I did the usual touristy things while my friends were at work  So all in all I had a good time. I enjoyed the victorian feel of Sydney, especially the architecture.

In New Zealand I visited New Plymouth to visit aunt, uncle and cousin.  I also got to meet an old friend who was the best man at one of my many weddings! I also spent some time at my cousins house at Hot Water Bay on North Island. I didn't get to see any hobbits though.

Circular Quay - Sydney
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Beach NZ
Sunset NZ
Busker Sydney
Circular Quay - Sydney
In other news the book I was writing with a Chinese colleague has been published. Its a text book aimed at Chinese students taking the speaking part of the IELTS examination.  I'm not sure how successful it will be. It all depends on how far I trust the guy I wrote it with and to be honest my trust levels in him have fallen recently. Its going to be hard for me to know if the book is selling or not as every thing, all the business is done in Chinese of course. I have a contract but I have to trust my co author to pass on any royalties. My fingers are not crossed.

I guess the rest of the nine months have been taken up with teaching and doing stuff. Ive been doing some more painting. Recently this picture was sold at a charity auction for 4000 rmb which is about £400 so I was pleased with that. I've sold a couple of other pictures to friends.

And this print was was framed and hung in Australia. 

Heres some more random photos of what I've been up to in the last 9 months

 Nanjing Street
 Snooky paddling
 My vegetable seller in the local market
 Colleagues wedding
 Nanjing alley
 At the antiques market
 In the park - Xuanwu hu
 Sightseeing in Anqing
Bookseller - Anqing

 Knitting circle - Anqing
 A death gift - boat building
 Carpenters shop buddha
 Snook at the vets for yearly jabs
 Me getting a flu jab so it must be October. 
 Temple in Anqing
 Antiques market - Nanjing
 Shoes for bound feet

Woman who lives in the community near my school

 Halloween fun
 Halloween at the school
 Charity Las Vegas night downtown
 Fitting for a new jacket at the tailor
 Proletarian Art work bought from the antiques market and got framed
 Off to Thanksgiving at the Blue Marlin
 The wild turkey didn't last too long!
 Lower Show at the local Art University - we took the kids
 Christmas is coming
 Peggy my good american friend
 Tom (Peggys Husband) My other good american friend
 AJ and Steve
 Christmas - was a work day at school 
 Ho Ho Ho

We, the foreign teachers were given Christmas day off so lunch was had at AJ's place, Turkey with all the trimmings.  
 Kid downtown

Well thats got us up to Christmas and the New Year. I'll post some more pics in the next blog to catch up. 

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