Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Twenty four hours from now I shall be boarding a plane for Gansu. My term finished last Friday and I don't have any work arranged until my week training new teachers beginning 22 February. I don't start back at school until 1st March. I'll be splitting the time between Baiyin and England and thought I'd mention an odd reversal of feelings that I have. Going to Baiyin where I was teaching for three years feels like going home but going to England, where I lived for more than fifty years feels like I'm going on holiday. I know it's probably because I'm coming back to China and intend to spend at least another couple of years here but it still seems odd to me.
Anyway, that means that I won't be able to post here for a couple of months. So much for my rsolution to be more active on my blog and less active on Facebook.
Oh well, see you later.

Where credit's due...

I wonder how Dick Van Dyke feels about, according to the IMDB,  being credited immediately below Crystal The Monkey on the movie Night At The Museum 3.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Not a good place for a walk

I like living in Yangshuo. I really do. It has a lot going for it. Unfortunately it has one or two things in the debit column too. I decided to go for a walk today, time having dulled the memory of why I don't go for walks in Yangshuo. I was soon reminded. It simply isn't a city where it's possible to enjoy a pleasant stroll. There is one walk that is a circular stroll down by the river and round  until you get back into town but that's about it and it does get a bit tedious when there are no other places to go.
No other places to go on foot anyway. Today I went over the bridge and started walking out towards Xingping. I persevered for about forty-five minutes and then gave up and came back. The trouble is that the roads simply aren't designed with pedestrians in mind. There is nowhere for people to actually walk. Often you either have a long drop or a high hedge two centimetres to one side of you and an endless stream of criminally insane drivers hurtling past two centimetres to the other side. Those aren't the only hazards to contend with, either. The narrow strip where you are walking has frequent deep potholes apparently designed to trip the unwary and equally frequent subtle changes of level so that the ground isn't quite where your brain thinks it ought to be and you run the risk of breaking your ankle from a misstep. Assuming that you manage to concentrate hard enough to avoid the quarter of a second lapse in attention that will get you killed by one of these obstacles there is a pretty good chance that you'll contract some fatal lung condition from the air which is so polluted by car exhaust emissions that a blue haze prevents you seeing clearly a whole mountain that is less than half a mile away. China has emission control laws but you certainly wouldn't believe it from walking around in Yangshuo.
Anyway my whole walk was a singularly unpleasant experience. So I won't be doing it again until the memory of this time has also faded.

Is that the right way round?

Just followed links from one of the ESL sites that I follow to a large collection of downloadable ebooks. Interesting to see that while The Bible was classified as factual, Darwin's Origin of Species was filed under science fiction. Says quite a lot about the people who run the site.