How is it that an annoying trailer for ‘The Gambler’ can run perfectly well to the right of my emails but I can’t listen to Jeanette Winterston’s programme about Manchester on Radio Four without it cutting out every 2 seconds? I was also recommended listening to Andrew Marr’s Start the Week about A Sense of Place, which was a very good listen, especially in the morning when the internet works better for some reason.
It made me think a lot about home. I wonder what my Chinese friends who have not visited Europe would think if they were picked up and dropped in the middle of Britain. I’d probably put them in the wilds of Scotland or in a little chocolate box village in the Cotswolds. Talking of which, it is not easy to get good chocolate round here, I am not sure why. There is a lot of awful American Hersheys, which tastes so bad because it’s made with anything other than chocolate so it has a longer shelf life and they always put peanuts in it! But that’s probably to disguise the awful taste. China is pretty much the opposite of the UK in more ways than one. One of my ex offender clients at work (proper job) moved with her family to Australia for a bit when she was a child. She once told me a story about the time that ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ came on the Radio and her Mum started crying. She said she knew then that they would be going home soon. Maybe that’s why the radio won’t work properly, because China doesn’t want me to leave. Well I have too much work to do to be homesick and anyway it’s only really the chocolate that’s a problem.
Since my last post I have done the following (see photo annotations rather than long description as there’s too much to say and I have lots of Mandarin revision to do tonight):
Christmas Eve- saw Chinese rom-com with English subtitles. Never seen anything like it before and other things in shopping centre including cute children performing with sunflowers and woman with ball for skirt rocking on a stick.
Christmas Day – Walked up a mountain with CEAC people and dinner including tea Fujian style. It has been very cold and raining until it suddenly got hot again today and yesterday.
Ran a quilling workshop in Zhangzhou (across the sea via speedboat) for CEAC friends Tim and Lin who run a studio there and who I like a lot because they have liberal views and try to get the students to be expressive and individual, hence quilling projects ranging from a floral crown to a picture of Jesus.
Visited the Taiwan Folk Culture Village which was recommended to me by Anne and Arnie, not because it is particularly good but because it has decaying fairground rides and is all a bit strange. Still charge £2.50 to get in. The ticket office woman tried to explain something to me but with English not so good could only say ‘you’re just going to have a look?’ what other options there were I will never know, other than have your wedding photos taken as usual. The only butterfly in the Butterfly Park was plastic.
More painting. My exhibition is in a couple of weeks! Today I painted outside in the glorious sun.
And more Mandarin classes and homework. I am now doing a few characters. I can do numbers 1 – 10.