I haven’t blogged for over a year. “I haven’t had time”. Or maybe I haven’t made time. In May 2020, the then of Head of Boarding resigned. I applied and was successful. As Head of Boarding the academic year of 2020-22 was a rollercoaster. August 2021 is going to start as a bumpy ride as Covid-19 cases in the community in other cities are increasing – from a low level of zero. We have had one whole academic year of face to face learning. In February we started eating in the dining hall face to face again. It was lovely … Continue reading Longing

A trip to the Dentist- Beer Chronicles Part 7

I went to the dentist with Eleanor in Chinese New Year, and then I chickened out and said I would go back after the holiday. Little did I know that would be 3 months later. On arrival, before even setting foot in the reception area, I was met by a receptionist in full PPE gear, she took my temperature 36.4 degrees Celsius just in case anyone was wondering, she checked my green QR code and then fitted me with a pair of ill fitting disposable gloves. As soon as I got into the building, I saw that none of the … Continue reading A trip to the Dentist- Beer Chronicles Part 7

To the Bat Cave – Borneo Part 3 

A quick swim at the hotel swimming pool, collection of a packed snack, water and poncho from the hotel and then back on the bus to be reversed over the hotel bridge to go to Mulu National Park.  Our guide was still Phillipie but this time we were joined by a Japanese Couple who clearly were not interested in staying with us to be walked through the park to the next set of caves. We also picked up midway to the caves the 4 Japanese tourists from the morning tour who had, in-between times gone on a canopy walk and … Continue reading To the Bat Cave – Borneo Part 3 

Rain, Rain Go Away- Borneo Part 2. 

Beware this is a long blog… Grab yourself a cup of tea.  Eleanor is in danger of growing up getting used to 5 star accommodation. We don’t particularly want her to just good accommodation doesn’t come at such a premium in this part of the world.  And so it was on this leg that I considered homestay or staying in a Long House. Just to give us some local flavour.  However, I chickened out and opted for the Mulu Marriott instead. It had a small swimming pool, air conditioning and comfortable beds. (Though that didn’t mean we got uninterrupted sleep…)  … Continue reading Rain, Rain Go Away- Borneo Part 2. 

Wild man of Borneo: Borneo Part 1

  Whether Borneo is the largest island or the third largest island in the world-  it doesn’t matter.(hotel staff said the largest, guide book said third) This island has plenty to offer and when you are on a kind of a budget, timescale and have a “handicap” of a 7 year old there are certain things we were never going to attempt and climbing Mt Kinabalu and seeing the Pinnacles or doing the famed Headhunters Trail was never going to be on our itinerary…this time.   Is Eleanor really a handicap? Of course she isn’t. We find age appropriate activities for … Continue reading Wild man of Borneo: Borneo Part 1

Girls weekend in Kuala Lumpur

Having left Martin in China at an Asian schools Orchestra rehearsal and concerts in Zhuhai (on the mainland but close to Macau and Hong Kong) on Friday 29th Jan Eleanor and I took a flight to KL via Kota Kinabalu (in Borneo and where we would fly back to on Tuesday 2nd Feb). It was cheaper to fly to KL via KK rather than stop and leave at KK. KK wasn’t a big airport to do a stopover though we did go through immigration in about 2 minutes and it is where I had a meltdown. Having left China with … Continue reading Girls weekend in Kuala Lumpur

Year of the Monkey

They say that the world’s largest migration happens during Chinese New Year and they aren’t wrong. This year was no exception and many people were stranded due to the exceptional cold weather we had at the end of January.   (standing on our frozen compound pond) So it was lucky really that we escaped to the heat. What better way to celebrate the incoming year than to go see some relatives of the Monkey.      During the last week of school Martin and I, along with all the other tutors in school had lunch with our tutor groups. A pre cursor … Continue reading Year of the Monkey

Creating Memories

 In our lives BC (Before China) our main holiday was 2 weeks (and sometimes if lucky) 3 weeks Eurocamping in France, and in 2013 France and Switzerland. We went to France a couple of times in between and once before Eleanor we went to Sweden and South Africa. We even managed skiing with friends in Austria, but Europe was really as far as we ever got. But now that we are in China there are endless possibilities. Australia in the summer was somewhere we had thought we would never be able to visit, certainly not altogether because of a)the cost and … Continue reading Creating Memories

Frequent Flyer

In June 2015 I read Bill Bryson’s “One Summer, 1927” it focused on an American summer and whilst it was very focused on baseball and Babe Ruth, another thread was the beginning of the American Aviation Industry and in particular the first transatlantic flight. Bryson commented that the Europeans were well ahead of the game in aircraft engineering and based on recent experience I would say that that is probably still the case.  Today we take flying for granted and up until yesterday I had taken for granted a standard of planes for great distances. We had flown QATAR on … Continue reading Frequent Flyer