July & August 2016’s posts

Bloggered off, blog on

19th July 2016

你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do,


Some time has been spent avoiding writing and generally procrastinating.  The blog’s break is over.  I land on the 30th of July (having departed by Etihad Airways on the 29th from Hong Kong).  That day, I’m thinking Colwyn Bay FC v Manchester City FC All Stars MCFC, then on the 31st Manchester City Women are at home… Mum and the tribe are taking us off to sunny Llanddeusant, Ynys Mon (Angelsey) for a few days.  I’ll sort out trips to catch up with the tribe, Morecambe, Nat and her dogs (not including Stephen), Kate and Peter, the Lakes to see brother Daniel and his parish… so many people to see – and places to go before I fly on the penultimate day of August (30th).


This week is fairly relaxed with some voluntary work, followed by a trip to Beijing at the weekend to watch the Manchester derby on Monday night, then back to Shenzhen for City v Borussia Dortmund – and then a quick run back, grab things and fly back to Europe… or the U.K… or whatever home is to be called going forward…


I was and am European. I was and am British. I was and will aways be Mancunian. I am human. In these days of uncertainty, wear a smile on your face and do what you can do best. Things are out of our control most of the time. Fight for your family and friends. Welcome all. Stick two fingers up at those who seek to profit at yoru loss.


What really annoys me, when I ask someone, why they voted out, which I respect their choice, their arguments are usually, “bloody foreigners take our jobs.”  ANd some of these people I knew from school are too busy dealing pot and crack or stealing their livings to actually work in jobs that keep the country moving.  Do they really thing the EU vote was all about shutting our borders?  Twonks.  Utter numpties.  Let them work out the future with respect to roaming charges for mobile phones, disease control, border control (how to tackle the fairly peaceful frontline of Europe located in Ireland), disembarkment of Scotland, Wales (£4bn since 2000 of EU finding) surely will depart, NI’s future, the NHS, Euro-tunnel, passport agreements, HK’s full handover, visa free travel to non-EU states for EU citizens, freedom of rights, conformity of electrical appliances, safety regulations, GM foods, etc



再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye

Farewell to Our Pete

14th August 2016

To the unfinished dens and dams, to the days spent wandering aimlessly, the chicken chaser bike rides, the two for one deals at the cinema, our special bonfires and many more wonderful memories and moments. I want to say thank you, properly thank you, from my heart. You were a little bastard at times but you were always there for me as a friend. Whereas geography and life has kept us apart, I’ve always felt strength knowing you and Dan were there for me as a friend. The best of friends, even in fights and stupidity. You stood by me and helped me in primary school, like no other. Little and large. A boy bigger than me in spirit and fearless throughout. Whilst I cry now, it is a selfish need to want to share banter with you and want to laugh, because you were always the funniest friend I had. Nobody wants to say goodbye, ever. Nobody should. We grew up, eh, lad? No more pipes to spring around on, and we’ll not camp no more in the wild. You were a little shit, and I am glad our paths collided, I’m glad we got into trouble and I’m glad we learnt along the way. I’ll miss you, and I’ll try to do something in your memory with your family and friends. Thanks Pete! We’ll make dens again one day, I promise you that!


I’ll be a man in the shadows

13th September 2016

你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do,


The sirens are screaming, and the fires are howling, way down in the valley tonight… well not quite that. However, somebody has left both doors open in my office. I’ll be a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye, and a blade shining oh so bright. There’s a bloody sign on the door in big Chinese characters and smaller English letters, saying “Please keep the door closed at all times.” I have relocated from Grade 9’s top floor office (5th floor in Chinese terms; 4th floor in English terms; the ground floor is the first floor here) to the second floor (locally). This benefits my ankles and knees greatly, especially on a day after playing football. The teachers in my new office went out of their way to write the blooming sign. My new office is located between Grade 7’s class one and Grade 7’s class 2. The students and teachers often use this second floor passageway office between classes. It can resemble an episode of Scooby Doo where the crimefighters are chasing a disguised criminal. Okay, so why am I so bloody hot [and I don’t mean gorgeous]? Well, the doors (plural) are left open again. The teachers in my office are the worst offenders. The students close the door everytime! The teachers here are so lazy to close doors.


So, I landed on the 31st of August, beginning school the following day. I did not have classes on the 1st of 2nd of September as they had yet to finalise the school timetable. When the finally finalised the school timetable, there were numerous clashes of classes between my primary school and middle school timetables. So, I fixed them. On the first Sunday back, I trained with Murray’s F.C. and haven’t been seen since. I thought I did well, considering the summer break but haven’t had time to hook up since. The first week involved seven grade five classes (I’ve been relegated down a grade as grade 6 no longer have a foreign teacher), four grade seven classes (half of the number of classes as per previous semesters) and four grade eight classes. V.I.P. classes (two of them) will begin this week (the second week).


There are just three foreign teachers including myself now. Analisa joins from the next door kindergarten and is joined by new intern Josie (from Stockton-on-Tees). The pair split grades 1-4 classes and the corresponding V.I.P. classes between them. We are joined by Jack Armstrong, once of Oxford Kingdom International School, as our foreign teacher team leader. My 17 classes a week with limited responsibility is odd but it allows me more preparation time. Mustn’t grumble. Especially seeing as some classes have gone from 34 to 55 students and most now top out at 45 students! The school is the same size, yet student numbers are far higher!


Mid-Autumn Festival is this week. A short break from Thursday until Saturday is on the cards, meaning a six day working week from Sunday.


再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye

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