2022: Closing. 2023: Let’s go.

Happy New Year to all. Fresh from City’s one all draw with Everton, I’m sofa-bound enjoying Match of The Day and a cup of tea. That’s how I roll. My first Christmas, since 2013, at home was wonderful.

The first King Charles Third’s Christmas speech apparently stated we should enjoy every minute with those who you love because we can never return to that time following loss. This is something I can attest to following the loss of grandparents and friends. Recently, some family members and friends close to me have experienced tragic loss, too. This Christmas has been pleasant in that I’ve spent time with family. For me, that’s what Christmas is about.

Has Christmas become overly commercialised? Undoubtedly. Does it need to affect everything and everyone in this everything now society? Not at all. Should it add pressures and weights to families and individuals? No. Is it that simple? Sadly not. Emotions and feelings, greed and desires all come round and round as advertisers push the latest must have, soon to be binned gadgets, devices or accessories.

I spent Christmas morning with Dad and Shaun before walking to Levenshulme via Clayton Vale, Ashton Canal, Stockport Branch Canal, Fallowfield Loopline and Highfield Country Park. No snow along the way, sadly. No white Christmas. Lunch and the evening relaxing with Mum, Paul, and Paul Jr. was a good way to enjoy venison and various luxury items on the plate. Gifts were exchanged, and a lovely Craghoppers jacket with an oystercatcher-orange zip has been well-received. A family gift sees us all seeing the Chicago Blues Brothers in spring.

Today’s memorial before kick off at the Etihad Stadium marked the passing of many lives related to Manchester and football. It is a fitting moment on a day of celebration at the coming of a new year ahead. 2023 will no doubt see loss, New life, suffering, and celebrations. All the best in the year ahead. Peace and love.

Happy New Year. 新年快乐

Mobile thoughts

Good evening, from a bumpy road somewhere between Changping and Dalingshan. I’m sat in the back seat of an electric car. Right now they seem almost normal around here, yet it’s probably only been three years since I first noticed them in the taxi and Didi car (Chinese Uber) industry. They’re zippy little cars, which is more than I can say than for some of the roads.

Have you ever travelled away from somewhere else you’d rather be? Even though I’m tired (and sore from last night’s Murray’s FC football), I wish I could stay out a little later, or even all night. Sadly, but truly not sadly, I have to go home early. I’m an adult. The days of 1am on a school night are not with me. They haven’t been for a long, long time.

After a terrible salad at Mixed Salad, in Changping town (Dongguan) and a little walk, I’m heading back. My mind is with other thoughts but I am also previewing tomorrow’s lesson plans and actions for? the day ahead. I’m seriously enjoying my job and the challenges faced on a regular basis. There are so many great things to explore with my class and so many monotonous tasks that need bringing to life to capture the imagination of my students. I’m feeling rather thankful for this.

Having ate a little salad and pasta, my belly is full. My head also. I don’t recall many times in life involving discussions centred around white shoes and discounts. Conversations need variety and that’s the spice of life. That or Costa Rican coffee.

Is there a point to this latest mobile-phone- typed dribble. Not really. But, I feel good. James Brown on the mp3 player certainly helps but good company feeds the soul. To next time, and hopefully not quite so late…

Peace and love x