It’s the Chinese name for the Mandarin duck and where the first character refers to the male and the second to the female. There are believed to be lifelong partners. So in Chinese, it’s used as a sign affection and fidelity.

However, it’s also used to describe things being put together - e.g. today I had a yuanyang drink, which is a mix of coffee and tea. I really liked it.

As well it’s what you ask for when you order hot pot and you want spicy and non-spicy broth.

Episode 28 - “Two Sues”

Hi again!

Elise talks about our evening out.

Hot pot for lunch.

An Unlived Life

I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
— Dawna Markova
via swissmiss

I’m aware how much I gloss over most of what I read online, taking the time when there’s some more scrolling to do. With that in mind, I’m copying some of the poems down into a notebook to help me take more time over them.

3 Links

I keep meaning to post things I like but I normally end up sending various links to different people.

Via Metafilter - The Hu - A Mongolian folk metal band. We’ve been liking their stuff since I started playing it yesterday. Especially Wolf Totem - This stop motion short about a trans kid coming out featuring Godzilla. via

Also - This John Hamm voiced meeting of a father and his daughter’s boyfriend that flips it a little. I’m not going to lie that this isn’t something I’ve thought about. via this inbox zine

Death by 10m Shuttle Sprint

Place 2 cones 10m apart. With a running clock, sprint 10m in the 1st minute, sprint 20m (10mx2) in the 2nd minute, sprint 30m (10mx3) in the 3rd minute, etc, etc. Continue in this fashion until you fail to achieve the required number of meters in the appropriate minute.

Fun. It’s easy until it isn’t and then it gets hard fast. Finished 14x10m but only managed 12 of 15 in the next round. Encouraged to walk in the down time by all the mosquitos.

Fitness always takes a backseat during term time when family and work take up all my time. So it’s nice at the moment to have time at the moment.

Obviously, I love my children. I worry about them constantly. Sometimes I try not to think about them too much, when I do it can overwhelm me.

With that said.

Sometimes I think the best thing I can do for our relationship is to be apart rom them. Just for a while.


Yesterday was 25 years since Foo Fighters released their debut album. I was a little young for Nirvana but still remember being introduced to Foo Fighters by a classmate, whose name I think I remember because he did. Still enjoying it. Though, I think the memories are a big part of that.

Lyra and I talked about cutting down our screen time and leading by example and if that isn’t the hardest thing.

Lyra and I spent some time with a book before meeting a friend for lunch while the grandparents watched the kids. So nice.

Burpees and kettlebell swings on the balcony. Partner workout while the kids nap.

Reading this about Hey but I don’t feel I use my email enough to warrant paying and switching from Gmail. HEY Email: How It Has Disrupted My Email Workflow – The Sweet Setup


We travel a fair bit. Partly, I think because of our location - which makes Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam relatively short flights away but mostly because of our global family. We travel a lot to see family. The joke is that we couldn’t be further apart. We’re in China, Mum and Dad are in Mauritius, sister is on the West Coast of America and my brother is in the UK. Mum and dad buy round-the-world tickets to visit us all.

When we had just had our eldest we travelled a fair bit with her because 2:1 is a decent ratio for childcare but we’re finding that with a second child that ratio ain’t so grand. It’s a holiday, but not as you know it.

We’ve just got back from 6 days in Sanya on the island of Hainan on the south coast of China. I realise we are lucky to have gotten away in the current situation.

It was very up and down. The pools were lovely, obviously hotel breakfast is great but the much smaller space of a hotel room made things more difficult sometimes and stressful.

I am glad we did it though. I am back and feeling a little calmer about things generally. Now to start put my computer down a little more, spend a little more time with the kids and wife, exercise a little more and read a little more.

Back home to multiple bedrooms and not the 4 of us sharing two twin beds pushed together! Heaven!

Does your job and your life ever overlap? For me as someone who teaches small children and have two of my own. I find going swimming or to soft play or places with lots of small children stressful. It’s just too much like my day job, but it’s really not.

Nice to be mixing up days because of being on holiday and not because of a global virus.

In children news. 1. Elise says, “open sesame” at automatic doors to make them open 2. When we run places we are playing “Mario Game” (Mario Kart). Shes the Gorilla (Donkey Kong).

Holidays with kids. It is nice to be away. It is. And hotel breakfasts are amazing. It’s just hard with the kids sometimes.

There’s a thousand things swirling around my head. That I’m hopeful I’m going to have time to put down to paper over the coming weeks as I try and wean myself of my compter a little. We’ll see…

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts have always been on my radar on the occasions I head over to Youtube. Alicia Keys video was just uploaded and is awesome.

School’s out!

School finished today.

Students had their last day yesterday and teachers finished today. We did a little more packing up and that was that.

It’s always a strange day. In international teaching, there’s always staff leaving as contracts end. As well, this year, some teachers are still out of the country. Of whom some will return and others won’t. The last we saw of them was them was the end of January. Those who won’t return, we likely won’t ever see them again.

I’m trying to dampen the anxiety of next year. There’s going to be so many changes and I can’t help let the worries build, a little at least. How will I do this or that and how will things work out? I’m trying to let them go, for now at least.

Instead, to try and relax a little. To maybe reflect on the last 5 months. Of our the quarantine, e-learning programme, of going back to school again.

Last day of school!

Going to be a weird end to a strange school year.

We’re going to have a disco with the kids, except we’ll have some kids in the class, some in same city, others in India, Hong Kong, Korea and Poland.