Is this month of posts going to reinforce writing? Maybe, maybe not but I’m glad I stuck with it!


On thinking I need to stop

A colleague of some student’s parents* left China and tested positive on arrival in their home country. Since they didn’t know where they caught it, on the plane or the airport or at work - they tested a whole lot of people by all accounts. Including a lot of our students. School was closed today as a precaution. We found out just not, in the afternoon, that school would be open again tomorrow and that some students will be quarantined. So yesterday and today were abnormal. We had to prepare online learning for today, sent approximately a thousand messages within our team, made a 5 page PDF in English and Chinese, had a Zoom session with 20 ish students and looked at their work that their parents had posted.

And all I can think about is how I’ve been trying to do too much and feeling powerless to stop myself. I can feel it. That I need to stop and do something that isn’t make me stressed or anxious or stressed and anxious simultaneously. That thing isn’t much - sit and watch some tv, or read or write but it would be to just do that thing. Which is where I struggle. The last few weeks haven’t been great, to be sure I’ve done some nice things but maybe I haven’t noticed. I’ve been, I am, trying to do everything I can at work and for my family and it’s been wearing me down.

It’s funny because it started when I realised that I was trying to do work and family and trying to socialise and that I needed to stop. I felt better for making that decision but now feel worse as a result. It was the right decision, is the right decision but it’s just turned out that it has seemed to be making things worse and not better. I feel like those parents on TV who are dramatically tired. I’ve never felt like that before, I do know. And maybe it’s just that work is a bit much and I haven’t been feeling a 100% either and exercise has fallen away. Who knows.

In any case, I’ve been wanted to put something down but well, I’ve been too busy. To be sure, my day is draining, I’m surrounded by small children from 6:30am until Yumo decides he wants to sleep between 8pm and 10pm. That’s hard. Being patient all day, or trying to be. Beating myself up when I’m not. The thing is, I’m not sure what i’d do differently…

So, yes. This post happened because I was finally not in my normal routine and I caught myself becoming aware that I do need to stop sometimes and that being on all day is apparently not a great thing for your physical and emotional health. Who knew?!

*those apostrophes, where JH when you need her?

It’s important to take photos when you go somewhere.

I love him so much. He’s such hard work at the moment.

This weekend has been anything but pedestrian.

Same as all weekends then…


Just heard my first Xmas song! Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime

You just took in hiding,
from yourself always slip-sliding,
everyday a mask your wearing,
trying to show your surviving,

Wookie - Battle UK Garage!

The dilemma this week: Struggling to find time for myself after family and work and it starting to feel a little too much.


Lyra made Tiramisu and it is amazing.

Having kids you have to constantly adjust.
Now they’re mobile!
Now they’re talking!
Now they have opinions!
Now they’re picky about what they eat!
Now they go to school!
Now they love Peppa Pig!
Now they don’t!
And so and so on!

“This is a call” is a track from the Foo Fighters first album that I have a really strong memory of. Someone at school introduced it to me. 25 years this year!

This video about the hip-hop artist NF called The Power of Vulnerability stopped me and is going to stay with me a while. The talk about vulnerability and how it scares us has hit me, especially this week when, honestly, I’m not feeling great and reticent about talking about it.

Youngest managed to snap this of me reading with Elise. He apparently knows how to access the camera from the Lock Screen.

Am enjoying the BBC’s His Dark Materials. I’ve been meaning to go back to the books again and maybe will soon.

I’m grateful some of the teachers I work with always have provisions. Sometimes a snack is just what I need!


Been in the restaurant twenty minutes and none of the staff have said a word to me. It’s been lovely.

Ordered and will pay by scanning a QR code at the table using WeChat.

I remember when you bought the 36 exposure films. So many things to capture!


In the interests of science and because I’ll try anything once* I bought one of these on the way home. Well, its lot very cheesy. More like a cold vanilla latte. I was hoping for more out there and it’s pretty bland honestly.

*Pig brain, goose intestine, cow stomach, stinky tofu, durian, duck blood, chicken hearts to name a few.

Borders are a big part of our life and will continue to be. We had to make a choice for the kids which passport to get them, the same as me or their Mum. Both wasn’t and isn’t possible. That choice will continue to affect their lives for a long time to come.


What does everyone want for Xmas? Do you make a list with your significant other and buy each other things?

I normally buy the things I want and don’t like getting things for the sake of it so my wife always says I’m hard to buy for.

A haiku a day

Inspired by this article little sister and I have been exchanging haikus this week. In a, let’s just see how goes, method of starting something.

Theirs are very plant orientated and ours have been very children and feeling orientated. Has it helped me? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m still no better at writing them and, as you can see in the pictures I find it easier to underline and am happy to send them not written in neat. But it has been nice to do. I like the byline from that article…

“I get a glimmer as to what she’s feeling right then, and it also gives me a way to share how I’m feeling with her.”

Here are a few…

Winter is Christmas and makes me miss Christmases ‘back home*. The build up, the food, the excitement, the presents. Living in a country where it’s not such a big thing. It’s not a national holiday here. It’s just not the same now.


Sometimes it feels like the thing I/you need to do to feel better is to be alone and do things alone. And today that was what I thought.

Except we had another family over and talked and had a disco and watched a film and played Monkey Bingo.

And it was just what I needed.

How to tidy your home.

  1. Invite people around.
  2. Say to yourself, I’ll just say - “sorry about the mess!”
  3. Ignore that and tidy manically an hour before they arrive.
  4. Success!

As I write that, I am grateful that we can actually do that here.