Chinese New Year in Southern Taiwan

Well, we are down in Tainan for the week, over the Chinese New Year, we’ve been busy seeing family and just hanging out, so actually not all that busy. Christina, being the first baby in this generation has been on the receiving end of a few red envelopes, which traditionally contain some money, which will help with her spending habits when she goes to South Africa.

It will be a busy two weeks back at work before heading off to South Africa as I have quite a few deadlines to meet, which absolutely have to be done before leaving.

Christina has been sick since the beginning of last week, with a bit of a fever and runny tummy. Quite a few restless nights have left Ava quite tired, but Christina is feeling better now, which means Ava is getting her sleep again too. I missed most of this as they were back in Tainan for the week before the holiday, while I went to back to Taipei to work for the week.

Now, in Tainan again…

Tonight we went to a restaurant, and I decided to test out my skills in paying for the meal, which is quite a big deal here. Let me explain…

It is usually known who will pay for a meal out, but you need to make a bit of a scene and try to pay for the meal anyway. You usually go to the counter and start insisting that you pay for the meal, but then the other person counters, saying you can pay for it this time, you respond by telling how they paid for it last time, and so on and so forth, until the end is reached, and in our case, Ava’s dad ended up paying for it anyway.

So, I’ll see those of you in South Africa (or those who will be going there) in a few weeks.

We’re going back to SA for a holiday in March

Pretty much everything has been planned for our trip back to South Africa.

We’ll be heading back in March next year for 3 weeks. James and Michelle’s wedding is on the 20th of March so we wanted to be there for that. It’s also the first time that Granny and Grandpa will get to see their new grandchildren.

Here’s our timetable…

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
Taipei to Hong Kong
CX451 – TPE 20:00 – HKG 21:45
Hong Kong to Johannesburg
CX749 – HKG 23:45 – JNB 06:35+1

Visit Chris in Johannesburg for the day and night.

Monday, March 12th, 2007
Johannesburg to Durban
SA543 – JNB 10:10 – DUR 11:20

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
Durban to Johannesburg
SA542 – DUR 9:40 – JNB 10:50
Johnnesburg to Hong Kong
CX748 – JNB 12:50 – HKG 07:55+1
Hong Kong to Taipei
CX450 – HKG 10:10+1 – TPE 11:55+1

That’s it for the moment, but in the meantime I would like any suggestions as to what you think we should do as tourists. We will have a little more time than we did last time, so we can probably get out and about and go see some sights.

Anyone got any particular ideas about this, I’m still thinking about it and deciding what our itinery should be. If we don’t have one I could see us going to the Pavilion (local shopping mall) a few too many times.

Hope everyone’s well and for those who are in Durban, see you in March.

The Rolling Baby

We found out that Christina should now be able to roll over onto her back from being on her tummy. We tried it out and were amazed at how she immediately raised her head and legs and started to try and roll over. There are some pics in the gallery and the short movie is either there already or will be put there soonish.

In other news, we have put to rest all that happened after Ava’s surgery. After calls to the hospital and various attempts at trying to get decent answers we managed a formal meeting with the doctor and he answered all of our questions. Not all the way we were hoping, but they were honestly the best we were going to get.

We have started some checks just to make sure that everything is really okay with Ava. These will take a little while and include a brain scan and a check of her lungs. We are still hoping for a final answer to the whole thing. But a taxi driver told Ava it’s not about the right timing, but about when Ava is healthy enough again, which sounds just right.

The countdown to our trip to South Africa is underway, we are so looking forward to seeing the family, which will include a sister-in-law, a nephew and from our side a granddaughter/niece.

Things plod along as usual, but with a few extra things to cloud my mind.

I have started looking into other areas for work opportunities. Not specifically a change from teaching, but possibly. This is just one of those getting older things, which is also helped by the two ladies at home, the older of which likes to keep me on my toes. What is comes down to are the following options, which could change, but here they are for now.

I can keep teaching, but to keep myself as an asset in an industry that’s not too great I’ll need to invest in some courses to make myself an asset and assist in finding another job. Going along with this I was thinking about how to get my HDE, which could help to land a primary or secondary school teaching position. The other option is an editor. These jobs are well fought for as they are one of the few options for non-Chinese speakers in Taiwan. There is not too much preparation for this besides perhaps a little reading up.The final option is a programming job, although I was dead set against this earlier in my life and especially after University, after doing a lot of website stuff involving php and mysql I have a renewed interest. I do wonder if that interest will be the same in a work position as opposed to doing it for fun.

So the plan of attack is…

For most of the above I need to improve my Chinese, especially for a programming position. So I need to tackle that. I have been looking online at English courses that are applicable now. Finally I have whipped out my book of php and mysql to brush up on something I am quite rusty at.

Ava is back at University now, two days a week, which is quite a nice load with the extra work of taking care of the baby. We are so grateful to our friends Alan and Angela who live in our neighborhood. Angela helps take care of Christina on Tuesday evenings when Ava goes to school and I only come home later in the evening.

I get the honor of taking care of Christina on Sunday mornings.

There are probably a whole lot of things that I have forgotten, but that’s it for now.

My friends’ websites

There are a few people I know who keep websites that I check from time to time.

Chris Hockaday is an old friend from University days, although I knew of him in school. Recently married as well. This is his blog address, Hokemon is his site’s address.

Michelle is my sister-in-law and keeps a site about her and my brother’s baby Sage.

Simon Michel was one of the biker mice at school and we rode often until I left for Taiwan all those years ago.

Bronwyn Beckett I know from church.

If you want a blog/website like Simon and Michelle’s you can sign up at my blogging site.

That’s the short list, if you have a blog or website or something of that nature comment or send me an email and I’ll add you to my friends list.

Westville Boys’ High School 10 year reunion

According to Clint Garside, the Westville Boys’ High School (my high school) 10 year reunion is coming up on the 4th of August.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen many of the people from school. It would be nice to catch up and see some of them, but that won’t be possible with the plans to go to James and Michelle’s wedding at the end of March next year. I guess I’ll have to wait for the 25 year reunion.

I’m not sure how many of my friends will make it back as many are not in South Africa at the moment. Anyways, life goes on…

Ava and Christina are back

Finally after a very long wait my two lovely ladies are back in Taipei.

We drove back from Tainan on Monday and settled back into things. Well, not quite settled, Ava was not in the least impressed with the tiny amount of housework I had done and we spent some time putting things in their place.

The cot, new cupboard, little baby rocking chair and baby toys all arrived on Tuesday and much of the day was spent putting the shelves up and cleaning up the house some more and making place for all the baby stuff which has come back to Taipei with them.

I am still on holiday this week except for the extra classes that I do on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Christina is settling in fine and I’m glad that we picked this week for her to come back rather than a normal work week, otherwise things could be very tiring.

Again, I’ll get some pictures of Christina and her various little playthings on as soon as possible, which is really not that soon I guess. celebrates 2 years

Time flies, like it always does. This site, which was really a gift to Ava, but probably more fun for me has now been up for two years. Although I don’t update it too often it is my official place on the internet.

Remember you can subscribe to the email newsletter by using the subscribe box on the main page. You can also get it via RSS if you know what that is, and if you do, you will know what to look for.

Congratulations to James and Michelle

Via my mom I found out that James and Michelle have planned to get married in South Africa next year. The date my mom mentioned was the 24th March.

I’m not really surprised that I heard this wonderful news from my mother first. Mother’s are just like that I guess.

With a little luck Ava, Christina and I will be able to make it for the occassion. It will have been three years since the last time I went back to South Africa so it will really be like going back to a strange place, perhaps even a little scary.

I suspect we will not be taking too many other trips back too soon after that unless something terrible or wonderful happens. I really hope that this time I can be a little more productive with the time there and get to do a few things. Primarily I think that besides sharing my brother’s wedding the family need to see Christina. It’s a little unfair that the family here in Taiwan gets to see her all the time, whereas my parents just missed seeing her when they came here in February.

So thats that for now.

Oh, I have a holiday next week. Ava has not come back from Tainan, but we will all come back together next Monday. Then we need to get the house sorted out. Cleaning and arranging new shelving and that kind of thing.

Congratulations to Bryan and Katherine

Bryan proposed to Katherine on a trip to Mozambique.

Another one bites the dust so they say. Happy times for the both of you, its great to see you making this commitment after such a long time.

The email from Bryan was a little cryptic and didn’t mention too many specific details but congratulations to them anyway on making this great leap.