Happy Birthday

to me.

A relaxing steak dinner with flatmate and friends was what I needed after a week batting with the printer. I wasted 4 to 5 hours trying to get the thing to work. A mandatory paper-less office might be the answer to my problems.

The highlight of the week was a bizarre coincidence. I lost my phone last Sunday. I went to buy a new one on Monday. I was a few minutes away from making a decision when my friend turned up and told me not to buy it. It turned out that I had dropped it in his shoe in the hallway when I was at his home.

At my church group we debated whether this was divine intervention or dumb luck. In any case I was grateful that I didn’t have to spend any money. The British economy would have to wait before I use my spending power to boast economic demand. 

February – Happy Birthday

I turned 23 in February and celebrated four years as a Christian. I was happy that I had escaped any irreparable screw-ups. However, I spent the time in hospital with a severe eczema flare-up. I needed the time to recover and I intended to do a lot of reading. I ended up playing Civilisation 4 (a computer game) for days on end. The other patients were amused at my explanation of the game.

I got discharged in a satisfactory condition and flew back to Tianjin the next day. My flatmate organised a belated birthday party for me in Starbucks. That was after I lost my camera, so I have no photographs of the occasion – except for a photo of the venue which I took last year.

I get back into the routine of Peace Institute life. It is my last semester in the school. I mark down the 20 weeks in my diary – so I am already counting the days. I manage to keep my pre-intermediate class, which means I can recycle lesson plans. I arrange my twice-weekly Mandarin lessons. Thursday is my new day off and I start my weekly Starbucks routine. I re-assume my role of Coffee House organiser. Coffee House is a monthly school event where the school invites outsiders to come and participate in English discussions for free. There are other activities and a performance by the teachers. It takes a lot of my time and a lot of my stress.

The heating never comes on in my apartment throughout the whole winter. I find out that I don’t have to pay the heating fees, which is a small mercy. But the long term effect is that I’m now scared of the cold.

Economic forecast

Slightly warmer than my apartment. But getting colder. Northern Rock (an British bank) gets nationalised. Property prices are falling. So, I can look forward to buying a house in 2050 when global warming renders Britain’s property stock worthless.

World event that no-one should ignore

Freak weather conditions cripple China’s transportation system at exactly the wrong time of the year (link).