Monday, March 26, 2007


I would have blogged earlier about how busy I feel - but I haven't had the time. Nor now, as it would so happen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In the big pond again

My feet sustained another battering in the Waitak's on Sunday plowing through over 20 kilometres of track in seven hours. The most astonishing thing about the whole day was that we finished the walk that we planned. Halfway through, we looked at the map and conceded it would be unlikely that we'd finish it on time but went for broke anyway. We even went into a run at one section. Despite the weariness of our legs in the last hour we pulled into the carpark right on the hour.

This short period has also confirmed to me the fact that I cannot devote my intellect to more than one task at a time. I slipped back into a philosophical mode to analyse certain matters and lo and behold, my chinese study falls of the wagon. I'll collect it on Wednesday in the morning. Fortunately the philosophical exertions came to a logical end and all I need to say is a Zhuang-zi quote and smile:

"Princes! Paupers! Indeed! You and Confucius are both dreaming. When I call you a dreamer, I'm also a dreamer. As for what I've said, it could be called a flight of fancy."

Regrettably with all the fluster has come an unsettled mind. The last two days have been partially wasted on various distractions and I haven't been preparing well for this, a very, very busy week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A change in the weather

I drove home listening to the children's programme on Chinese radio, trailing a car that despite his best intentions to get ahead by driving over a zebra crossing with people on it, speeding, tailgating and generally aggressively driving, had failed to get any further ahead. The children's programme featured a segment The Mysterious World where they talk about the wonders of the natural world. I reversed into the garage in sunshine. I waited in the car listening about koalas. They apparently don't drink water. Soon as it finished the torrential rain was unleashed and so was I as I scurried up the 10m of stairs. Such a small distance yet such a drenching.

At work, my hours are swirling about too. Classes are appearing out of nowhere - other classes being cancelled.

My confidence in my fitness is now the highest it's been since September 2005. The true durability of my ankles is still something I can only take on faith - but it has survived several pounding walks. Last Sunday I lugged a 10kg backpack over the 20 kms of hills and have no signs of damage. A month remains until Trailwalker...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

China Dreams

For the first time in seven years, I have Chinese in my dreams again. The last two nights have both featured Chinese, both written and spoken. It is quite an interesting experience.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Professional lapse

Yesterday marked the first time that I, through negligence, had to cancel a lesson. This blade cuts rather deep for me as I had pride in being organised, being on time and doing my best to solve the problems that my clients sometimes impose upon me. But this time it was all my doing.

Yesterday, at 2:10pm, while I was at my bus-stop, my cellphone rang. I was too slow in answering and missed the call. The number was a client number - a moment's anxiety sent me straight to my diary: I was meant to be teaching a lesson from 2pm. My blood ran cold.

It was a mental shortcut that did it. My lessons on Monday and Tuesday this year had been finishing at 6pm, and all the lessons I have been setting up have been consecutive i.e. if I had 3 lessons, I would be teaching from 3pm-6pm. However, recently my 5pm-6pm student asked to have lessons at 2pm for a couple of weeks, which I agreed to. My diary had this recorded. I sent out the confirmed schedule saying so too. Yesterday, I was to have three lesssons, so to figure out when I needed to be in, I simply calculated back from 6pm 3 hours as per usual: I would start classes at 3pm; I need to get the 2:15pm bus etc.

Needless to say but I'm very disappointed in this lapse.