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Published: January 12th 2019
Hello again! Apologies that this update is a little later than usual - all responsibility for that goes to a certain Mr Lapworth. He’s here safe and sound! More on that in a bit.
At the end of last week I had my first tai chi lesson! Another au pair found a group of old people doing it in a park and they have a proper master showing them all what to do. We just joined in! It's a lot harder than it looks - there are some difficult stances to hold and we definitely don't look as graceful as the teacher. It's amazing how he just walks around, correcting our form and showing us how to do it! Great experience.
I got to have another lesson with Wendy this week which was lovely. It's been a while so was nice to see their family again - the grandma was trying to convince me to come and live with them! Not quite possible I'm afraid. She made everyone laugh lots by trying to say things in English!
Bible study this week was really good - there were so many more people than usual! More than 15 of us
squashed into someone's living room having a look at the book of James. Great fellowship together.
In our Chinese classes this week we've been doing quite a lot of singing! Certainly makes it more lively. Laoshi (teacher) has taught us a Chinese classic “Tianmimi” which is really rather beautiful - at least when we're not butchering it! Then we've also been learning a hilarious pop song called “Kaluli” which is just “calorie” but Chinese-ified. It's all about eating healthily and losing weight, and has some very interesting lyrics which translate to things like “become an elf with grass”!
This week was the first time that I had to explain to Robbie that Monday is my day off, and that means I don't actually have to do what he wants me to! He came downstairs saying “Simeon. Play!” which for a start isn't how I prefer to be greeted, but meant we had an important conversation.
I'm still loving being on the worship team at church, so that was great again this week. Myself and another au pair, Denham, went for lunch together afterwards which was a great time to chat about life. A barbecue style restaurant was
recommended to us but we walked in and then decided we'd just go to MacDonalds! I'm not ashamed. They actually do a really good chicken burger with a spicy Sichuan sauce.
Now to definitely the main event this week for me - Dad's here! It's so surreal having him here in person but feels so normal at the same time! So I was planning to pick him up myself by subway, but Butter insisted he'd drive us to collect him which was very kind! Arrived on time with all his luggage and we set off home! Thanks for all your prayers! Dad has rather a lot of questions about everything, for the family as well as for me and I've become a sort of translator - sometimes into Chinese, but more often just into simpler English! You've got to choose your words carefully if you want people to understand. Simply brilliant having him around - we went out as a big family group for lunch on Thursday, because it turns out the boys only had a half day of school. Apparently their holiday starts next week! Nobody told me! Dad and I had a siesta before going out to
explore Olympic Green. On Friday Dad experienced my cycle to uni - pretty important journey in my current life. He joined in our Chinese class - even sang a bit too. Now his Chinese pronunciation is appalling and I've been cringing a lot! Even the boys are saying it's impossible to teach him Chinese! We'll see if he improves by the end of his visit. We quickly saw the Aupairia office and he met the staff there which was nice, and then we spent a little while walking through some Hutongs. They're essentially what housing in Beijing used to look like - the classic small sloping roofs with courtyards and narrow alleyways. Back home in time to go out again for dinner! This was with the family friend group again - celebrating the start of the holidays. Some amazing food as always, and Dom was there too so that was good fun.
Thankful for having Dad here and that the family have been so welcoming and generous! A huge thank you to everyone who sent out cards and gifts - you know how to make someone feel loved! The past couple of days I’ve not been feeling
too well with a nasty sore throat and cold, pretty bad timing really. So prayer that that clears up would be great. Apologies again that this is a little late. Hope you survived the few extra hours.
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