May Update

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been so hard to get a hold of lately! I don’t have a working computer or internet access at home, and being unemployed these days I also do not have an office computer to get online at. The only times I check email now is when I’m at the church office doing some of the youth admin. On top of that, I’m having lots of trouble with my gmail account. I’m currently having all my mail forwarded to my old hotmail account so that I can access mail even when gmail is down.

So, what have I been up to?

Mostly, I’ve been resting, to tell the truth. I’m not very good at it, actually. Kinda drives me nuts. I like to be active, and doing things, but… it seems that I have a lot of pent up stress to unwind from. I’m getting there. I’ve been writing a lot of music which is nice. It’s also only possible because I’m not at a computer 8 hours a day. This time last year I had a massive blow up of my tendinitis and ended up off work for a month or more. At the same time this year, with the weather warming up, my arms started giving me strife again. This time, however, I didn’t continue working at a computer all day for a few weeks before giving in so I managed not to damage them badly. They’re more sensitive, but I’m learning how to minimise the problems. Mostly involves controlling the temperature inside (not too hot or stuffy) and trying to avoid doing any writing or typing in a warm or humid room. I wrote less than two pages in a cab the other day and wound up with a strong pain all the way down the tendon in my right forearm. Not happy. It seems that my tendinitis does bother me most in warm/humid or hot weather. Knowing that doesn’t cure it, but it does help me look after myself more effectively.

I have just decided to lengthen my trip home this July/August. I was planning to be home for Natasha’s 21st, and then when I resigned my job and no longer had leave limits, I thought it would make sense to take a longer trip, seeing as I would have the time. I was planning on 4-6 weeks. This week I decided to leave even earlier, to avoid the peak period charges on flights during the northern hemisphere summer. I will fly to Thailand in late June to meet up with Carla who will be on holiday there. I’ll play tagalong with her for a week or so and fly back to Sydney with her in the first week of July. I’ll stay in Australia til about August 22nd. Haven’t booked flights yet – waiting to see what flight Carla will be on from Thailand to Australia. I’m hoping to spend some time in Melbourne this trip so for all those of you living there, let me know if you’ll be around at some point and would be able to meet up – that would be so lovely!

Other than that, I’m not making too many plans. I’m hoping the cool weather will be good for my arms, and that having some time without things I need to go will give me space to make some decisions about what I’m going to do next. I mean, I know I want to do youth work here in Beijing, and that there are people here supporting that move, and I’m going to keep doing it, but… well, we’ll see. At any rate, it will be lovely to be around Aussie accents and gum trees and proper (yellow) grass! I’ve been having Australia withdrawal symptoms lately, I reckon ;)

IMG_9188My lovely flatmate/big sister/amazing friend is into her last few weeks teaching year 1 at an international school here. She will be packing up and preparing to move to Cambodia – so add another country to my to-visit list (gosh that’s getting to be a long list!) Quite a few good friends are leaving this NH summer, but a good few are staying too. All in all though, it’s been a tough few months for me friends-wise. Christina is the 3rd of my 3 best friends in Beijing to leave permanently, all in the space of about 4 months. And a bunch of others are moving on, too. But although I’m sad about not having them around here, I can’t be too sad about it when I see them off doing cool stuff of their own in other countries. Of course I still do, and will, miss them. But yeah, there are so many cool people staying on (and I’m sure more will find their way here, too) that I’m never going to be *too* lonely!!

There’s not much else to tell at the moment, I suppose… The weather’s been quite good, so there’s a surprise. A top of 26 today, but it’s been over 30 most days the past week or two. Hasn’t been too humid though, which is lovely! It has been pretty dusty though. One advantage of being home more this Spring is that I’ve had the chance to watch a lot of the small dust storms blowing in and out of the city. On a clear day I can see the mountains to the west of Beijing through my windows, and it’s amazing when I get to see the dust blow across and back again.

I suppose that will do for now. My arms are starting to tense up so I probably shouldn’t write much more at any rate. You all know I’m not dead, which is a good start!

Oooh! One more thing! I’ve had 6 or so letters since my last email asking for mail – THANK YOU!!! Mail is the coolest thing EVER!!!! My birthday’s only two weeks away now, but there’s still time to get mail to me….. hint hint!!

Lots of love



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