Haze by night.
I took these pictures earlier this week. The first picture is my quest to get a decent shot of dawn. I think I used the evening setting on my camera to try to inhibit it’s innate tendency to produce over-bright pictures so that I could try to capture the colour of the sun. The resulting shot is, I think, better than the pictures from the other day and I also used the zoom function. Although the sun looks good to the naked eye, in an unadjusted picture it seems to shrink. Even in the picture above, it still doesn’t fill the view as much as it seems to in reality.
The second picture was taken a couple of nights ago after we’d had a very wet day here. It took me eleven shots with various settings (often quite extreme; aperture way down; ev way down) to get one which was near the view I could actually see. I liked the glow given off by the building in the background.
I ought to stop taking pictures of the view from my window. I’m sure you’ve seen enough of them.
What happened this week? Not a lot. We did have some delegation from the King Edward Grammar School (somewhere) in Essex because they want to set up an exchange programme with the school here. Mr Zhang, who is the Chinese equivalent of our CP, seemed to be most eager to discuss the visit with Rob and me to make sure that Essex Man was cool.
And there isn’t much else worth mentioning this week. The tests, which Caleb had left on my desk for me to give to his chemistry class, had mysteriously vanished. I can only think I might’ve picked them up with some other papers, but from his description, it seems that the bundle, though small, would’ve been noticeable.
I’ve also been putting together some ideas for the English course we’ll give the little darlings at the end of the second term. My underlying idea is a course in general English. In other words, we’d treat the pupils as if they’re native speakers and get away from EFL English. I’ve got rather a long list of things they might do, probably overly long, but I thought they could do some reading (a collectively read short story with each of them reading and reporting on a part of the story, and reviewing it), learn something about English lit. from its origins to the present day, and learn something about the history of the English language; some writing (a huge range of possibilities here, but I’m hoping for creative writing); and some speaking (again, a range of possibilities).
I’ve been playing a lot of correspondence chess online, but it vacuums up a lot of my time (I’m embroiled in about ten games at the moment and think that one would be enough) and right now I’d say that most of the games are against me because I spent the early part of most of the games swatting away pointless sorties from my opponents who are now in a better position than me. I think one game at a time is about all I can handle. I should stick with writing, at which I’m moderately competent, and stick to games against the awful Chess Titans.
Meanwhile, my flat has become infested with Chinese fluff demons (绒毛鬼 Róngmáo Guǐ). As I’ve explained in a previous entry, they eat dust and shit fluff. Their usual habitats are under chairs, tables and desks, but there’s also a kind which lives along skirting boards or around the edges of rooms. When you try to hit them with a broom, they explode in a shower of dust and then reconstitute themselves while you’re not looking.
The ancient vista on the other side of the bridge comes on apace. I assume it’s going to be a canal side pavilion and park which will be inhabited by old people doing tai chi or people sitting around staring vacantly and doing nothing productive. There’s almost no traffic on the canal and thus nothing of interest to see.
A few weeks ago, Danwei got blocked for no reason I could discern, but now that I find there are links to Danwei from The Guardian, I’m wondering whether that’s the reason – consorting with a foreign news source. I miss having access to Danwei, the absence of which pretty much just leaves ESWN to which I am, these days, only an occasional visitor. Perhaps I’ve been in China too long so that the news becomes uninteresting. There’s been another riot, I see, but so what? It won’t change anything and the flaws in the system will remain.