moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Out for a ride

Ouch! I banged my toe at Liam's wedding, on the dance floor.

Dancing shoes

It was great to see Jon and Liam in particular, but also Joe. Remember, we did the Three Peaks together, couple of years back.

Joe must have been keeping up with some of my recent escapades on Flickr, because his girlfriend came straight out with:

She: So, Matt, are you actually a naturist then?
Me: Well, yes, I suppose so, in a free range sort of way.

Anyway, that's not the point (though it was a rather amusing conversation, and as usual led to all sorts of confessions and philosophical ramblings), I banged it again in Oxford, and my nice hemp and recycled rubber loafers couldn't cushion it enough to stop me swearing at the top my voice and throwing my hat at strangers (the floppy peak stopped me from seeing the kerb). I got a new hat, and a very bruised toe.

A week later, I don't think I'll be losing the nail, but I did notice soreness after running. So instead of a long run today I went round the block (12 miles, via some nice hills) on the old tourer, trying out some new clipless shoes. btw, new folder now has clipless pedals, which are to bikes as indoor plumbing or electricity is to houses. As in, essential if you want to get anywhere without messing about.

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Glimmers of understanding

Hey groovy, someone just sent me an email in Mandarin that didn't take me more than a day to understand.

不知道你是否还记得我。我是你以前在UCL语言中心的汉语老师, X XX。你现在还在UCL学习汉语吗?还是你转道SOAS学习去了?。


你还在UCL工作吗?你有个好消息, 我要回来ucl工作了!!我8月初开始工作。希望能在跟你见面。我想你现在中文一定很棒!

I only had to look up about 5 words, but I got the gist straight away. I just spent half an hour re-typing it (this means I have to know what the pinyin is for each character) and I'm well on my way to composing a reply (我当然记得你, 我汉语水平还可以 。。。) turn-around time a fortnight. I'm starting to feel borderline literate.