Wednesday, 14 December 2011

October, Movember and now!

Ok, ok... I fully admit that I am pretty bad at keeping up with this blog... yes - I should take more time and actually dedicate myself in even a small way to keeping up with it but sometimes I just can't squeeze in a bathroom visit never mind attempting to create something of interest on here... but I will endeavor to try and make more of an effort!

So - what has been happening? Well... I'll start back in October then and work up to now...

October was a relatively quiet month - sort of...

First off - Danielle and I had the absolute pleasure of a visit from my Mum, Dad and brother Tomás! It is surprisingly difficult to encourage family and friends to come visit - we figure that it is almost like going on holiday to Australia, as in the distance travelled and the jetlag with it needs to be justified by the time spent away - so unless people can get away for 2 weeks or more then it is not fair to expect them to pop out to the other side of the world!  It is different for us popping home... I have this silly self-belief that I won't suffer from jetlag - or at least I can put it off for a few days before it kicks me to the ground.

The only drawback to the visit was that Danielle and I had to work during the week - which meant that they had to entertain themselves Monday to Friday until 5pm - though admittedly they had disappeared off out each day for a walk/adventure around our little city - which is another nice thing about where we live... it isn't that big that you can get really lost and it is simple to wander off and visit random new places too.

It did give Danielle and I the chance to revisit some interesting places that we thought might entertain them for a while - Independence Hall in Cheonan, the giant gold Buddha 15mins from Chungju, Daejeon (admittedly only for the night), even visiting Gangnam again to go to the giant caves there... a bit of an adventure in itself! lol!

We also got to finally go to the DMZ - a trip on their final weekend to round off their visit to the lovely South Korea... which was made all the better by having a few friends there too (Hannah, Elysia and Jordan).

Unfortunately the family had to leave us just before Danielle's birthday - though we did get to celebrate it a little early with them.  On the day itself we went out for a quiet dinner (as is the done thing at our age) and then the real celebration was the following weekend with a trip down to Daejeon to meet up with friends and  to let everyone go as mad as they wished!
October also gave us a chance to reclaim a Gaelic traditional event that many Koreans just assume is from America... a little re-education was called for in relation to Hallow'een!
Although we had looked online for costumes, early in the month, we didn't order anything or plan anything really - one of the other EPIK teachers (Aiden 'Party Boy' McVey) had suggested having a shindig on the Saturday before with a visit to an abandoned office building near his apartment.... so despite plans to go on boat cruises in Seoul, partying in Daejeon or hiding at home and watching scary movies - we attacked the whole dressing-up thing early on the Saturday evening by getting a few little cheap bits down town (including face paints) and then threw some costumes together.

Danielle went for the 'Elphaba' in tribute to her cousin who plays the role on London's Westend show 'Wicked' - and I went for a Zombie style thing... Nadia (who was having her first Hallow'een experience) went for a vampire look - complete with self-made teeth! Good job!

November seen charity and education on Men's Health come to the fore - with surprising results!

In an effort to raise some funds for research into Prostate and Testicular Cancers - I signed up for Movember and began the growing of a mustache much to the dismay of Danielle... though she fully supported the reasoning behind it.  I also taught my Grade 3 students about Movember, prostate cancer and even went so far as to teach them how to check their testicles for cancers too... which despite the giggles and embarrassment (from the female teachers) it all went rather well - though my official staff photo did see me taking the piss a bit with mo and glasses giving me a 1980s professor look!

All was going great until I developed a cough while trying to get a bit fitter.  I'd taken to running up from the ground floor of our apartment block all the way up to the very top (17 floors in total - the top two are only for maintenance) - pretty knackering in itself!  But when the cough didn't go away - and ultimately led to me spending a weekend in bed sick - I agreed that maybe it was a little more than just a cough, and a bit of a cold, and went to see a doctor.  Turned out (five x-rays and a lot of coughing later) that I had a sinus infection and quite severe bronchitis and was given a concoction of drugs. I ended up laid up in bed for 3 days before being forcibly returned to school to sit there instead of wrapped up in bed... (yeah... I know!)

So Movember ended with this....

but with also a very nice total of £374 donated by friends and family which I can only thank them for with all my heart! THANK YOU ALL!!!  This total also made me the second highest Movember fundraiser in Korea! Go me!!! lol!

So... now we are into December - I've turned another year over, we've got a Christmas tree up ready for Santa to visit, school is drawing to an end - we've a nice holiday planned to Malaysia and Thailand for January as well as 10 days home in Belfast in February before the whole year starts again... though this coming year we plan to spend significantly less, be consciously on the lookout for potential jobs back home (hope Skype interviews are becoming more common), also think about where we want to live when we get home (job dependent of course too)... and if we are blessed we will possibly have a bundle of joy to bring home too.  Though with all that being said, if the jobs are not there and costs are too high then we may consider staying here longer than just 2 years... hmmmm... no final decision on that until we are there!

Ok folks - that's all I have for now... possibly be back here at Christmas though I have set myself a target of recording 12 songs by the end of February (that was planned before the holidays were booked so I might fail!!!) so that may take up most of my free time unfortunately... BE GOOD - BE GRATEFUL - KEEP SMILING - and in case I don't make it back on here:

Happy Christmas to you all!

1 comment:

  1. Howdy. Didn't realise until recently that you were a fellow blogger mate. Love the pictures and glad you're having a great time in South Korea. Although having said that you're probably off on your holiday by now so hopefully you're having a great time there. Got you in my reader subscriptions now. Hope you're having a good one wherever you are. Maybe bump into you next month if you're back.