Monday, 14 March 2011

Another countdown

After having faced another three-hour trip back to Aylesbury this evening, I have found myself in a rather industrious mood. However, rather than cracking on with the Chinese essay (in Chinese) that I really should be doing, I have strayed back into writing my blog and somehow deemed it necessary to give you a round-up of my life as of late.

Some of you may not know that my return from China has not signalled the end of my travels- in just under two weeks I will leave the safety of the UK for the perils of, erm, Germany. Okay, so it doesn't rank quite as highly on the adventurousness scale as China did, but still the nerves are starting to make themselves felt and I have subconsciously begun to count down the days until my departure.


For me, the past week has contained two rather exciting happenings: the first being my four days at Crufts, the world's largest dog show, and the second being my first gig as a hired photographer. I have been to Crufts every year since I was eight and it was, as always, great fun. The photography job was brought about by the fact that my housemate Dave was directing a play and knew that I was keen on taking photos, and so asked me whether I would fancy being the photographer in return for a free ticket. I accepted with much enthusiasm and so on Wednesday night I came down to their dress reharsal armed with camera and lenses in order to get a set of decent images. I was a little worried as the last thing I wanted was to disappoint Dave and the cast, but I have been told that they were all very impressed with the results which gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I am now hoping to get a few similar jobs when I am back in Birmingham next year which is an incredibly exciting prospect and another step in the journey to possibly becoming a semi-professional at some point in the future.


For the next three days I shall be observing language teaching in a local school as required by the teaching course I am hoping to apply for- details of which I'm sure will follow shortly. Until then.. zaijian!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Danny's Holiday

Now for my first entry based on the little white silhouette in the corner of this page- my dog Danny. Dan is a nearly-ten-year-old Shetland Sheepdog and has been my pride and joy since I was eleven. He has qualified for Crufts many times and has even taken me to the Young Kennel Club's agility finals in the NEC Arena.

Sadly in recent years he has suffered quite a few health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and a nasty malignant tumour, but still he has a very sweet nature (albeit slightly timid) and is, in my eyes, a very special boy.


During my first two years of university and most of this year (unsurprisingly he couldn't join me in China) I have had to leave Dan in the care of my parents and although he is happy at home, I do miss him a lot. Fortunately the house in which I am currently staying with my friends doesn't seem to have a clause in the contract forbidding pets so when my parents went on holiday last week we decided to see how Dan would cope at being a student dog.

I was slightly worried about having Danny come to stay, especially as a male dog with a previous for cocking his leg against people's sofas, but I am pleased to say he has coped admirably, so much so that even after my parents' return he has stayed in Birmingham to keep me company. My housemates seem to enjoy having him around the house and, after a lot of bribery involving prawns and cheese, Danny is slowly making friends with them too.

The biggest test came on Wednesday night when we had a large number of people round in the evening and I was slightly anxious that Danny would be reduced to a nervous wreck. However I needn't have worried- I left him up in my bedroom with a bowl of water and after a short while came to check on him to find him asleep on the floor, cool as a cucumber.

The best thing about having Dan here in Birmingham is that having a more active lifestyle seems to have taken years off him. He appears to really enjoy being in a more busy environment and has been much brighter here than he does at home, where he tends to become a bit lethargic after a while. He even came with us to the letting agents when we had to sign the contract for our new house- not something that many dogs can claim to have done.


Now that I know Danny can handle the student lifestyle I have my fingers crossed that our landlord next year will allow him- here's hoping! I am so proud of my little boy.