Very pleasant weather during the May 1st holiday break. Still quite cool in the morning. On our school trip last Friday many of the students and teachers were moping about it being too cold. The afternoon was spent out climbing mountains just west of the city and from the top could even make out the big buildings on the east side punctuating the skyline (my camera didn’t quite manage to capture them). Anyhow, nice to get out and surround myself with some green. A lot of new development at the foot of the mountain which I’m curious as to how it’s selling, as seems pretty vacant presently. I can’t help but feel there’s got to be a move a way from big cities eventually, a lot of the original economic benefits of having lots of humans in a small space seems to be outdated, and only concentration of physical services remaining as the main attraction (but with drones and such like surely a lot of those benefits will be erased as well?). Easily the latest summer has arrived since I’ve been in Beijing, air-con yet to be turned on in the apartment.

In school invigilating yesterday afternoon, Go club was en-route on the journey west, so stopped off for two games against Mr Ma in our most recent 10 game series. I was 3–5 up before yesterday, but didn’t keep my cool and let him pull it back to 5–5. We finished up with a tie-breaker this afternoon and thankfully I managed to hold it together for a no-suspense conclusive victory! Brought my ear-protectors, as last time (this is only a problem when we play at the West Train Station club) there were too many spectators chatting away about the foreigner just beside the board.

Nana had a wisdom tooth pulled out today and the anaesthetic was still wearing off, so I was back home early to watch My Neighbour Totoro with Arthur (Arthur gets engaging cartoon and I get Japanese practice, one of our few win-win arrangements!) whilst peeling peanuts and pistachios for him. They were in a big plastic bag with raisins which Arthur went hunting for. He quickly stumbled upon a much more efficient raisin hunting solution: dump everything on the floor! Unfortunately no scope presently for discussing the wider pros and cons of optimising “find problems” in this way..

Time a bit tight tonight, so I leave you with some photos of Arthur!

Living in Beijing. Everyday trivialities, trivial thoughts.