Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An update on the wonderful world of me

I rarely write general 'dairy' entries about the random goings-on in my life, but as there's been nothing to write about recently I figured I should dust of the keyboard and let everyone know how things are going on over here in Vietnam.

Condolences and Sympathy

I've been fortunate all my life to have lived in areas that haven't been struck by natural disasters but over the last couple of years it seems that they are hitting more devastatingly and frequently than any time in living memory.  I have to admit to feeling a touch concerned by it all.  Fortunately for me, myself and those I care about haven't (to my knowledge) been directly affected by the floods, tsunamis and earthquakes of the past few years and hopefully it'll remain that way.  Thinking about the areas kinda puts things into perspective, especially when silly little things affect me in ways they shouldn't.  My thoughts have drifted to those affected and I hope for a swift recovery process in the regions which have been changed forever through recent events.

Having a pregnant wife

Just after Hanh became pregnant, I was warned that pregnant women usually become hormonal and thus unpredictable and that I'd need to tread on egg shells.  Well, so far, Hanh's been a treasure.  If she's been annoyed at me, then she hasn't let it show.   Both my wife and baby are doing really well and are healthy which is obviously a relief.  The due date is August 15th which seems to be getting earlier every time we go to hospital.  Hanh tells me she's 19 weeks gone and if a full term is 39 weeks then if my calculations are correct, I make the due date early August.  I'm not sure how it all works so I guess I'll have to trust the medical professionals!  However, if it is as I think, I'd better make the most of my last few months of irresponsibility!  I know I can be a rubbish husband at times as my fondness for a few beers at the weekend and the abundance of sport available on TV takes more than its fair share of time.  So, let me take this opportunity to thank my perfect wife for putting up with my rubbishness!  Love you honey!

Learning Vietnamese

Some while back, I (stupidly) promised my better half that I'd learn Vietnamese when we have children.  So true to my word I've been taking classes for 2 months and I must say that my Vietnamese is coming on nicely!  It's really interesting to learn the grammar as I'm starting to find out why my students make so many errors in English.  I'll write a blog entry soon on the differences between Vietnamese and English to give you an idea of the difficulties I face in trying to become bilingual and also give you an insight on how English learners struggle to pick up our language.  One simple example is in English we would usually ask someone 'How OFTEN do you play football?'  to which we might answer 'I USUALLY play twice a week'.  In Vietnamese the word for often (thuong) is also the same as usually.  Therefore many of my students will answer the same question 'I often play twice a week' which to me seems unnatural.  Anyways, I'll let you know all about the complexities of VNese shortly and believe me when I say that pronunciation is awfully tricky!

Back to the UK

My good buddy James is getting married in Ireland at the end of May and I'm really excited to be invited as silent best man.  He's the whole reason I started teaching overseas and I have to attribute all of the good times I've had in the last 3 and a half years to his gentle push out the door. I'll be in the UK between the 25th May to the 29th.  Unfortunately it has to be a flying visit as I want to minimise my time off work and time away from Hanh as she'll be approaching the 'danger zone' at that point.  So if you're in the South or in Dublin at that time let me know and I'll try my best to catch up with you! 


Well being made of glass means that I've largely been out of commission since the turn of the year.  I've started running and cycling again but as far as a return to competitive sport I'm some way off.  I'm still 4 months off my return to football although I have managed a couple of cricket nets and games.  Unfortunately I've put on a bit of weight since being out of action, but hopefully I'll be able to shift it before long.   On the plus, the cricket world cup is keeping me entertained.  Regardless of how England do, they've certainly rejuvenated a stagnating 50 over game and single-handedly ensured that the group stages haven't been boring!  And besides, the winter was all about the ashes!

Apart from that, work is still going fine, I'm still not allowed a cat and we might be looking to move apartment in the not too distant future.  We've decided it's time to get a slightly bigger place as the in-laws will probably stay with us for the early stages of our son/daughters life.  Anyways, until next time!


  1. I'm touched man :). Glad to hear everything's going well :D

  2. great post mark, keep up the good work, and glad ur learning vietnamese thats gonna come in handy :) hope you've been checking out my blog too, ill keep u up to date with when im coming back mate.

    miss you loads, Lars