Thursday, February 9, 2012

Update - 2012

A belated Happy new year, or Chuc Mung Nam Moi to all of you, wherever you are in the world.  Since it's been ages since I've posted anything, I'll make a general entry this time and make some more specific entries in the coming weeks.  Obviously, with the little one, the festive seasons, and various other shenanigans, I completely forgot to maintain my online presence!

Hanh & Isabella

I'm happy to say that both my wife and daughter are doing very well.  Hanh has recently gone back to work after taking several months off for maternity leave.  While, of course, it is difficult for her to leave our wee one at home, we felt it was important for her to continue working and to maintain the relationships and friendships that can so easily be broken if one stays at home.  I am fortunate enough to have an amazing sister in-law and nanny who take care of Bella fantastically while we're at work, and I think that although Hanh is pretty shattered after a long week's work, she's happy with the decision she's made. 

Isabella is full of life and is growing up incredibly quickly.   Anyone who has seen the pictures on facebook will be able to tell you just how much she's grown.  She's now 6 months old, she's rolling over, attempting (with little success thus far) to crawl, her first teeth have just come through and she just doesn't stop smiling!  Right now she's making cute little sleeping noises as I'm writing this.  She's having a little bit of a restless night as she had some shots this morning, though I couldn't tell you what for.  We're also in the process of getting her British citizenship, something I should've done long ago.  I don't think it's going to be too much of a problem, so fingers cross in the next couple of months she'll hold dual nationalities.


Fortunately, all of my injuries have cleared up for the time being.  I played my first football match for about 6 months a couple of weeks ago and came through training last Wednesday without suffering any pain in my ankle which I'm really happy about.  I've also started running again.  I was fully intending on taking part in the Great Wall of China half marathon in May, but you have to book a package tour which costs over a thousand dollars, which I'm really not prepared to do so I've had to abandon that plan.  However, I'm going to run a half in Nha Trang in 4 weeks time instead which might be an error as I probably won't be in great shape to do it.  I'm also trying to play a bit of tennis and softball (of all things) to try to lose some of the excess weight I gained over the festive periods.  On Tuesday nights, I've been throwing some good darts, and even hit my first 180 a couple of nights a go.  Phil 'the power' Taylor, watch this space!

Christmas & Tet Holiday

For the first time since I've been in Asia, I had a wonderful Christmas Day.  Some good family friends, The Hoffs, invited us round for Xmas dinner.  They ordered a turkey, prepared carrots, potatoes and other trimmings, brought champagne and orange juice for bucks fizz and even managed to procure a Christmas log.  It was honestly the first time I've felt remotely festive in my 4 years away from Blighty.  It was also amusing as Jon's daughter Lou was trying to feed Isabella chocolate.  I had to feel sorry for her as she was trying to be nice, but we had to tell her off as she just couldn't grasp that babies don't have the facility to chew and swallow.  Still, it was wonderful to see her so excited and a massive thanks to Jon & Chi for hosting a fantastic day!

For Tet holiday we went to the in-laws.  I read the 2 books I've bought in the first 2 days and found myself with very little to do after that as I have no friends in Ben Tre and no one, barring Hanh, can speak English.  Also, their internet connect is pretty slow and I couldn't hack into anyone's wireless network.  Therefore, I managed to sleep a lot.  Being of working age, I also had to give lots of people lucky money, which doesn't feel so lucky as I end up being out of pocket!  Such is life I guess!  That being said, it was nice to spend some time at the in-laws and catch up with some of the extended family.  As there was nothing to do, I probably drank a little too much and I've definitely learned that if I've not made plans to travel during Tet holiday next year, I will need more than 2 books!

Upcoming plans

On Saturday, Hanh and I will be sending Isabella off to the in-laws so that we can go to Kuala Lumpur for an extended weekend.  Hanh gets very little time off work so we need to make the most of it while we can.  I also have a one week course break, so I can take time off without disrupting the teaching schedule.  We'll be staying in a nice 4-star hotel in the Bukit Bintang area of town which I'm told is pretty cool so I'm really looking forward to it!  Of course, you'll be getting a city review in due course.  Other than that, we'll be going to Da Nanang for my friend's wedding in March as well as Nha Trang for the half marathon I previously mentioned.

Well, that's the wrap for now.  As you can see, a few things have been going on.  Most of my time is taken up with work, taking care of Bella, and sport.  As tired as I generally feel, I'm pretty happy and content with life which is more than most people can say, can I reckon I'm pretty fortunate! 

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