The Leaving of Liverpool, Part 3


I have been counting down the days (Irena said it was a waste of red and black ink) and now it has finally arrived. Yes, I am now retired and I am at last on my way to becoming senile, geriatric and an OAP. (My Alzheimer’s means that I cannot remember where I left my Zimmer frame.) Actually, one of my reasons for retiring early is my health. I want to have less stress, more exercise and be able to get a decent night’s sleep. This should mean that, for the first few years at least, my retirement should mean that I have a lot more energy and feel much better.

On Thursday, the students had a sort of picnic or potluck lunch out in the corridor. The usual healthy and nutritious food! 

I shall miss working with the lovely Miss Yanee, my excellent (and amazingly patient) Teaching Partner. The children love her because she really cares about them. Sometimes the boys in the class have been a bit rude to her and that has made me very angry. When the students are upset or worried about something, Miss Yanee is always there to help them, encourage them and sort out their problems.


We had the usual end-of-semester bash for the teachers at the posh hotel next to the school. (The owner of the hotel is also one of the governors or owners of Green Oasis School or something like that.) Anyway, I had quite a decent bottle of white wine (good white wine is rather rare in China) and some seafood, then yummy pumpkin soup (I want to grow my own pumpkins!), then chicken with fried potatoes and mushrooms, then pork with rice, followed by some little cake things for dessert.

Irisha with China's naughtiest dog
Julia made an applie pie for us
Just before I had lunch, I managed to send nearly all of our cash from China to our account in Bulgaria, so we only have about three hundred pounds worth of Chinese money that we will have to change in Hong Kong. Regular readers of my blog will know that my previous visits to China Merchants Bank have not always been happy ones.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of retirement so far has been clearing my desk. I just chucked it all into the bin. It took me a couple of minutes. Very satisfying! Yes, I had to give away all of my teaching resources and in some ways that made me sad, but then I thought, “Well, what is the point of keeping these things? I do not need them anymore.”


Lunch in the Turkish restaurant

Will I miss my students? Some of them, yes!

Today I had an e-mail from my old friend Peter. It appears that Brexit is a disaster. I was saying that months and months ago! The Conservative Government are deeply divided over this issue and now many people all over the UK are waking up to the fact that Brexit has done tremendous damage to the British economy and to our relationships with the rest of Europe. With Trump’s crazy tactics that could lead to a trade war between Europe and the US, it is really important for Europe to be united, but in reality, so much time and effort is being wasted on Brexit and it is still not over yet, not for many months to come. I am not just angry about Brexit for personal reasons – although seeing my pension lose a large part of its value is not exactly fun – but I think that the “Leave” campaigners were deliberately dishonest. The Cambridge Analytica scandal was just part of a much bigger web of lies and exaggeration. Where is all this extra cash for the NHS? It was all part of Farage’s bluster and fantasies. Fortunately, here in China we have heard almost nothing about Brexit, but I am sure that in the UK the news is dominated by this thrilling and stimulating topic. That is another very good reason for retiring in Bulgaria!

Farewell to Lower Frederick Street, Anson Terrace and Park Lane
I am bound away for to leave you and I'll never see you again.

Saying goodbye to people is not something that I (usually) look forward to. Bill and Julia are such good friends of ours and it is really hard to imagine our time in Shenzhen without them. They are kind and funny, so we are always laughing together and we really enjoy their company. This morning they came around to our apartment, to see all of the bits and pieces that we are giving to them because we are leaving soon. We discovered a selfie stick and Bill even managed to get it to work (he is always a whizz with anything to do with computers).We hope that Bill and Julia will come to see us one day in Bulgaria. In fact, Irena and I have already given names our two little Chinese statues in our dining room in Kalotina: Bill and Julia!

On Sunday morning we went to church for the last time and said goodbye to all of our SIF friends. Then we had a very enjoyable meal at a Turkish restaurant with Bill and Julia. This was, of course, to get us ready for the excellent food we will be having on our Turkish Airlines flight back to Bulgaria. 

     

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