I hadn't realised how expressive katydids were until Ali got up close to this little chap with his macro setting - easy to miss on our cactus plant, sitting outside the kitchen window. It's the season for bright green insects and there are lots of praying mantis about too. It takes nerves to get up close to them though.

Nerves are a little bit tense at the moment as various pressures mount: Freda seems to be unwell again, Edie has developed a cold and my work is piling up, as usual. Uncertainty about what is wrong with Freda is hard to deal with over a long period of time. She was much better last week and managed the new morning school routine. We've emailed the VSO medical unit in London, as well as a few other medics, and we await advice and suggestions.

As to the old work chestnut. Well, I know I could lower my expectations on that front, and simply do less, but that's easier said than done when there are so many people asking for help in one way or another. Nevertheless, I am trying to stick to  a reasonable working day - get to the office by 8, have an hour or so for lunch then work on until 5 or 6, assuming I'm not in charge of home school that day. I'm also prioritising. The result is that this week is being devoted to completing a TLT training report, enter the TLT feedback and evaluation into a database and finalise a digital PIE Resource Package for distrition to anyone who wants it. That's not bad given that I've been asked to teach two model lessons at Simao No. 6 Middle School and run an English singing activity with Edie's class. I have put on hold the job-hunting, 20+ replies to middle school penpals, TLT follow-up preparation and trips, article writing and College workshop planning, never mind all  the things I'd love to do but haven't even started - bookmaking classes, this term's orienteering programme, cooking club etc etc. Hobbies? I'll consider those again on Saturday. The good news is that by the evenings I'm too tired to do anything but flop on the bed with a book (on bad days it's the couch, with a DVD) and have opted to start more seriously studying Chinese again. Oh, does that count as rest??

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