Can't quite believe that I haven't posted since before New Year. So I guess a belated Happy New Year is in order. I guess that partly it's because the internet is still a bit rubbish. It gets a little better every day but a lot of stuff is still either extremely slow, times out or is inaccessible. This includes my googlepages website (although as the rest of Google has been strangely unaffected by the whole event may not be because of the earthquake), which is a bit annoying because I wanted to take a good look at it and fix a few things up as the address will be appearing in Interzone this month. That's right - any moment now your local supplier should be putting out the latest copy of Britain's best science fiction magazine with my first published story in it. Erm, buy it. Borders usually has it.
On the flip side it looks like my time in China is coming to an end. Things here at the school have not improved and so I feel it is definitely time to move back to the UK and be happy about the experience instead of trying to drag it out and getting more frustrated.
In the meantime we had an ok, drunken new year visiting various bars in Ningbo of varying quality (low to bad). Dmitri is back from Japan and it was his birthday last weekend so we went out for that. First he and Sly came over and we took them to the mall, Wanda World. Sly has never been in a B&Q before so we had some difficulty getting him away from the cordless drills. Had some nice seafood and went to play chess and drink coffee afterwards. Then we went and got drunk.
I have ordered suit which is being finished this week so that I can collect it on Sunday. I also have a number of things to sort out before my return to England, such as posting some boxes of stuff, buying some presents and booking our flights. Which I can't do until the school has confirmed what it is doing about my visa. If they don't let me know soon I'm just going to book a flight as soon as possible because I can't afford to wait around seeing as it's Chinese New Year soon.
I've also started teaching myself Ruby with an idea for developing a Rails application for writers. It's mostly just to get me back in the right mindset before going home but it's been really interesting. It's pretty well worked out as a framework for developing web applications but it's hard to find any decent reference material. Guess that will have to wait until I can get to a good bookshop.
Just finished reading "Looking for Jake" by China Mieville. It's a collection of modern fantasy short stories that are mostly set in London. I enjoyed it but it somehow felt like looking at old, sepia photographs; they look nice and you get an impression for the place but you sometimes wish for more.