The past few months have been a strange journey. In September I had expected to go back to Korea for English/TESOL teaching. It was all organised. I was to go in October, and be back in November. I prepared - as you do - with clothes, and all sorts of things that I knew would be of benefit to me in the cooler months of South Korea, as they head towards winter.
But, almost at the last minute, it was all off. I was advised that the course in Pusan/Cheon An would not be proceeding as there were not enough students. So it was a bit of a shock - first of all, I was counting on the income. Secondly I was looking forward to another adventure.
As it turned out though I was recruited by an Australian international college teaching English to foreign students. There's a long story in that! But not for here. So much of the income concern was decreased - not as much money as I would have earned in South Korea, but enough to cover costs etc.
At the same time I resurrected the research I had been doing a few years ago about obituary writing. Now, let me explain. I'm not focused on death - it just seems to me that this is the last opportunity to write a life story. So many people "plan" to write, but never do it And then their life is all over. Obituaries are gaining in popularity too. In any case, I "dug out"my research, and thought - "let's do it!", and set in motion a consultancy. I'm still researching it - but hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to be positive about the direction this is going. Well, I am positive now, but a few things need to be in place before I officially announce it all.
Then there were two deaths. One a close family friend of many years - he'd been in a nursing home with dementia and had a fall which caused massive brain damage and he lasted a few more days. I attended the celebration of his life - and it surely was - and again I was "encouraged" to continue with my obituary writing plans. I did write a short obituary - but the family do not want me to do anything with it. At least not yet. I had hoped to have it published in the daily newspaper, but it was not to be. I asked them, and told them I would not raise the subject again. If they wanted me to - they had to ask me. Silence.
Then the other death. This time a woman who had bravely fought cancer for several years, and in the end it won. Her husband is someone whose life I have written about and had a contract of sorts to publish it - but it is languishing. The contract ended at the end of October, and I'm going to have to go "back to the drawing board" on that project! Her husband was not at the funeral service - he is in a nursing home with dementia. He has been told of the death of his wife, but he cannot deal with it. I will write her story.
Meanwhile, I am working three days a week at the college, and planning to return to China in 2010. That is an odd story, as the Chinese university sent me a medical form - I need a medical. I'd have preferred it if they had sent me a blank form, but they sent a copy of another teacher - complete with all detail - so I have had to spend time with whiteout so that I can go to my own doctor with a blank form. How funny is that!!! I could do a form myself, but getting the Chinese characters was going to be a challenge.
Now about house sitting. I have re registered with www.housecarers.com.au for another 12 months, and each house sitting job that comes in is unsuitable - in part because of the teaching job. Oh, darn! But today I had a phone call. A friend is planning an overseas trip. Would I house sit?
Sure! It is over the Christmas/New Year period. Maybe starting a few days before the end of the college semester - and I will have at least three weeks off. No money, but still, no work either. I can relax. I am committed to a family Christmas Day event - but I can manage that.
The house has a swimming pool!!!! Now ain't that grand for the Christmas period!!!!
Not all decided yet, but it is a plan. Meanwhile I am busily working on some short bio's - I'm going to focus on this sort of writing, and I hope to have one of my books published by the new year.
In early December MM and I will be going to Adelaide for the wedding of my only niece. I will see my folks there - my mother is 94 and dad is 90. So it will be good to catch up with them again.
Whew!!! I can hardly wait.
So the plan is - March - June I should be in Shaoxing, China. After that - focus on writing, writing, and publishing.
And the occasional house sit task. Bring it on!