teaching

A review of my 2014

2014 is only the second year of my life, when I didn’t spend any time in England (the first was 1998, the worst year of my life, which I spent entirely in Wales).

We only left Georgia once in 2014, way back in January, to visit Ephesus. If you like ruined cities, Ephesus is a must. We spent a week in the area.

Ephesus 093In 2014, I finished teaching at the French School and started working at Opiza school, time will tell if this was a wise decision. I also teach private individuals.

This is me teaching.

This is me teaching.

2014 wasn’t a particularly exceptional year. I turned 50 (as I grow older the years seem to pass more quickly). In the late Summer we visited Qobuleti on the Black Sea coast, for a beach holiday…if it rains in Qobuleti there isn’t much to do (luckily it only rained on one day of our stay).

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

We have a new grandchild, Lazare, born on 1st August. Our oldest grandchild, Ana, started school in September, she still likes it (wonder how long that will last).

Ana ready for school

Ana ready for school

As the time I spent on the metro increased, so did my reading. 29 books read in 2013 and 47 books read in 2014. Highlights included “Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso FalconesIstanbul by Orhan Pamuk and “Dumb Witness” by Agatha Christie.

I took thousands of photos, sharing some on this blog and many more on Facebook.

I added around 240 model cars to my diecast collection and wrote about this in my diecast blog.

Three Corgi Cars from my collection.

Three Corgi Cars from my collection.

My Georgian Language skills made some slow progress, but I really need to resolve once again to learn Georgian seriously and consistently.

I posted 266 posts to this blog in 2014, regularly rising to the Weekly Photo Challenge, reviewing the books I have read, sharing my thoughts on the life of a foreigner in Tbilisi and generally writing about what interested me and I hope may have interested you, too.

I wish you all a Happy New year 2015.

Santas cycling.

Santas cycling.

My Daily Routine

I don’t like working 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. I have done so in the past, for example, when I worked as a Data Processing Trainee for Kapiti Limited. Then, I just longed for the weekends, which were always too short, I quit after six months. Now I work on six days, Monday to Saturday, but the hours I work each day varies.

My Timetable

My Timetable

I am an English teacher, teaching English as a foreign language,  I teach a mix of students in school and privately, children and adults. I have around 30 lessons on my timetable but don’t teach that many. Although I prefer teaching adult students, as they have more life experience, which I find more interesting, they are often unable to make the lessons, children’s lessons are more reliable.

The day usually begins with Khato, my wonderful wife,  getting up early (6.30 or 6.45) for prayers and preparing breakfast. I get up about an hour later as does Ana, our grand daughter. Khato puts on cartoons for Ana…Korean cartoons in Russian…I don’t know what they are about, some strange creatures who can fly,  but they have a very earwormy jingle. I will put on the computer to check Facebook and WordPress.

Khato gets Ana ready for school while Ana watches cartoons.

Khato gets Ana ready for school while Ana watches cartoons.

Breakfast is usually porridge (good for keeping my cholesterol down) and bread with some spread (jam or peanut butter). After ablutions and packing my “school” bag, I will walk to school (where I teach on Monday and Wednesday) or to the metro to go to my first lesson.

This is me teaching.

This is me teaching.

The school is just ten minutes walk, but my private students in other parts of the city are usually an hour to an hour and a half away (by walking, metro and buses). The metro station is 15 minutes walk. I don’t mind walking, I try to walk at least an hour a day, walking in the day helps me sleep at night, think creatively and I also have the opportunity to take photos en route. I almost always have my camera attached to my belt. It is a compact not a DSLR but it is quite sophisticated (Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ40).  I take photos of a range of subjects: cars, skies, street life, anything which interests me…

The metro is often crowded but I use the time to read. Since taking the metro regularly my reading has increased from two to six books a month, I do most of my reading on the metro, sometimes it can be a danger, if I have a really good book, I might miss my stop.

metro platform, converging lines

metro platform, converging lines

Buses are even more crowded and reading is more difficult (also after dark the lighting isn’t good enough). My lessons take me to different parts of Tbilisi, and I usually allow an hour between each lesson for travelling.

crowded bus

crowded bus

I may come home for lunch, heating up soup from the previous day, Khato makes a delicious vegetable borscht. At home I will drink tea regularly (the coffee for breakfast may be my only coffee in the day, too much coffee and I don’t sleep well).
A lot of my free time is taken up with Facebook, downloading, uploading and editing photos and preparing these blog posts. I also collect diecast cars and make detours on my trips around the city to markets (especially Drybridge Market and Vagzlis Basroba), toy shops and supermarkets, searching for new models. This month I have acquired 18 models already (today is 20th December).

Diecast Acquisitions December 2014

With all the travelling and lessons in the evening my day can finish quite late. On Monday and Friday, I get home around 10.30pm. I will eat, relax and go to bed around midnight. Sunday is kept free from work. I may go to church at 4pm. On the first Wednesday of each month I meet with fellow bibliophiles at Cafe Gallery for Tbilisi English Book Swap, an opportunity to meet and swap books in English.

Tbilisi English Book Swap

Tbilisi English Book Swap

On Tuesdays, I have a large gap in the middle of the day and I will take Ana to the library, so we can both stock up on books.

That folks is my daily routine, my life in a nutshell.

2013

31 December 2013, a time to look back on the old year and reflect.

Travelling: Compared to other years we did very little travelling in 2013. In Georgia we just went out of Tbilisi to nearby Sighnaghi, Pasanauri, Lomisa and Rustavi.

We made the annual trip to England, where in 3 weeks, we visited London, Cambridge, Cornwall, Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, York, Bewdley and Worcester.

We also moved from Saburtalo in the centre of Tbilisi to Varketili on the outskirts.

Photography: I bought a new camera in England a Panasonic Lumix TZ40…every day I take many photos, most of which are posted on Facebook and some of which find there way onto my blog.

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Here’s a photo of my lovely wife, Khato in London. The London Eye giving her a halo.

Work: I continue to work as an English teacher but less in school and more privately than at the start of the year.

Blogging: this blog began in November and has quite a geographical spread of readers. USA, Georgia and UK being the source of most readers.

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Greetings to you dear reader wherever you may be.

I have a second blog about my hobby of collecting diecast cars. http://jimholroyd365d.wordpress.com

I added 175 diecast models to my collection in 2013 at a cost of 988 lari and 72 tetri (almost £350).

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Some of my Porsche models.

Reading: 29 books read (24 in English, 5 in French, still half way through my first book in Georgian). The reviews of the most recently read have been put on this blog. (2012: 24 books, 2011, 48 books).Highlights included “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, “Blood, Sweat and Tea” by Tom Reynolds and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut. My reading has increased since moving to Varketili, because I have longer metro journeys. I have also joined a group “Tbilisi English Book Swap”, which meets once a month in a cafe in Tbilisi to swap books in English. A list of all the books I have read can be found here https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5041353?shelf=read

Family is important to me but I don’t feel like sharing my thoughts about my family publicly on this blog.

I wish you all a Happy New year 2014.