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紫砂壶茶楼

桂子落画亭,梅影弄碧洲。胜迹追武陵,美酒流心沟。

 
 
 

日志

 
 

( 原创) The Fourth Week in Nottingham,UK  

2006-08-17 11:43:00|  分类: 酒花飘香 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Sunday 3 Nov.

        I really want the God to bless me. So this morning I went to the St. Mary’s Church, the Church of England, which was also the biggest in Nottingham. This was the first time I went to a church. You couldn’t imagine how nice I felt. The music was so lovely and beautiful. The choir sang so movingly and nice. The vicars read the bible and priests put their hands on the Christians to give them blessing. I was not a Christian but was still given a blessing. When the white candle in my hand was lit remembering the dead, I suddenly burst into tears thinking of my mother. In such a holy church, I couldn’t control myself any longer.

    I heard as if the God was really coming down into the church when all the people in it sang and read together.

    I closed my eyes when the bishop placed his hand on my head giving me blessings.What was I thinking at that time? Can you guess? You can guess giving 3 answers. The song and the poems are very good. The following is part of them. I copied them down for you to read.

    Hi, have you given your answers? Write below, please.

1.

2.

3.

    Life’s journey

As the varied way of life we journey,

Come the plains and then the mountainside,

Come the days of joy when birds are singing,

And the world is fair and sweet and wide;

Then a deeper joy comes, overflowing,

From the overlasting throne of love,

And all other joy is but an echo.

From the ever-blessed heights above.

    There are shadows on the earthly pathway

    Where, at times uncertainly, we tread;

    In perplexity we halt and linger

    Till our faith again is upward led.

    For the heights of truth are ever calling,

    And celestial radiance from afar

    On our pilgrim way is gently failing

    For our comfort where the shadows are.

In the days of peace and golden sunshine,

In the days of joy or days of woe,

There is confidence in him who holds us;

There is light to guide us here below.

And beyond await the heights of rapture

Where all earthly joys, transcended, fade

In the glory of the Saviour’s presence,

In the home eternal he has made.

                         Lili Sampson

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God; trust also in me…I

Am the way and the truth and the life,

No-one comes to the Father except through me.”

                               John    14:6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

                                                Prov.  3:5, 6

Be our strength in hours of weakness. In our wanderings be our guide, through endeavour, failure, danger, Father, be thou at our side.

                                              Love Maria Wills

    The whole process lasted for two hours. After that, a musician talked to me asking if I had enjoyed myself. We talked about many things.

    When I came out of the church and got to the centre, there happened to be an open-service concert in the square, for free of course. I didn’t miss it, as you could imagine. I really had a good time today!

 

Monday 4 Nov.

    Nice and bright this morning. As usual, I had two lessons in the morning, which were about social-linguistic given by Mike. He introduced some activities to teach English. One is a coffee pot, a kind of word guessing game, the other is sentences matched game. Both of them aim to encourage students to speak and listen to English and to think in English. I found they were useful for me to instruct teachers how to teach when I come back to China.

    After a simple lunch, I quickly went to one of the computer rooms to send and receive emails. I was so happy to get Sound Scabbard, my son’s email, in English of course. He was so smart and excellent. Snow also sent me two emails because I didn’t call her, the fact was the card was of no use. She said she and SST were waiting for my phone on Saturday and Sunday. They stayed up late that Saturday evening. Now they learned to send emails to me and it was easy to contact.

    At half past one, we had a lecture on Vocabulary in language teaching which was not bad, at least for me to practise listening.

    Here, if you want to improve English, you should try to find people talk with you. If you don’t talk with others, then it’s not useful to be sent to the UK. Things are just the same as you stay in China. Many of us gather every day speaking Chinese. I began to hate the surroundings but had no way out. So Chen and I realized the importance of practising our English. We tried to make new friends and talk. We tried to speak English with each other. It is not very good to stay with a Chinese family from next week on. But I have decided to set up the surroundings to talk with them in English because they have a daughter of 10 at school. For her, we may try to create a language atmosphere. I’m confident in this point.

    It is late now. But I can still hear fireworks set off so loudly that sometimes the house shakes. Tomorrow will be Bonfire Day when people set off fireworks and light fires. It’s one of the festivals in the UK.

 

 

Tuesday 5 Nov.

    It was British Bonfire Festival today.

    After supper, Chen and I went to the large bonfire and to watch the fire works.

    At 7:00 we arrived there. It was just the right time. Thousands of thousands people were there. I guess there were nearly one third of the population in Nottingham attending the activity.

    The recreation ground was decorated with many beautiful colourful lights with exciting music on. Many people were playing, bursting out laughing and shouting in joy. Varied food and drink were served.

    At 7:30, the fireworks began to set off. I have never seen so beautiful fireworks, lasting 15 minutes. Some were like colourful stars. Some were like silk belts. Some were blooming like flowers. Some were like rainfalls… People shouted and applauded in their exciting voices. Children were especially active with small fireworks burning in their hands. At 7:45, the large pile of bonfire was lit. Smoke gave off from the inside of the fire, gradually the fire became a flower, burning and flashing on half of the sky. How splendid the whole sight was!

    We went around the ground watching those recreation that people were doing. British people were really crazy tonight! All of the cars were refused to go into the ground. So people walked to the place. At nine, another turn of fireworks set off. This time was even more beautiful than the first one. Shouting and laughing and screaming could be heard from time to time.

    After the fireworks, Chen and I had to come back home since we lived far and we didn’t want to keep the old couple waiting for us. It was not easy for us to catch the right bus for people were all waiting for their buses. They all stood in the queue. We couldn’t get on the Bus 88 for it was too crowded and had to wait for another hour, just then a Chinese-looking girl was standing in the queue. I asked her in Chinese what bus she was waiting. She said she was waiting for 88, 89 0r 15 and then she asked me about the same question. When she knew that we were living in Top valley, she said we could go with her. The 89 bus came and we got on. We got off at the nearest stop with the girl’s help who even wanted to send us home. She had studied in Trent University for two years and knew the places well. We didn’t let her do that. After saying goodbye to her we walked only a few minutes’ and got home at 10:40. The old couple were still watching TV.

 

Wednesday 6 Nov.

    This morning two policemen came to The University of Nottingham to have us registered. We had to do this though we were all not willing to hand in £34 for the register. Altogether I spent £500 for the first month, that is RMB 6500. If I used this large sum of money in China, I would live like a king. But here in the UK, I had to count every penny for I didn’t take more money with me. I must save some for travelling to some European countries.

    My Visa card hasn’t been used. I will have a try to use it so that I will be confident in myself that I am rich and free to spend my money.

    Snow sent me an email again in her broken English. She missed me very much. I was very glad to get it. Especially, when I am alone in England, her love is more important to me.

   

 

Thursday 7 Nov.

 

    After the lecture this morning, Zhang’s hostess took Zhang, Chen and I to Makro shop to buy camcorders. We three selected the same kind of digital video camera made in Japan which cost £390 each, compared with the other shops, it is £100 cheaper. The lady had a special card. But it was a pity my visa card didn’t work. It was declined by the computer. I felt very disappointed. Both of them bought one. I couldn’t because I didn’t take enough money with me. The lady was kind to lend me the money. But I was afraid that my visa card couldn’t be used in the UK. Then I couldn’t afford to go to European countries. I ought to have taken more cashes with me.

    Early this morning I asked Sister Lan about my visa card. She said it was no problem. I don’t know what’s the matter. I have to phone her tomorrow to make sure of the card being used in every place of the world, otherwise, I will have economic crisis. Pounds, I want to have more pounds so that I could live freely and spend my money as I like. How I regret not taking more pounds with me! Sister Lan, you care for me very much, I know. So you helped me a lot and didn’t ask me to take too many cashes for the safe reasons. You told me that it was a symbol of a VIP to use a visa card and that it was very convenient to be used in every place of the world. I had no reason not to accept your advice, but now you see, the card just didn’t work. How worried I am!

    The shop assistant told me to try it in some other shops. Maybe it can work. I hope so and it must work. If that fails, I have to ask Sister Lan to think of some other ways to send me enough money I want.

    Snow sent me another email today. She sends me an email every day. She told me something that happened in her school and many other things. I replied to her letter, telling her about my trouble today, but I told her that I could manage. I didn’t want her to worry about me.

    Tomorrow we are going to the Lake District about 3 hours’ ride by coach. The poet, William Wordsworth lived there writing many beautiful poems. He was a champion poet in English literature. Do you know about him?

 

Friday 8 Nov.

    Early this morning at five thirty. I got up and caught the early bus with Chen to gather at the Royal Concert Hall before 7.

    At ten past 7, the coach took us 42 persons to the Lake District, which is in Cumbria, northeast of England. It’s the second most beautiful national park. When we were on the way, I could only see cars passing, grass on both sides of the road and trees with different colours. The houses were all not high just as those in Nottingham. I know now since there are fewer people in the UK, tall buildings are not necessary. Gardens, parks are everywhere. English people really enjoy their natural protected areas. I admire their living in their good surroundings. At 11 o’clock, we got to the lake. We took a boat to tour around it.

    The lake is beautiful. Almost every one of us took pictures here and there. I didn’t take pictures. I took pictures with my heart. The West Lake is beautiful with Chinese characteristics, which is like a traditional Chinese painting. But here every sight could be regarded as an oil-painting. Swans were swimming leisurely on the lake and hundreds of gulls were hovering here and there. The water was like an large mirror reflecting trees and some classical houses. Some touring boats were taking the tourists around the lake.

    When you looked out to the distance, the hills with coloured trees were embellished with clouds, straticulate layer and layer. It was raining. If the sun shone, the scenery must have been more splendid.

    I was deeply attracted by the sight when a voice came to my mind:

I wondered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high over vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line.

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

…………

    It was the voices of the romantic poet, William Wordsworth, who lived in the district, writing his most famous poems in his life. When I was elated in the lake and hills, I felt as if I were talking with this great poet, neglecting all the noise and shouting from the others. What’s the use of taking pictures without the communication with souls?

    Forty five minutes later, we landed at Windermere, the classical built town. All the houses were built by stones, very typical old buildings. I was just about to leave the lake when a large white swan came staring at me. She was so pretty and docile. I couldn’t help waving my hand to her. She wasn’t afraid at all. I really wanted to be a swan swimming side by side with her. I even thought she was an incarnation of an angel across the ocean to me. You see, why didn’t the other swans come over near to me but this one? Please don’t laugh at me. That was my true thought then. But soon the ridiculous thought was gone.

    After the tour in the town, we went to another lake village, where we visited a glass factory. It was funny to see how glass was made into different products. We got home at 9:30.

 

Saturday 9 Nov.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I visited the Dove Cottage where Willaim Wordsworth spent his most important period writing his poems. His grove was just near the church. I stood there for several minutes, giving my respect to this great poet.

    It was funny that I saw a well which was called Wishing Well. Can you guess what I wished then?

    This morning Chen and I went to visit Nottingham High School, which was a very old school with the history of over 500 years. We were received warmly by the headmaster. And then we had a tour around the whole school. The school pays much attention to the development of the students. It was an School Open Day today. So many parents took their children to the school. Some nice lab rooms were opened to all the people visiting there. Many students were doing experiments in physics, chemistry,  biology etc. Students wearing gloves and masks were busy doing the experiments with the teacher’s instructions. They were like little scientists. No wonder some of them would become scientists in the future. In China, I have never seen a school like this. We visited the library, the drama theatre, the music room, the swimming pool, the geography department, the art gallery etc. All of these provided students with good education in many aspects. Compared with China, our schools are mainly focused on tests or examinations. Students have little time to do the other things but learn the text. We Chinese students have to stay at school for long hours, much longer than the students in the UK. Chen and I spent two hours touring the school. At 11:30 we went to the city centre.

    We decided to go to our new host family. I went to see my host family telling them I would move in tomorrow morning. They agreed and gave us some useful information in shopping. Tomorrow morning Ken will take us to the new home in his car. The old couple took some photos with us after supper. I told them I really spent a very happy month with them and I would remember them forever. That’s an unforgettable experience for us. Four weeks ago, the scene that Ken received us was still clearly in our minds. Now it was time for us to say goodbye to them. I felt a little sad because from tomorrow on, I have to cook and wash for myself. Though it is not difficult for me, I still find there is something lost. However, I have to move, because I live too far from the school and it cost too much.

    Now it’s only about 20 minutes’ walk to school. The cost of housing is 150 pounds.

 (to be continued)

 

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