2 weeks until I can end my year-long blogging gap…

Hello dear readers, who have no doubt almost forgotten of my existence over the course of the last year! As I’m sure some of you remember, I had disappeared from the face of the internet due to being in China this year and hence having to contend with the infamous great firewall of China.

Now, I have reached my last two weeks here, and i’m very excited to say I will be returning to writing very soon afterwards. Right now (as you would be right to ask ‘how on earth are you writing now then, if you’re still in China??’) my hostel has a VPN, but that has been a rather rare occurrence during my time here and i’ve used all those opportunities to contact family and friends rather than the blogging community.

Before I left for China, my writing was mainly poetry, with the occasional odd article on languages or other odd bits and bobs. Over the course of this year I have changed a fair bit, so don’t be surprised if the tone of this site changes slightly, but I hope that you will still enjoy reading.

Until two weeks time, I shall see you!

6 months silence, 6 months silence to go.

Hello, It’s been a while hasn’t it? Nice to briefly write once more.

I have now been in China, unbelievably, for 6 months. This means I have also been unable to write my blog for 6 months as I have no VPN. Currently I’m using a friend’s computer to write this – which is a shame because I dearly wish I could still write on this blog during my stay here in China.

I simply can’t shrink the last 6 months into one post, so I am writing today mainly to refer you all once again to my current blog substitute. http://www.offexploring.com/tvg-in-china. I apologise profusely for how horrific the website is, but hey, it’s not blocked!

If you want to find out about the wonders of my time living in Xinjiang, China, and of my travels outside of my new home, go take a look.

Oh, and in a few days there will be much more to read, as I have the whole of my spring festival holiday to write about yet…and the writing will be extensive.

Well, that’s really it – I shall see you all again in another 6 months!

Moving to a new blog for a year..

Dear fellow bloggers, As of now, I will be using a different blog for the following year. In 18 days, I will be moving the China for a year, and the new blog, which you can find here, is following my time there. feel free to follow what I’m up to in China, but for now, this particular blog isn’t going to be particularly active.

Ni Hao! it’s the beginning and the end…

I said I would return after the stress of exams disappeared, and I didn’t lie!

So…this means I should get back to writing.

This post therefore shall be a ‘what’s happened in the last bit of time since forever then?’ post.

I have, as I said right at the start there, finished my exams and officially no longer a school student. It may be a year late, but I got to the end eventually! Next stop on life’s journey is China and I found out since last time i wrote exactly where I am going. My home for a year will be a city called ‘Kuitun‘ in ‘xinjiang’ province (which I recently found yesterday I have been pronouncing wrong…).

So! A little about xinjiang! It is the most north-west province in China, sharing borders with countries such as Mongolia, tajikistan, Pakistan and even a tiny little bit of Russia. In other words, it’s big. The biggest in China in fact. Apparently it may just be around three times the size of France. For just one province…

It is also the world’s most inland region. So not surprisingly, large areas are desert. Having spent my life so far in the UK – not known for its great deserts – this will be an experience. This particular desert is the Gobi desert, which (I believe) is famous for being the end of the Silk road. If living in a desert in an obscure part of China for a year can’t get me writing again, I don’t know what can…so watch this space over the next year, as as long as I actually can get onto wordpress through the Chinese internet censoring etc, this blog should be flooding with exciting things. If not, there will definitely be a blog from me in some form or the other, somewhere hidden on the internet.

The real reason I’ve put the title I have here as the Title was (other than the self-explanatory ni hao (without the tones! Oh how horrible it is to look at without them!)) that I just happened to be listening to a song of the same name (anathema – the beginning and the end), but it seemed to fit rather nicely. My exams finish, signalling the end of school – something which, although it is not amazing to admit it, ends up essentially being a person’s life until they leave it. That is the ‘end’. At the same time, it is the beginning. The beginning of something fresh and new. “Nothing that doth change, but doth suffer a sea change”. Sorry, Shakespeare just felt right there. Changed slightly so it fits better. Within a few months I will know if I will spend my university years in London or Aberdeen, and prior to going I will be in China. As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t many things which are a new ‘beginning’ as that.

And I hope that words come streaming from it. There has been a great lack of them outside of essays for far too long.

English: The Gobi Desert stretches into Inner ...

English: The Gobi Desert stretches into Inner Mongolia, China. 中文: 内蒙古的戈壁沙漠。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer! The picture, although the same desert, is in mongolia and not Xinjiang! It is a rather large desert, stretching into many countries.




I feel a little guilty doing this but…

I could give endless apologies for doing this, but I feel I should try nonetheless. Along with the studies for my final school exams that are currently keeping me hidden away from blogging, I’m busy trying to finish my fundraising for Project Trust. (see here for info)

This unfortunately leads me to try my luck at advertising my final large(ish) fundraiser, and maybe, just maybe, get a tiny donation from one or two people.

So this last fundraiser is a nice simple sponsored run. I won’t be fit enough in time to run any of the marathons before I go (already missed the London one), so instead i am planning to run round a local reservoir called Grapham water. As that would be considerably easier than running a marathon, I’m only giving myself an hour to do it in.

If I make enough money from this event, it will be the finishing line (excuse the entirely intended pun) for my fundraising, and I will be an incredibly happy, relieved and possibly slightly terrified (it does after all mean i’ll be on my way to China very soon afterwards…) fundraiser.

so, here is a link to the ‘Virginmoneygiving’ page i’ve set up for the event, in case there are any of you out there with a giant bag of generosity hidden away somewhere. In advance, I can’t thank you enough if you do give even the smallest donation.

And to those who are annoyed at me for trying to essentially get money out of you for fundraising, I apologise. Please please please don’t be too annoyed.

Oh, and as my exams will be over in 6 weeks, its not too long until I return to post something more interesting. Yay!

Breaking the silence. briefly. University applications, fundraising, all that jazz.

For any followers here mainly for poetry/writing/creative things, sorry, nothing like that today..I promise more soon!

Too many of my posts have started with the words ‘Sorry I haven’t written in a while’, so I feel a little bit guilty that once again i’ve ended up not writing since forever. I have (once again feeling guilty for the unintended repetiveness of this) had a rather busy couple of weeks…

So, starting off, You might have all noticed that more and more German things have been sneaking their way onto the blog. This is simply because that’s what I’ve applied for at university (German and Scandinavian studies to be exact) so there is a lot of German and German-y-ness going through my head at the moment. Especially as the majority of the application process is now over and i’ve made my decisions of where to go…which was exciting/terrifying/confusing/insert other dramatic adjectives here.

For those not in the UK, we get 5 choices, in which we have to choose a firm and back-up choice (in case our grades aren’t good enough for the firm after the exams) after the universities have replied with offers or rejections. I got offers from Leeds and Birmingham for German; for German and Scandinavian Studies my offers were from UCL and Aberdeen. Edinburgh, my home, my favourite city in the entire world, one of the most inspiring places anywhere, decided I wasn’t good enough and gave me a rejected. To say I was sad is an understatement, but luckily UCL, the university i decided as my firm choice, is regularly in the top 5 universities in the world…so I would have been mad to reject them for Edinburgh if they had given me an offer.

So that’s one thing which has been keeping me occupied lately-University applications and my desperation to get into UCL now I have the offer. Which means crazy amounts of work now until mid June. Wish me luck!

Next is something that I have written about in the past (see The beginning of a hard but exciting journey  and Fundraising calls for sacrifices for what i’ve said before) – my fundraising to teach in China for a year. I’m now at £2750 of the £5400 i need to raise, but I’ve worked out that I’m definitely going to make it, and just have to work for this last slog now…Just conveniently at the same time that i’m trying so hard to get the AAB grades I need to get into university.

One word.


But as you can hopefully see, there is reason this time to my lack of activity here on wordpress. Although i would happily paste the many essays (most of them are surprisingly related to the blog after all), I’m guessing most of you guys wouldn’t be too excited to be reading essays instead of poetry.

And one last note, If you are in the UK, and you buy things on the web, you can actually help my fundraising at no cost to you at all by signing up to help me on Easy fundraising, but I feel bad asking for help from people who only know me through a blog so i do apologise. I must emphasise however that it costs nothing to do.

I will then, See you all in June (or maybe earlier if I have some luck) with new material!



gliding-song version

A few weeks back i added the poem ‘gliding’ to my blog. Today, you should be able to hopefully hear it as the song it was supposed to be in the first place. Unfortunately, WordPress wouldn’t let me  upload it directly to the blog (my guess is that you need a premium account, but I honestly don’t know why), so i’m busy uploading it to my facebook page as I write this. So if you follow the link, you should be able to find the video and like the facebook page for ‘thoughtofvg’ if you so wish. If you can’t immediately see it, try looking in the videos section of the page. At the time of writing this post, it will be the only video there.

I hope you all enjoy it, and if there is some difficulty seeing the video for whatever reason, please tell me in the comment box – and of course please comment and criticise as much as you like!