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Beijing 2 - Settling In

04 – Beijing – Leaving Beijing

Well, for those of you who have been in touch regularly, it is no surprise that we are leaving Beijing soon (or, by the time you read this – have already left Beijing!). The study centre is an excellent project, and I would still recommend it to any groups wanting to visit China… but it was not for me, I need a school. Shanhong has been wonderfully accepting of my highly annoying desire to change jobs again, and we shall leave Beijing on the 27th June.
We will be going to teach at SJI International School in Singapore. SJI, St. Joseph’s Institute, is a well known and very old Catholic Boys’ school in Singapore. More recently, just three years ago, the International School opened for boys and girls, following a UK and IB curriculum. Shanhong will be the Primary Music specialist, and I will be teaching maths – no responsibilities this time – it’s back to the classroom.

Spirituality, Mutual Respect, Internationalism, Leadership, Experiences, Service

No doubt there will be plenty more about the new school once we are settled. We’ll have apartment pics too once we’ve found somewhere to live!
So, once we leave Beijing, no mail will be forwarded, so please either send mail to Shrewsbury before the end of July (1, Longville Road, Heath Farm, Shrewsbury, SY1 3HN, UK), or send to our Singapore address! We will be using the school address for mail, so send to Trevor or Shanhong:
c/o SJI International School, 490 Thomson Road, Singapore, 298191.
We are intending not to move quite so quickly next time, so hopefully this address can be written in ink in your address books!

The final trip?

Knowing that we do not have long left in Beijing, it was time to get out and see some of the places we have been ‘putting off for another day’. So, last Saturday, we got an early Metro to the North West of the city, to ‘Fragrant Hills’, with the plan of getting the cable car to the top of the hill, and having a slow, leisurely walk down. Unfortunately, we were greeting by a ‘cable car closed due to gales’ sign … and so a difficult decision was to be made. Shanhong said ‘up we go’! Needless to say, it was a long uphill walk, but the weather was great and the view, exceptional as the photos should show.

Teddy enjoyed it too… he found a nice place to live, but we couldn’t let him stay there… he needs to come with us to Singapore!

As an indication of just how unfit we have become, the next day, I could hardly stand up, and 4 days later I could still feel the muscles of my leg complaining about the walk!!

Keep in touch – come visit us in Singapore! Trevor, Shanhong, and Teddy. xx

03 – Christmas/New Year 2008/9

At last, a short trip or two means I have something to put in a new report. Christmas 2008 saw us back in the UK for a short visit. It was in some ways difficult, the first Christmas without Pappy (dad) and with Maw (mum) not back to full health, but it was also good to be home. We may not have had quite the level of decoration of previous years, but we got the tree up, and presents were more than plentiful! Even teddy did well! Anyone reading these reports should know who ‘teddy’ is by now! The two brown bears, ‘George’ and ‘Clare’ belong to my lovely mum, seen wearing her dressing gown!

I must just include a wedding pic or two… you may remember that in the summer we were back for the wedding of my eldest nephew. Well, just before we got back, my eldest niece also tied the knot. That’s not the end either – my next nephew got engaged, so there is another wedding to come!

We were back in Beijing for New Year, although arriving after long flights from the UK and a 10 hour stopover in a German airport, we were in no mood for going out to celebrate – it was a case of going to bed!

Shanhong had her birthday on the 17th. We didn’t do anything too exciting – but I did find a nice cake and a new set of DVDs to watch! There were actually two sets of DVDs, but the other was one of my own favourites, that we are still watching now. This is our lazy lifestyle now, a good TV series or two on DVD, so we can watch a whole years worth of a show, in just a week or two! Recent watching include ‘Lost’ season 4, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ seasons 1 – 4, ‘Army Wives’ seasons 1 and 2, and now we are on ‘Boston Legal’ season 4 – and we are now on season 5. If you have any recommendations of good shows, let us know. Fortunately DVD’s are cheap here, and Shanhong has also managed to find a few websites where new seasons are streamed. All I need to do now, is work out where I can find some good Sangria to go with the TV, I can’t find any in the shops here!

For Chinese New Year we went back to our home in Beihai. Unfortunately Shanhong was quite ill for the first couple of days – but she recovered in time to spend some good days with her family. For the first time in a long time, the whole family were together for Chinese New Year – so now is your chance to meet everyone!

The family

Middle Brothers Wife, Middle Brother, Mother, Me
Eldest Brothers Daughter, Middle Brothers Daughter, Father, Elder Brother, Shanhong (with Teddy)

Not a lot of other news, we did go to one concert, the Christian band ‘Delirious’ were playing one night in Beijing, so of course we had to be there! We took a couple of Shanhong’s friends from work – but I have no idea what they really made of it! We are now both back at work, Shanhong in ‘production mode’ as she gets everyone ready for a Robin Hood musical, and myself desperate to find some clients for ponsvista! We did have an enquiry from a school in Australia today though, so you never know, maybe things will begin to look a bit better in the near future!

Next holiday is a week in April – no plans as yet. Then, the summer, and we’ll be back in London. I am finishing the course I started last summer, and Shanhong will be seeing all of the productions that she hasn’t yet seen (plus a few favourites that she’ll want to see again!)

Take care and keep in touch, love from us all….

Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy!

02 - Beijing - Settling In

You will have noticed there have not been many reports!Life has not been particularly adventurous over the last few months, it has been a case of ‘settling in’ to a new country, new jobs, new accommodation and a new lifestyle. Having said that, we have been happy, have done some exploration, some spending, and are enjoying our time in Beijing. It is, however, time for another report. So, here is an update.


Our shipping has arrived, and the apartment is looking a bit more like ours! A lot of things we really like have been packed to go to Beihai, to stay safely and permanently at home. A lot of books, especially for maths, were not needed this year, so have gone into storage in Shanhong’s school. So, the apartment is not too crowded … although I still have one room to sort! The accommodation has been working very well – and now the heating is on (and included in the rent), we are very cosy indeed – don’t notice temperatures outside now regularly go below zero!


We bought a car! After much debate on the merits of a good second-hand car, or cheap new car, we ended up buying new. The bike battery was flat, we were walking home, and we passed a Nissan dealership. So, we went and asked if we could charge the bike battery while looking at cars… they agreed, and so we looked, and discovered the Livina (cheap version) was within budget! So – here we are. It looks good, is very comfortable, drives well… but it is cheap… no central locking even! Still, my journey to school each day now only takes around half an hour, and I stay warm!


One of the disappointments of Chiang Mai, was the lack of theatre shows or musical concerts. Apart from ‘Cats’ which was a weekend trip to Bangkok, we saw very little. So, part of coming to Beijing was a decision we would try to go out once a month. The good news is, we are doing so – there are a number of shows passing through Beijing regularly! So, last month we went to see a Rogers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella, as well as a classical concert of orchestra and voice, and last night we saw the Elton John/Tim Rice version of Aida. Next month it is the turn of ‘pop’ as we are going to see Kylie Minogue!



Most people, thinking of Beijing, seem to think of a dirty, polluted, busy city. That may be true for the downtown centre on a bad day – but the suburbs are clear and sunny – and a one hour drive takes you into beautiful countryside. We joined a group for a hike around the foothills of the Great Wall one Saturday and these pictures show just how beautiful it can be.


PonsVista International Study Centre


For the first time in many years, I am not teaching. My job this year has been to set up and create an International Study Centre for visiting school groups to be able to come and visit Beijing and experience a little bit of Chinese culture. The centre is now open, and in September we had our first group come to stay. The photos below show the PonsVista centre, and our visitors enjoying their stay. Please help me to spread the word. Tell your friends in schools and universities, that we would be very happy to host a group from their school or college! If you have friends who are teachers, tell them about our centre! Thank you! Our website is http://www.ponsvista.com/

While I have been enjoying setting up PonsVista, Shanhong has been very busy in her new school, teaching Music to older Elementary School students. The school is still young, but growing fast, and there are many activities and extra-curricular events to organize. Last week it was ‘an evening of music’ for students to demonstrate their playing of instruments, next week it is the winter concert in school, and carol singing in a major hotel. The school itself is beautiful, with a fantastic blend of traditional Chinese furniture and furnishings, and modern school spaces. Unfortunately, the best pics on the website cannot be copied, so head to http://www.bcis.cn/ and look for yourself!

Trevor, Shanhong (&Teddy)

Thanks for checking out my blog! Please come back soon for more news and pics from our life.
I‘m Trevor
Let Me Tell You About Myself

I'm half a century old, and have been teaching for a quarter of a century! I have the most beautiful wife, and the best-behaved child ever, and life is good!

I have been living in Singapore for getting on for ten years, having also lived and worked in the UK, Europe, Middle East and other parts of Asia.

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Trevor Hughes

Hi, I'm a British teacher living in Singapore. This blog is to share my daily life and trips. Enjoy!.


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