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January 2014

Nothing happened for new year! The lads were going to come to my house for some dart or poker but changed their minds at about 9pm and said go to Big Andy's. By that time I didn't want to go out and face the hordes so just stayed at home!

The Dart Throbs often went out for a few beverages and here we can see The Truth after he has possibly had just a few too many!!

Nina and I were messing about in the living room and took this shot where she draped her hair over my face to create this slightly freaky picture! Nina went back to Germany for 2 weeks at the end of the month for chinese new year.

February 2014

Nina, who usually spends any free time that she has got glued to her computer, had been putting on weight so she decided to come hiking with us....The following video shows her in action!

March 2014

My Bougainvillea decided to shed its green leaves and transform into this amazing pink spectacle!!

Nina, who usually only wears school uniform, tracky's or jeans was actually dressed up for a change, so I managed to catch this snap of her!

The government in Taiwan rather foolishly decided to push through a trade agreement with China meaning that anyone from China could come and find work in Taiwan. This caused a bit of an uproar and students went and occupied the Legislative Yuan which is fairly close to where I work. As a result of this, the police blocked off all the roads in the area making it very difficult to get in to work.

April 2014

Both Richard and I wore black to work one day which prompted a student to create this little card!

Meanwhile back in the UK, Reading were struggling to hold on to their position in the top six. Having had previous success with a little word to "Tu Di Gong" I tried it again to see if they could end their run of poor form at home....prayed for a result against Middlesborough and came up trumps again!

January to April were super busy months for me at work, but I had a flight booked for the 21st for my annual trip home. Flew Viet Nam airways again and got a stop over in Ho-Chi-Min city this time.

May 2014

Hike in Oxford with Nick and Chloe. Visited a famous bluebell wood

Hike around the Basingstoke canal and Odiham castle

Went with Richard and his mercurial mate Steve on a midweek hike in North Hampshire. Good weather, fine views and some decent beer at the end of it!

There must be hunting going on in the area as we saw a lot of these "umpire chairs" dotted around

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyHike

Didn't have too much to do in England this time around, so decided to book a 2 week class in Spain. Thought i'd try Vejer De La Frontera this time as I'd heard it was a nice place.

A white town sat on the top of a hill...indeed, very pretty!

My apartment was on the edge of town with 3 old windmills.

June 2014

Returned to Taiwan and was surprised about how strange it all felt to be back....In school, some of my old students were happy to see me again, so we posed for this shot with me sporting a new shirt!!

Nina's graduation on June 10th

I dashed over to Banchiao (picking up a bunch of flowers and graduation bear on the way) thinking I was going to be late. Luckily Nina had got the time wrong so I was in fact very early and had to sit through some tedious singing, chanting, applause before the students all went outside and I got to take some pics.

July 2014

Have been trying out some new hikes and in the sweltering heat of summer the Tzaoling old trail to Fulung beach is a good 'un.

August 2014

Did a weekend hike with Mr Daniel Calvert from Ho-Tong, over the mountain to Jeo-Fen. We came across a mine entrance on the way and decided to do a little exploring

September 2014

Moon festival this time and a weekend away with Nina and Laura in Shuang-Xi.

We stayed in a guest house called "Little bird knock on the door" which was right out in the sticks. Nina and I went by motor bike and Laura had to take the train. Luckily we saw her on the way in and picked her up, 3 on the bike to go and check in. Here is Nina standing in front of the house

It was a very beautiful place and after checking in, the three of us went off to the hiking destination which was about half an hour away. The place was called Tiger-Leopard pool and was unfortunately rather a popular spot, so I dook an indirect route to get away from the hordes

That night, back at the guest house we were invited to sit and drink with the host and their pals. We stayed till around midnight listening to their tales. I understood most of what was going on until later on when they must have forgotten there was a foreigner in their midst. The next day we went to the beach for a couple of hours and on the way home found a coffee shop tucked away in a valley.
Instead of Laura taking the train back to Taipei, the three of us went back on my bike, which meant a detour through the mountains. This picture of the full autumn moon was taken as night fell.