Saturday, 27 August 2016

It's Official: I'm off to China!

Do you remember, a few months back, I told you about a quite unexpected invitation I'd had, to join author Julia Jarman on a tour of international schools in Beijing? With everything else that's been going on recently, preparations had to be put to the back of my mind, but it's suddenly getting EXTREMELY close: we fly in 2 weeks!

There's still so much to prepare. Julia and I have to negotiate timetables for all 6 schools for a start. I've told them all what I do, how long my sessions last, how many children of what ages will work etc etc. The trouble is, it is rarely straight-forward. So there have been strings of emails and I'm trying not to get all the schools mixed up (they all have really similar names too, which doesn't help).

Then there was the visa. That's wasn't straight-forward either. You need a letter of invitation from your host before you can even apply. It took a while to get that, because of course it's been school holidays. I was so, so careful not to make a mistake on the really confusing forms and gathered everything they needed. I even had to track down my passport from 30 plus years ago (!). Don't I look young?

I needed it because I had to send a photocopy of the visa I had been given on my previous trip to China in 1987. I was amazed that I still had it (thank goodness). I finally posted it all off... I got a phone call from the visa office the very next day. Yes, I had remembered all the documents, I had just completely forgotten to include payment!

Anyway, the extremely good news is that it was really quick, so I now have my visa. It's rather beautiful. Hurrah!

I will be taking my sketchbook of course. The schools start at 7.45am (!!), so I am not sure how much energy I will have, but I am hoping to meet up with urban sketchers in Beijing while I am there. Now, I just have to check with the GP about jabs - I nearly forgot!


Penelope Puddlisms said...

This working/journey sounds very exciting. By the way, I have to say that from pictures you actually look as young now as you did then but with a bigger smile, cool glasses and swept up bangs. It must be the result of being an illustrator and seeing life from a youthful perspective. :)

Bon voyage to you and Julia!

Anonymous said...

I agree about how young you always look! And what a fab opportunity - can I hide in your baggage??

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you so much - feeling reassured about rampaging age!

dinahmow said...

Jeepers!You don't arf get around! Logistical nightmare or not, you'll have a great trip, I'm sure.Bon voyage!

Lewerentz S said...

I wish you a great tour with your friend. Sketch !