The view from Skyrex

We had a few days of milder wet weather  but the cold crisp (way too crisp – I never knew that you get so much static build up with low humidity) weather has returned. Today, the sky is a brilliant blue and you can see the snow topped mountains surrounding Ulsan. So I thought it was a good day to take some photos of the views, we have an open level on floor 30, which gave a good vantage point.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just took these photos with my iPhone, my little point and click camera has recently died, I would like to get better at photos and get a better camera but don’t know where to start. Any advice welcome!

A vampire and a zombie go to school

Sounds like quite a good idea for a children’s book, will have to remember that one.

Yesterday was Halloween and the school had organised a party in the afternoon, and the kids could all go to school in costume. So six thirty in the morning I am applying face paint to my two little monsters to turn them into a vampire and a zombie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a brief moment of panic when we went down to get the bus as the two teenagers were not dressed up but then everyone else arrived in costume. Phew! It was really fun waiting for the bus and we got some really friendly comments from the passing Koreans. Here are a couple of stragglers coming to the bus.

 

They both had a wonderful time at school and I have no idea if the teachers managed to get them to do any work, they must have been so excited. They had and elementary assembly and some of the grade 5 got to pick the best costume from each class – Gregor won for Grade 1 green! Whooo-hooo. What was incredibly sweet is I was told by a few of the other children when they got off the bus, who seemed really pleased that someone from Skyrex won a prize.

Then it was time for trick or treating. Now back home this is really easy, I come from a very small village called Meikle Wartle, and you know everyone by sight and most to say hello to. There is also an unwritten rule that if there is a pumpkin or other Halloween decorations out then you were welcome and if not then you just passed that house by. But how does it work in a block of flats, where the majority of people are Korean, who don’t celebrate Halloween at all? Plus not everyone wants to get involved. So I thought it would be easiest if I asked the families I know if they were happy for us to call. And then a couple of other families joined in and other people wanted us to call on them and it snowballed! In the end we had about 16 children and visited over a dozen apartments.

We arranged to meet at the playpark, on level 5, at 6.30. Here are my two, looking suitably spooky.

 

This is the best picture I have of most of them all together (we couldn’t get all of them together at one time!)

 

We then worked our way up tower 101 first before making a start on tower 102. At one point we knocked on the wrong door, not one previously arranged, and they still had sweets on the off chance that someone would call. We didn’t all fit into one lift, so occasionally we made the older kids run up the stairs (I miscalculated which floor we were on and made them run up 8 flights once, and they still got there before the lift!)

The prize has to go to Natalie for getting into the spirt and decorating her apartment for us and making fantastic Halloween goodie bags.

I am incredible overwhelmed how kind everyone was (big thank you to all the wonderful people in Skyrex), it really made the kids so happy. Trick or treating up and down an apartment block is very different from our sleepy village back home, but just as much fun!

 

My first ever yoga class

The title pretty much gives it away – I went to my first ever yoga class today! It is being held in my building in the apartment of the teacher – Karen. Most of the ladies there were complete beginners so Karen started from scratch, very necessary.

Here she is, trying to get me into the correct position for the downward dog – my shoulder blades need to be further down my back so I form a straighter line. Some of the moves were the same though but there was a lot more focus on the breathing here.

20120907-160720.jpg

 

I have done Pilates, before so I was interested to see what the differences were. The biggest seems to be the breathing, in Pilates you breathe in though the nose and out though the mouth, whilst in yoga both in and out are though the nose. I tried my best but kept forgetting.

The hour and a half passed very quickly – I have the attention span of a butterfly  so can get very easily distracted but the reminder to keep thinking about the breathing seemed to stop my mind wandering away too badly. There were 5 minutes where you lie down flat on your back, with palms facing upwards about 45 degrees from your body and concentrate on your breathing which I was worried would give me the fidgets, but it was calming and I found it relaxing (I don’t normally find still in a busy room not doing anything relaxing) I even managed to not chat though the entire thing!

I do feel pretty good this afternoon, my neck is a bit stiff but it often is (I carry tension there, I can feel it when I get stressed my neck gets shorter) and I am more aware of my legs than usual. I suspect that they might be stiff tomorrow but I hope not. Though that might not be because of the yoga, I did go for a run this morning as well (all thee runs in week 1 completed).

I have to admit I enjoyed the tea and chat at the end – an hour and a half not being able to gibber away is a long time so I needed some chat time.

 

 

Moving into our new home

We have moved into our new apartment and it is huge! About twice the size of the Singapore one. The building is called Skyrex and is one of the tallest in Ulsan. We are on the 36th floor and have stunning views over the surrounding mountains. I loved living high up in Singapore, floor 61, so am really happy to have height again.

Forgive the picture quality, I took them on my iPhone (another new toy) as we don’t have a computer yet so can’t upload photos from the camera. That and I am never very good at taking photos.

Here it is – our home for the next two years.

20120804-134738.jpg

This is Katrine’s room, Gregor’s bed is still being made and will be here in a week or so.

20120804-134803.jpg

The lounge. And yes it really is as big as it looks, we have moved the sofa a bit closer to the tv.

20120804-134817.jpg

The kitchen, yeah I have space to turn around in and look – work top!

20120804-134827.jpg

My first time having a walk-in wardrobe. Bit short of drawer space but not complaining at all.

20120804-134840.jpg

Our very swanky bathroom with spa bath and walk-in shower.

20120804-134858.jpg

This is the view from Gregor’s room. We have great panoramas from all the rooms and will try and get better photos.

20120804-140224.jpg