Educating Mao ※

march 2011

Educating Mao

1 Mar

Subject: After the silence

Dear Lloyd
I have just sat down at my computer after the observance of 2 minutes silence. It was quite an eerie experience even alone in my little house on usual busy and noisy street. There was complete silence, no traffic which was rather emotional when thinking of what could have happened to our girls, Mary, Trevor and other members of the Dimond family.

Yes, the people who have come to the fore in Christchurch hour of need are really men and the press should leave people like Hone severely alone and concentrate on those worthy of publicity.

I had an e mail from Scott this morning, the first day of his new job in Wellington. He headed it "news from the top" and then apologised for the hyperbole but complained it was caused by the rarified atmosphere he was working in after years working with farmers, prison officials and prisoners. He is living in the James Cook Hotel until his apartment comes ready.

I received an Advice of Credit from the B.N.Z. for $131 from the ICBC Bank of China sent by Li Meng.

Thank you for your recent positive letters. They serve to brighten up my mornings.
Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: re: After the silence

Dear Dad
It has no doubt been very distressing. I just pray the country will be spared any further disasters for a very long time. I also did my two minute silence.

Like Scott, I have regularly been put up in high-class hotels while waiting for school apartments. I know the feeling when you are not paying for it.

Li Meng is the student who helped me at the bank. The money had to go through her bank account because of their stringent bank regulations. I repaid her on the spot.

Today I had two classes. The standard is really low. Yet the students are bright. Unfortunately now only my home page without pictures can be seen on my site. Jerry doesn't want to carry on any more until I have something more definite. This means a great deal to me as it is my voice to the world when I have missed out on so much.

Would you ring up Tony Ford and ask him for his email address? He might be able to set it up again. I can email him my files as I had done earlier with Jim. He should be able to set it up very quickly as he has the knowledge.

Not such a bad day today weather wise. Now back to my Wells book and bed.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Don't be hard on Mary

Dear Lloyd
Don't be too hard on Mary – they have no electricity or water at their home and Mary and girls have been in Nelson and have now gone to Auckland.
Mary is far too busy organising her family, work responsibilities and dealing with the aftershocks to have any interest at all in your website – even if she could access it!

Today I googled ‘Sargon Press’ and up came your name – 'the one and only Lloyd Gretton'.
When I clicked on, my computer warned me this was a dangerous site so I did not go any further.
Then I googled ‘Lloyd Gretton’ and your home page came up with no photos and I could not access any of your works.
I think you will have to leave it alone untill you leave China!

John and Tan have arrived in Thailand and will be there for 3 or 4 weeks. Their flat was not habitable so they decided to get out for a while. They are staying with Tan's parents in Chiang Mai.


3 Mar

Subject: development of my web site

Dear Dad
Have you contacted Tony Ford concerning repair and development of my web site? It is terribly frustrating to me not to have his email address while I continue to be silenced on my site yet still paying for it.

The issue of the Israeli rescue teams being refused entry has now reached the media. On Sunday I tipped off the Christchurch and Auckland newspapers that Israel had officially offered to send rescue teams and had been refused. Some of those poor victims, maybe still alive not even seriously injured, could have been rescued, as happened in Haiti. I don't know whether my tip-off prompted the New Zealand media to investigate. I hope I did some good. I could not stay silent.

Today I had two classes. They have been not as high as the top standard of last term but not the mostly deadbeats of the Real Estate classes. I miss my old students. They give me a friendly hello when we meet.

It has not been such a cold day. Just a bit nippy.
Now to bed with my Wells' book I am quite warm in bed with my eiderdown and both the wall and the appliance heaters.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Tony Ford

Dear Lloyd,
I have had no contact with Tony for months. He is no longer an itinerant TV technician but works full-time for a firm in the city. I think you should employ a technician in China. People are reluctant to give away their email numbers. Try your local repairers first.

John Key would not be such a fool as to deny help from overseas especially as it was so needed. He has announced more than once that help is being sent from Israel and many other countries.

I wrote you a long letter yesterday but just as I was signing off it disappeared off the screen and I was too tired to print it again.

I am sure if you ask Meng to help she could locate a Chinese technician who could help you.

Best of British luck!
love from Dad

Subject: the language difficulty in China

Dear Dad
There is always the language difficulty in China. Also there may be a technical problem of uploading from China as with so many other things to do with China. I have emailed Mavis from iServe and asked for information on businesses that might agree to upload. She might be able to offer some more advice. In the meantime I am feeling bereft.

Israel is sending help but not search & rescue teams. Private teams from Israel were blocked in the city centre.

I now have no contact with Meng. She may not now be at the College. Today in the morning I had one class. In the afternoon I completed lesson plans for this semester. I handed them into the office. Then I went into town, had dinner at KFC and purchased groceries and a new wallet. I returned by taxi like the Maori ladies.

My Charles Ⅰ online book is now up to the Scottish uprising. Jenny Geddes has just thrown a stool at the Bishop. According to Disraeli, it was all pre-staged by the Presbyterian upper class. Alas most "uprisings" are.

I am so sorry you lost that email you were going to send me. Maybe you should be gentler with the PC. If it shakes, stuff can get lost. I would love to know what was Mary doing when the quake struck. Where are they staying in Auckland? Where did they stay in Nelson? Mary once told Mum she thought she would one day run out of luck.
Love from Lloyd

4 Mar

Subject: p.c.problems

Dear Lloyd,
I have no idea of what you are trying to do with your p.c. If I did I could perhaps help you. I am sure Mavis from iServe is the best avenue of help.

I am being blocked frequently by a message on the screen that my e mail cannot be delivered and that I should contact my server. But I don't know who my server is. All this computer language is beyond me.

I have at last solved the problem of Mary the wife of George of Orange. She was James Ⅰst daughter and first in line to the British throne. She ruled for some time while George was away fighting a war somewhere in Europe. Good Queen Anne was her younger Sister. Last night's reading Jenny Geddes had just thrown her stool at the bishop. All very interesting. My next chapter deals with a Pretender I don't know whether the old or the young. I will find out.

Mary was in the CH CH polytech when the earthquake struck waiting for her 45 students to arrive. There were only about 6 there and they all escaped through the ground floor door. She was on the 6th floor but the building was earthquake strengthened and stood firmly. Trevor joined her there. Together they drove to the school where the other two were and then drove home.

I hope you have success with your p.c.
Love from Dad

Subject: re: p.c.problems

Dear Dad
Like you I am struggling with an alien language whose concepts I cannot grasp. I think it is best we just learn a little more each day and leave real progress to the next generation.

Mavis suggested I contact a computer business in China. I think the best solution is working through a New Zealand company. Can you give me the telephone name of the company Tony Ford works for? I could google it. My Gisborne connection would help me get service.

I think you are a bit out about Queen Mary. She was the wife of William of Orange. She ruled with William after the overthrow of her father King James Ⅱ. Her overthrow of her own father has always shocked me and is the source of the nursery rhyme I sent you. The English upper class are a very cold people. The Old Pretender I think was the son of James Ⅱ. His birth precipitated the overthrow of James Ⅱ. The Young Pretender his son was brought up in Rome and became the legend of Bonny Prince Charles.

The stories of the fatalities in Christchurch make very sad reading. There is a danger with the saturation media coverage of morbidity.

Today I had three classes. After the classes I went in the evening down the road to the restaurant and had dinner and a few beers.
Love from Lloyd

5 Mar

Subject: a talk to the College

Dear Dad
Should an email suddenly disappear from your screen, it is most likely still in your files. Just click with your mouse at icons on your screen and it will most likely reappear. That would save you a lot of heartache.

This morning I arranged with Dr Xu to give a talk to the College on the following Monday about the Christchurch quake. Xu is a geology expert and will talk first about the lead up to the earthquake.

Later I went to Good Coffee restaurant and had sandwiches, coffee and a few Free Cubas. Then I returned to the College and read two chapters of Charles Ⅰ.

It is now 1637 and Charles has negotiated a treaty with the Scottish Presbyterians. Each has an entirely different interpretation of it. Then I read on my bed the final chapters Short History of the World. Wells looks at it all with a benign view. He declares human nature prefers loot to trade. I can only concur.

That evening I went to the restaurant down the road and had a dinner and a few beers. Tonight I have just written an email to the four girls in Auckland. I still can't get correspondence.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Auckland is a great city

Hello Mary, Michaela, Grace and Alice
I was told by Dad that you are now living in Auckland. Auckland is now a great city to live in. I hope one day to settle there myself and set up a little language school where I can be my own boss. My Sargon Press site has now been reduced to the home page without the pictures. I am stumped and have asked Dad to contact Tony Ford's company that might be able to restore it.

How are you getting on in Auckland? For a while I had wondered if you were going to live in Gisborne. That would have made a great story. Four rich Christchurch girls go to live in Gisborne with Granddad!

Life continues its rather dull way in China. The best aspect of it are the good students. As I only teach oral English, I have really semi-retired. If the College asks me to stay on after July, I will stay on. If not, I plan to look for a College position in Hanoi. Indochina makes great French food and the people are just so gorgeous. Also the climate is splendid.

Which part of Auckland are you living in? Are you all at school and work or right now having a free time?
Love from Lloyd

6 Mar

Subject: still no email from Mary

Dear Dad
Good to hear your computer is fixed. As I said before if you lose an email, just click with your mouse at icons. If it is not accidentally sent somewhere or there is a power cut, your lost email is somewhere inside the P.C. But you have to look for it.

Today I read a chapter of Charles Ⅰ. I found out the book is all online. The French under Cardinal Richelieu are intriguing with the Scots against Charles. You would think the European statesmen had better things to do than endless intrigue. It seems no.

I still can't get an email from Mary. Has she got a job in Christchurch? How is ecoglo?
I wonder what kind of country I will be returning to?

I nearly finished reading Short History of the World. It is an interesting counterpart to Mein Kampf. Both are written about the same era and purport to a world view on history. Short History augured the United Nations now running Chrischurch. I am sorry they are there and not the Israelis. I am now back to bed and my book.

Doctor Xu, in preparation for my following Monday talk emailed me some stunning China News photographs of the earthquake. It seems there are now real refugee camps.

This morning I washed the apartment floor.
Have you got the name of Tony Ford's company?
Love from Lloyd

7 Mar

Subject: hi from Mary

Mary Dimond
Mary Dimond

Hi Lloyd
Thanks for your emails of concern. I did reply but Dad seems to think you didn't get these. I know our Polytech email is no longer working so maybe I used that address. Anyway I am now in Gisborne staying at Dad's for a few nights and then at Becky's. I return home to Christchurch and a strange life on Sunday.

I don't know how much Dad has told you but we had a pretty surreal earthquake. Because the high school teachers were at a paid union meeting the children had been released from school at 12.30. This made it much worse as if they had been at school they would have been on the field, the safest place to have been.

One poor 14 year old boy lost his life as he was on his way home on a bus (the number 3) that was crushed. Grace was also on the number 3 but headed in the Sumner direction. She text us very quickly to let us know she was safe.
I also heard from Michaela and Alice within the first few minutes after evacuation of my building.

Trevor Dimond Trevor rang within a very few minutes to say he was outside my building.
I was surprised and assumed he had luckily been driving by but in fact he had run immediately from Ecoglo to CPIT as he could see the dust over the city and was very worried my old building was down.
He ran like the bionic man.

I was on the 4th floor of CPIT ( which is in the central city) and had been about to start my lesson at 1pm. It was the first lesson of the year for this class and about 10 or so students were already in the room. When it struck it was very loud and strong from the beginning. I immediately ran for the wall, which supposedly is safer than the desks. I grabbed the TV trolley which was zooming around and yelled at some students that were beside the windows to "get away from the windows" – I feel like I yelled this about 10 times while the earthquake rocked us.

Afterwards we sat shell-shocked for a bit then they asked if they could leave. I said I thought we were meant to stay but as all the sirens were screaming we decided to leave. We stood up and looked out the window and were stunned by the dust storm we could see outside. On the way down the stairs I burst into tears of fear and a very large young student comforted me.

Michaela DimondOnce outside we all began texting our families. I went to look for Michaela as she is on the same campus and that is when Trevor rang me. He had found Michaela who had also run to my building, and they both came around the back and we were holding each other when the next big one struck.

We realised we needed to get further away from the building so we went and stood in the carpark and that is when we saw the beautiful Catholic Basilica with the whole front collapsed.
We knew it was very, very bad at that moment.

Christchurch Cathedral

We headed back to Ecoglo gasping when we looked across at the Grand Chancellor which we could see was on a terrible lean. This 26 or so story hotel will have to be pulled down – which will take months.

Once back at Ecoglo we decided to go and look for Alice and then follow the bus route home to see if we could find Grace. Alice had let us know she was at her school friend, Nick's house but unfortunately did not tell us the address and when she realised her error the phone connections were all jammed. She also did not receive my message to say that I was OK so was in a terrible state. Her friend looked after her well. They had been outside as she had just been getting into her car when the earthquake struck, she leapt out and into Nic's arms (he's not her boyfriend) but she did say he was the best possible person to be with as he was so kind and caring during her distress.

They met up with all of the neighbours, some whose homes were destroyed, and spent a while tying up dogs as all the animals in CHCH had gone berserk. Alice was so worried as she was on a hill that looked over the city so she too could see the cloud of dust and it was hard to make out whether any of the high rise were still standing. At one point she was dry retching in the gutter with fear.

We drove to Nic's old house, that had been condemned after the September earthquake, and his old neighbours pointed us up his new hill - they didn’t know the address but after we reached the top we found Alice outside leaving us a note on her car to say she was going with Nick's parent's to look for us. There were tears of relief to see us all safe. It had taken nearly 2 hrs to reach her in the destroyed and flooded roads.

We set off together in our two cars to find Grace. She takes two buses home from school and had not told us which she was on, nor where she was so we had to follow the entire route to find her. We finally got a text to say she had been picked up by a neighbour. She had had a scary time as after the dramatic rocking of the bus she had walked through flooded and broken streets to the Ferrymead bridge which was all broken and closed off.

The boy she was with wanted to cross by foot but she was too scared and she knew if she crossed she might be cutting herself off from us. So he left her with some adult refugees outside a café where she was eventually found by a friend who had run across the bridge to look for his sister. Once he had found his sister the three of them ran back across the buckled bridge to his Mum’s waiting car. They had to take shelter in another house as their own house was in a bad way. They first checked on our house which was in a great condition with just a bit of spillage in the pantry, books off shelves and one garden pergola pillar down.

After three hours of bumper to bumper traffic we managed to reach home by driving around the hills. We were all reunited, went home and sat under the door frames for a few hours in our house as the aftershocks continued. Trevor went to get his mother whose resthome was under one of the cliffs that had fallen down. The rest home inhabitants were pretty shaken as the owner was dead under the rubble - his house that he had retired to was behind the rest home. Trevor was worried as he hadn't heard from his sister Heather – it turned out that her car (with her cell phone in it) was buried in rubble as she was upstairs in the gym opposite the CTV building. She had escaped and walked home to ring us.

We were so terrified by all the large aftershocks that night that we set off the next morning to our friends' home in Nelson. It took us two hours to get out of the city in the traffic jam. We were able to gather Michaela's belongings on the way from her flat in the central city, inside the cordon.

After the rest of the week in Nelson we had to leave as there were already 9 people in the house. We stayed Saturday night in Christchurch then Michaela flew to friends in Wellington and the other two to friends in Auckland. I joined them on Wednesday after spending a few distressing days with Trevor and his Mum.

A lot of my friends have completely lost their homes as they lived on the hills in Sumner and Redcliffs. They may not be back for a very long time, if ever. There was no-one in Sumner – the roads, walkways, shops and beaches are deserted. We had power but no water or sewerage. Trevor had bought a $3200 generator the day before the power came back on so we were able to lend this to others in the neighbourhood who still don't have power.

Ecoglo was up and running within a day as we have a very dedicated team and the building was fine. There are many complications with doing business from CHCH but Trevor is working through these.

I have been told by my boss that the CPIT campus will not be usable until next semester ie July. In the meantime they are trying to find us an alternative campus – with thousands of students. That's a big ask.
Canterbury University is having to build new temporary structures due to their damaged buildings. The girls' school is OK and may reopen next week. They are currently attending school at Takapuna Grammer.

70,000 people have left Christchurch and nearly 5000 kids are enrolled in new schools. Some schools will not open for at least the rest of the year so are sharing buildings with sister schools – one school will start early and the other will take the afternoon slot.

I am afraid to return not because of the aftershocks but because by being away I can pretend it didn't happen. I love Christchurch and don't want to leave but the Christchurch I know and love no longer exists.

Who knows what will become of us?
We are a scattered and bereft family now.
Love Mary

Subject: read your report

Hello Mary
I have just read your report. I am going to go out and buy a coffee to recover. I sent you several emails. The best I can say is you appear to have lost no one you know. Your life will take on a new path.

You mention Grace or Alice got off the № 3 bus to Sumner. But you say she experienced the bus rocking. I suppose that was the first shock. I have been glued to the Internet ever since and have been following the life stories of the casualties. I know well about the small boy. He was an only child.

That evening, I saw in my friend Daniel's apartment a download TV New Zealand report. It showed the clear distress of the people during an aftershock. I had returned to my apartment after collecting from a Chinese teacher pamphlets for a talk to my classes about my background. I checked yahoo news and thought oh oh. It said New Zealand earthquake injuries. Then I looked with horror at the news story which was much less than the reality. I sent a general email of concern that you got and replied. Your reply got to me a day later. Very shortly after I sent the email I got an email from Dawn that all family in Christchurch were ok.

A few hours later, I gave a class talk and showed pictures of central Christchurch. Then I said, "A few hours ago this was destroyed by an earthquake".

I always thought you had great luck. Apart from being in the earthquake, you were still very lucky. Your home is little damaged and the factory is working. I hear John and Tan's apartment is now uninhabitable and they too had the good luck to be able to leave Christchurch.

As an historian, I note the Christchurch people will be spreading their talent over the country. Like when Europe was revitalised by the Fall of Constantinople.

On the following Monday, I will be giving a talk with pictures about the earthquake to the College English club. I will read out your account as it is very vivid.
Are your three children living with family friends in Nelson and Auckland?

I recently read a book about Beirut during the civil war. Their once hedonistic life style changed completely to the good as neighbourhoods became dependant on each other.

I wonder if you could advise me the names of a computer company that would restore my Sargon Press site. There could be one in Gisborne. Just give me the name and I will google it. Maybe you have a connection with a company in Christchurch. It is important that Christchurch business be encouraged
Love from Lloyd

Subject: i read your email again

Hello Mary,
I have just read your email again. It was Grace who was on the № 3 bus. She had grace that day. I imagine she was on the second bus when it struck and she got off. I imagine she will experience flash-backs at the fatalities of all the people on № 3 bus.

Sometimes it is a mistake to remind people of trauma. But this should be kept in mind.
I read Michaela is in Wellington.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: your email of 7 March

Dear Lloyd,
I will answer your questions right away. Mary will be with me very soon today, I will ask her to email you. United Nations is not running Ch Ch. I don't understand what you mean.

Mary will be staying in Gisborne one week.
There has been a change of weather and it is now quite cold.

I saw a good documentary on T.V last night on Jacqui Kennedy and Onassis. What an ordinary pair!

Keep well away from the riots in China.
Love and best wishes

Subject: no riots in China

Dear Dad and Mary
I am glad that you are together and Mary is having a break. Trevor and Mary it seems will be living for a while like the first Christchurch pioneers. That makes it a time full of challenge and promise.

John Key said specifically that the international organisations in Christchurch are from the United Nations. That was why Israel was excluded. That is a sore point with me because their search and rescue achieved apparently miraculous results in Haiti. Also here was a lost opportunity for international good-will to good Israelis. But now I am afraid it is all too late.

Today I had one class. I came back to my apartment and read Mary's email. I read one chapter of Charles Ⅰ. It was very interesting. I went to the College library and got out two books and returned the Wells book.

This evening I attended an English club talk by Daniel on the history of film. I gave a short introductory talk for next week on the earthquake. I said to the audience, "Imagine an earthquake that directly affected a hundred million people in China and destroyed Shanghai."

Then I had dinner at the fast-food restaurant in Business Street with Daniel and a senior student, Suzie.

Onassis was just an oil man who bought Jackie.

There are no riots in China.
Love from Lloyd

8 Mar

Subject: Riots

Dear Lloyd,
That's strange because our t.v. showed the students very busy rioting in S. China. John Key was full of praise of all the nations' offers of help. Why would he exclude Israel? I think you got that from your T.V. There was never any talk of Israel's denial of access to NZ here. If there was, I never saw it.

Mary is out on a bike ride with Paul. She will drive me to the supermarket this afternoon.

I read the account she wrote to you. Mary will keep a copy to show her grand children! The Dimonds were a very lucky family to be in the midst of all the devastation and get off so lightly.

Love and best wishes from us all here from

Subject: re: Riots

Dear Dad and Mary
There were some small protests in a few major cities in China. The young western educated Chinese do quite sincerely hate the Chinese system. It is very out of touch with their needs. However the ordinary Chinese seem quite happy so long as their living standards continue to expand. It is rather like the West in the 1960s. Such are the controls in China that riots would have to be instigated by elements in the ruling party.

Israel is in bad odour with the entire United Nations. That is why she was excluded from the rescue. That is the conventional interpretation. The blocking of Israel aid efforts was documented in Israel's online newspapers and in the Chirstchuch Stuff online newspaper.

Sir Jerry Mateparae
Sir Jerry Mateparae

I don't think you quite realise New Zealand is under national emergency laws that John Key renews every week.
The refugee situation now in New Zealand gives him a perfect excuse to ram in unpopular measures such as the foreshore issue.
Now very disturbing is the new Governor General. I could not have dreamt all this.

I had two classes today. Another student asked me to slow down my delivery. I talk so slowly in class it is quite unnatural. But of course they have all the power.
I had a visit from a Sissy, a senior student, today. I thought she was Suzie from yesterday. I gave her an English lesson in my apartment.

Later I had a fast-food dinner in Chickeboo with Sissy and Daniel in Business Street. Then Suzie turned up and left with Daniel.
Love from Lloyd.

9 Mar

Subject: two classes today

Dear Dad and Mary
I had two classes today. In the afternoon class a girl talked about a movie she greatly enjoyed where the students got up to misbehaviour and did anything they liked. I asked her, "Can they speak two languages?". I thought I might have been a bit rude to her. But she was in good spirits. I don't like them seeing those kind of movies. I share that sentiment with the Chinese Government.

I saw this evening outside by Jackson's hut a notice "Earthquakes In New Zealand" by Xu PhD and Lloyd Gretton. There is a photograph of people clearing rubble.

I read last night the first chapter of Beowulf.
It is in a College book collection of great English poets. It is certainly a powerful piece.
I read that it is from an eleventh-century manuscript.

It seems quite clear to me to be an epic poem from the Viking settlement in England. It was probably a compilation of oral chants that predate the English settlement era and was composed for the Court of King Canute. However that seems to be a unique view.

Now off to bed with my second chapter of Beowulf.

10 Mar

Subject: one class today

Dear Dad and Mary
I had one class today. In the afternoon I went into town and had lunch at the Good Food restaurant and bought my weekly groceries. I returned by taxi.

Edmund Spencer
I read my English poetry book. I am reading with difficulty but greatly appreciating the poetry of Edmund Spencer.
His writing is so vivid it seems cinematic.
He was a contemporary of Shakespeare.

Sissy rang up and I arranged that on Monday she brings over a copy of the present Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech to download onto my flash stick. Then the movie can be shown to my classes for next week.

I continued reading a biographical novel of a Palestinian American. His early life now sounds chillingly like the stricken Christchurch people. These ongoing quake shocks have no precedence in geological history anywhere. Even a single large shock in that region is very strange. Unless they stop, Christchurch will become uninhabitable by a civilian population.

I read tonight the next chapter of Charles Ⅰ. This book is unobtainable in normal outlets and never figures in history bibliographies. That can only be because it exposes the manipulations behind the overthrow of the monarchy. It reminds me of the Tea Potters now.

The days are quite sunny now.
Love from Lloyd

12 Mar

Subject: tsunami warning

Dear Dad and Mary
I read that you have had a tsunami warning after the Japan earthquake. By the time you read this you will know its affect. It does not seem serious. These regular catastrophic quakes around the world indicate a geological pattern. They unfortunately parallel what was predicted for the end days. Let's hope it is just a co-incidence.

Today I had four classes. This is the largest number of classes I had had at the College. The fourth class was to make up for the time spent renewing my passport. My passport has been returned extended to July 9. My last class ended at nine P.M.

Daniel rang me up about the tsunami. I went to his apartment and watched TV channel downloads on his P.C. In Japan it is horrifying.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: no tsunami warning

Dear Lloyd,
I had 7 e mails in my in box this morning. That's the most I have ever had so I expect I will be a while answering them. I find I am very slow on the keyboard these days. My eyesight is not good and slowly getting worse. People ask me what else could you expect at your age? That doesn't help though. I hate growing old.

It has been very nice having Mary home. We have been on numerous expeditions, in fact we were planning a picnic to Loesel's beach this morning when Debbie told me of the tsumami warning so I will have to see how Mary feels about it.

I took Paul, Dawn, and Mary to dinner at the R.S.A. club last night and Mary spent the night at Becky's house after dropping me off home about 10p.m. I haven't heard from her yet.

One day last week we went to Eastwood Hill and visited Mum's tree. It is growing well. Mary drove the little Echo right up to the tree. Even though it was wet she coped very well. Later we went on a walk or rather Mary walked and I rode an electrical driven scooter (great fun).

Mary flies back to Auckland tonight. Love and best wishes from

Subject: explosion of the Japanese nuclear reactor

Dear Dad
I have just heard of the explosion of the Japanese nuclear reactor. Let's hope they are right it is a localised event. You will know more about it now. Did you have your picnic at the beach? Nice to read Mum's tree is growing well.

This morning I went with Daniel to Good Coffee restaurant. We were joined by Scott, another American teacher, and had an interesting conversation. Both Daniel and Scott are from Hawaii and have a similar racial situation to New Zealand.

The ACT Party seems to have picked up the race issue. I read the editorial in the Gisborne Herald. You are already being carefully programmed to accept a military enforced multi-culturalism. Multi-culturalism is a code word for displacing the white man. So don't be fooled about what they are really up to.

I read Mary is going back to Auckland. I was disappointed I did not get another letter from her. Is she still planning on returning to Christchurch? I don't blame her for staying away.

When I returned to my apartment, I spent the evening reading my poetry book. I went down the road for dinner and a few beers.

Now to bed and my poetry book.
Love from Lloyd

13 Mar

Subject: Mary's return

Dear Lloyd,
Yes, Mary flew out to Auckland last night. She was to meet Grace at the Devonport ferry terminal before returning to Devonport to spend the night there. This morning she ferries to the terminal to catch the airport bus for her flight back to Christchurch. She loves Christchurch and wouldn't leave it for anything. She should be on the 737 now.
Canterbury University opens at Lincoln next week and Mary will travel to and fro by car which she thinks will be no problem.

Becky tells me she and Bruce will be setting off on their world tour in September. Paul will be leaving for Cuba in September.

Love from Dad

Subject: nuclear melt-downs in Japan

Dear Dad
It is good to read that Mary is going back to Christchurch.

Now I read of the nuclear melt-downs in Japan. The world does seem to be entering an apocalyptic stage exactly as predicted in religious writing. We will just have to keep our fingers crossed if we will still be here in 2013.
I think we will.

This morning I went to the internet barn down the road and did some prints in preparation for my English club talk on Monday. When I got back Ana, Courtney's daughter, was still hard at work cleaning my apartment. She will come again on Monday so she says.

I spent the day reading English poetry and the Palestinian American book. He led the campaign to take on the Jews at their own game. Shoot and cry. They seem to have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams!

I read three chapter of Charles Ⅰ by Disraeli. So much is so relevant to do with the unravelling of a society. The King's main adviser, Stratford, has been executed on trumped up charges by Parliament. The one who comes out of it with integrity is King Charles. Disraeli portrays him as a martyr but an inept politician. He would be overbearing but then back down under pressure.

Now off for my hot shower before bed. I have a regime of two hot showers a day. There is a hole in my shower hose that I use to shoot water to cleanse my hemorrhoids. Only that stops the itching and preserves my sleep.
Love from Lloyd

14 Mar

Subject: one class in the morning

Dear Dad
Today I had one class in the morning. Sissy (not Sisie) rang me during class time and we met at my apartment after class. Sissy brought a movie for classes tomorrow via her flash stick which I transferred to my flash stick. It is not The King's Speech but looked a good movie. I googled it. It is a high-class kind of police psychological drama, made in 2009.

Sissy said she had rung up her brother-in-law in Beijing concerning Sargon Press. Later I got a phone call and emails from him. He says he will upload Sargon Press. In return I will coach Sissy in English. Sissy seems a sly one. So I am cautious.

This evening Dr. Xu and I gave our talk to the English club. The title had been changed to Earthquakes. I read out Mary's email.

I did some more reading of the Palestinian book. Some of his experiences I could relate to from my own time in the Middle East. The Arabs will never admit a mistake and will ruthlessly scape goat a powerless individual. They are very prone to both.

Now to bed with my poetry book.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Re: article in Herald opinion

Dear Paul,
I delayed my email reply because I waited for a response to the Listener article concerning Your Horrid Practice book. I am unable from China to read Listener articles except their online blurbs. From what I can grasp from this week's tail-end letter to the Listener, a debate is being set up that contests if cannibalism happened at all in New Zealand. If you could send the Listener article as an attachment to me that would be greatly appreciated.

The game that is being played by the left wing in New Zealand is aggravating to the ‘white male’ logic. But we should not really bang our heads in frustration. The white male after all invented logic and should not be dismayed that the rest of the world that followed him is dragging logic down to another more emphatic tradition.

My argument is logic invented the modern world that the rest of humanity actually thoroughly likes and has no intention of abandoning. But unless they are checked, they will actually make extinct.

Following recent events, it seems questionable that modern Christchurch and Japan actually exist anymore. The people there have reverted back to the life style of several centuries ago. Perhaps the left like it that way!

Joel HaywardI know you don't want to be mixed up with revisionism. But I think you would find it revealing to google ‘new zealand listener yahoo‘. Down the screen you should see a Joel Hayward reply to a hatchet article on him by Listener journalist P… M… . It exposes actual bare-faced lies and libel by M… that has never been acknowledged by the Listener.

I thought they were valid at the time because they were in the Listener. That is how they have got away with it.

In the E.U. such a voice as mine would get me arrested for "hate speech" now defined as such – without quotation marks – by such news outlets as Associated Press.
Regards Lloyd

Subject: Re: article in Herald opinion

Dear Paul
The quality of intellectual debate in New Zealand can be amazingly stupid.
I think part of the problem from a foreign perspective is the ‘village’ size level of the population and its oceanic remoteness. These issues very quickly become mixed up with upsetting ‘women's problems’ and annoying really quite infantile men.

I recall noting that all the websites of the Universities do not list famous alumni except Canterbury University. That website lists contemporary any has-beens such as disc-jockeys, small time poets, club sports people, etc. I looked in vain for a listing of multi-book published historian Joel Hayward. Clearly, a really quite pathetic snub directed at him by his College.

Universities are now business enterprises therefore run by p.r. semi-idiots to be kind. They would not succeed in bigger countries that demand some panache. When I grew up, Hone Heke was the biggest folk hero. It is not the case in the South Island which is another country.

In 1966 a group of pakeha anarchists tried to blow up the Hone Heke flagstaff. At the time Maori activism did not exist. That event may have precipitated the nga tamatoa movement. That is often the way.

Now in my home area, we have the New Zealand Navy bearing down on an iwi that claims property rights over the oil drilling area. That is perfect divide and rule. Arsonists have attacked the coastal area. Knowing the area, I am very suspicious they were agent provocateurs. It will be interesting how this develops.

With the navy there is unfinished business with Greenpeace. If you are old enough to remember the Springbok tour, New Zealanders have a basic homicidal instinct which is surprisingly non-racial. I am not sure if the non-racial aspect is a good thing or a bad thing.
Lloyd in China

Subject: Re: article in Herald opinion

Dear Lloyd,
Thanks for this message. There were no responses to the article (the Chch earthquake diverted everyone's attention to more important things) but I understand the article itself will be appearing in full online in a week or two.

Needless to say, I was not at all happy with it. The journalist took at face value the statements of the critic even though I pointed out to her that they were patently false. The critic had made up quotes, claimed I had used false dates etc, even though I manifestly did not.

More galling still was the fact that the explanations I provided were frequently ignored. For example, I abridged a quote (standard practice in all history books), but the journo said that I offered no explanation for omitting material from a quote In fact, I had, but it's no use arguing with these people.

On the subject of Joel Hayward, I remember discussing it with one of his former colleagues from Massey, Dr. Barbara Nowak (a humourless New York woman and staunch opponent of the Palestinians). She was dismissive of him, but from what I have seen, he a) never denied the Holocaust, and b) his work was of a high scholarship. Massey Uni. has a growing reputation for stifling free speech, however. Not only did they remove Hayward, they also kicked out another academic a few years ago for a report he wrote highlighting how Polynesians were a drain on New Zealand's economy.

Never mind that his research was sound, a cabal of left-leaning academics was duly assembled by the shocked hierarchy of the University and he was dismissed on the basis that there were questions about his methodologies. It was a cowardly and shameful attack, but it is becoming par for the course.

In the Listener article on my book, an archaeologist was also interviewed and lined up against me. He asserted that cannibalism was not common in New Zealand prior to the arrival of Europeans. I. B. is the person concerned (someone whose findings I found to be less than certain in my book). B. has only done one dig looking for evidence of cannibalism. How he comes to his conclusions about the frequency of the practice based on this I do not know. However, in the 'balanced' world of leftist journalism, his views are promoted as fact, while my more distasteful ones are chastised.

Still, the truth is there in plain sight and I am puzzled why certain academics persist in blowing smoke around it in an attempt to obscure what the evidence clearly reveals. Maybe it's just a cyclical thing, and people will eventually see through the obstructions.

And yes we must all watch out for hate speech – that is, any comments which might offend the po-faced sensibilities of some self-important group. Better to appease them and indulge their odd beliefs. Much safer.

All the best from a still quake-free Auckland,

15 Mar

Subject: the Japanese apocalypse

Dear Dad
This morning I came into class to find the students were already watching The King's Speech. I thought that was a little rude but I was late by a minute because of confusion over the class locality. After the movie showing, I gave them a little talk not to take the British version of history as gospel. I then talked about the homework and test talk about the movie the next week.

When I came to the second class in the afternoon, the monitor had forgotten to arrange the film room. That left me in the lurch and I had to improvise a lesson. I course I should have been more prepared for such emergencies, but that's me.

I got an email from Professor Moon. He is quite bitter about political correctness. Not so much their political bias but because their tactics are shameless. I get the feeling with him he doesn't really take note much of what I say, but uses me as a vent for his feelings.

This evening two students rang up to give me the locality of the movie class tomorrow. This is the first time that has happened. They are quite nervous using English on the telephone.

We are all talking about the Japanese apocalypse. Hassan assures us the nuclear issue is not nearly as serious as in Chernobyl. We all hope he is right.

Now off to my hot shower and squirt.
Love from Lloyd

16 Mar

Subject: melt down

Dear Lloyd,
We knew it could one day happen and now it has. We put our faith in international atomic scientists and the result is too terrible to think about.

Imagine what Grey Street would look like after one had been through. In 1948 there was one at Pouawa which swept more than a mile inland and swept the Pouawa bridge 2 miles upstream.

Our TV has been full of the tragedy in Japan which is surprising – what short memories we NZers have. In 1941 the Japanese fleet was on its way to capture NZ and if you know your history you know what that would have meant.

Paul leaves for Cuba today. He is coming here to say goodbye at morning tea time. Love and best wishes from

Subject: The range of tsunami

Dear Dad
The range of tsunami and their approximation to the nuclear stations defies all regular science. Like everyone else I am getting somewhat unnerved by Mother Nature. As I say at the College it all started in my home town several years ago. We talked then if nature had taken a sinister turn.

I know the Pouawa river well. I once went with Tessa up the river to find its source. We walked all day and never found it. All we found were farms of people living quiet lives. In 1948 the land was mostly uncultivated as the stop banks were mostly unbuilt. I do recall the early 1960s tsunami warning. Hicks Bay people were evacuated to the hills. I think the tsunami hit Gisborne city without loss of life.

This morning I saw for the second time The King's Speech. I could hear it much better. There were some very good lines. It makes an interesting parallel to my continuing online read of Charles Ⅰ. There is, in the Charles biography, now a rebellion in Ireland. The English Parliament is gleefully raising an army which they will turn not to Ireland but against the King.

At midday I mysteriously lost my timetable. I have listed my classes and room numbers on my attendance sheets. I might have to rely on them.

In the afternoon I gave a lesson. It was about dating! Quite an amusing subject.

This evening I met Jerry. He is very enthused about the offer of developing my site in return for English lessons for Sissy at the College. But he talked in such technical language I am at a loss. I hope he doesn't leave me in the lurch.

Sissy came later and I gave her an English lesson. She said no-one had ever given her an English lesson like that. We arranged another lesson this Sunday.

So Paul is now off to Cuba. It is now a favourite holiday locality. Communist and ex-Communist countries invariably are. Thy have lovely educated populations and well preserved cultural and natural heritages.
Love from Lloyd

17 Mar

Subject: one class in the morning

Dear Dad
Today I had one class in the morning. Again the student monitor had forgotten to arrange a room for the movie. So I gave the dating lesson instead.

After class, I had a cake and coffee in Business Street. Then I took the bus to town. I withdrew some money from the bank. I was paid yesterday. I had a pizza at Good Food restaurant. Then I purchased groceries at the supermarket. I took the taxi back to the college.

I went to the College library and got out a new book. I had finished the Palestinian book.

I had brought left overs from the Good Food restaurant and had them for dinner. I had a phone call from Daniel. He wanted me to go out with the boys to celebrate Saint Patrick's day. I declined as it was cold and Gongyi has no Irish pubs. It would just be an excuse for drinking. I spent time preparing to email information to Andy, Sissy's brother-in-law in Beijing, who promises to develop Sargon Press.

The heaters have been switched off. I am now using my own heater.

Now off to bed after preparing my bag for tomorrow's lessons.
Love from Lloyd

17 Mar

Subject: Today's e mail

Dear Lloyd,
I am so happy that you are finding happiness with your friends in China. You have found a lot of your success in your work will depend upon how you impress your students. You seem to have found a way to do that.

The Pouawa tsunami occured occurred before we came to this district. I was always very interested in the results. People are far more aware of what could happen if one struck Gisborne. All houses along the coast would be destroyed.

Paul left for Cuba yesterday and will not return until May 13. Dawn has gone down to Masterton to stay with Sheryl and Duncan. Becky and Bruce leave for the U.K in July.

Fortunately I have excellent help in Glennis Beverley and Debbie so I shouldn't complain.
Love and best wishes from

19 Mar

Subject: three classes today

Dear Dad
Today I had three classes. We watched a movie in each class. The second class was already showing an american travesty of the Gulliver Lilliput story. I let it carry on too late to stop when I realised what it was.
The students however loved it.

After classes I had dinner with Daniel and drinks in town. I think Daniel is getting a bit stressed over his wife leaving the College for a job in Zhenghou. Also I suspect the eating and drinking places charge us double.

Yesterday I was asked to put in an application for another year at the College. I will do so.
It is now past midnight.

Is Paul going to spend the two months just in Cuba or is he going to travel further? There are other interesting places in the Caribbean.?
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Extension of contract

Dear Lloyd,
You must be giving satisfaction if the school has asked you to stay on another year.

Becky and I visited Leighton House – a superior retirement home – in Gisborne yesterday to see what they had to offer, We were both impressed with what we saw and after Paul and Dawn's return we may make another visit.

Your bank statement shows $98 credit so please check up that you are being paid properly. I understand that your salary is direct credit.

Love and best wishes from

Subject: memorial service

Dear Lloyd,
Dear Lloyd I have just viewed on T.V. the Memorial service in Hagley Park Christchurch. There was something like 10000 attending and it was all very moving.

John Key and Bob Parker said all that should have been said. John Key thanked all the international nations that came to Christchurch's assistance. He named them all and I am happy to report that Israel was prominent amongst them

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: feminist oriented teaching methods

Dear Dad
I am interested to read you are contemplating a retirement home. I won't comment because I don't really know the situation. Becky is pretty smart about these sort of things.

I have only been asked to put in an application for next year. Teaching methods work against me. It is very feminist oriented. That is the detail counts rather than the big picture. They have the ridiculous student assessment half-way through the term.

As I said to Daniel, mid-term is when you are just leading them from the slough of despond into the light of recognition. Teachers who make them happy – even if semi-literate – are in a much better situation. Still, I will know within the next few weeks. I really would love to teach in Hanoi. That is for the French food as much as anything else.

I actually was offered an opportunity to get a free air-ticket back to Oman. The trouble there is although paid very well, they set up teachers to fail. I am of course the perfect scapegoat.

The money in my B.N.Z bank account is for my automatic iServe payments. My salary gets paid into a local Chinese account.

You sent an email regarding the Hagley Park memorial. Yes, an Israeli team was permitted to help. But not in search & rescue. Instead, in body identification. I am very angry about that. It has also apparently happened to Israeli search teams in Japan. The U.N shuts out Israelis who, admittedly, have behaved very badly. They may really have psychic powers of detecting living victims.

This morning Ana and Margaret, Courtney's children, came in and cleaned my bedroom floor. I left them at it and went to Good Coffee restaurant. I had sandwiches, coffee and good Cuba wines. Then I came back and read two chapters of Charles Ⅰ. It is so like America today.

Now off to bed with my poetry book.
Love from Lloyd

20 Mar

Subject: Retirement

Dear Lloyd,
IF I go into Leighton House. I will be following people such as Ivan Mitchel, Stan Bugden, and I would be joining friends such as Jean Webster and Betty Benton whom you know, Jean at Lytton, and Betty with Forest and Bird. I think I would be very comfortable there.

There is a hospital wing attached to the home so I can hopefully avoid the geriatric ward at the Public Hospital.

Beverley has just finished her morning tasks for today and she assures me that if I go to Leighton House, she will come and visit me there. She has become a good friend.

Isn't the possibility of a nuclear melt-down terrible? Don't move further north from where you are. Keep away!

Love and best wishes from

21 Mar

Subject: another nasty aftershock in Ch CH

Dear Lloyd,
A 5 point something. This is not good though.

Mary has started university lecturing at Lincoln College where she is being able to enjoy running again, also use of their gymnasium. She sounded quite cheerful of the whole situation but I don't think this will last if she gets too many aftershocks which seem to have unnerved her. Their factory is undamaged but of course rebuilding Chch has not yet started so the order book is not very full.
I think she would enjoy an encouraging letter from you.

I admire your philosophical attitude towards neighbouring Japan's terrible plight. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: The King's Speech

Dear Dad
I am sure the latest after shock led to extensive low scale damage. I think they are underplaying things especially having pooh poohed that Ken Ring fellow. I sent Mary an email.

I had one class in the morning today. We saw The King's Speech movie.

I am most aggravated today as the College Library has lost two of my returned library books. I cannot get another one until they find them. I spent the evening reading my last available book, the poetry book. But that was a great experience being trapped in the English poetry masters. I am now up to Tennyson.

I read a chapter of Charles Ⅰ. King Charles and his Court have fled London. The House of Commons had printed a book of calumnies against Charles and gave him no right of reply. That was then circulated to the mobs.

This evening I attended a talk by a Filipino teacher about her winter holiday in South East Asia. She went to all the places I did. She also included mention of the Pol Pot atrocity legend. Maybe she did not know he was an Asian Communist.
Love from Lloyd


Subject: lost books

Dear Lloyd,
That is not unusual for library returns, they usually find them back on the shelves. I have had it done to me at the Gisborne library.

Beverley and I have just returned from the supermarket in the pouring rain. Last night I lost my hearing aid. I felt very despondent and quite shamed face when Beverley arrived but she was very nice over the whole thing and said she would help me look for it and was sure she would find it in 5 minutes. Believe it or not she did!. It was in the pocket of my apron and must have fallen in. Beverley thought it a great joke.

I have just been up to the village to buy Laura a birthday card. She will be 18 on 23rd. She will be starting at Waikato University this month taking a Degree in Phys. Ed. She is still a champion cyclist and swimmer and a nice girl too, a real credit to Scott. I must away now.

Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: re: lost books

Dear Dad
, The library staff checked the shelves without finding the missing two books. It is difficult to imagine where they are.

Pleased to see Laura is doing well. When I last met her, she cast a curious look in my direction. I was kinda aware it was not the look at a failure uncle. It meant a surprising lot to me.

I did two classes today. The first one we did oral talks which I marked as homework. We finished off with my talk about the influence of other languages in English. The next class was shown The King's Speech. I get the class to ring me to give me the room number where the movie will be shown. I experience different struggles with communication. This time it was terribly difficult and the monitor went outside and hunted me down.

I finished another chapter of Charles Ⅰ. It is a commentary on the social effects of civil war. How every town and county had its story of roundheads and cavaliers.

I got a surprising response from a recruiting agency in Oman. I had applied when in Auckland, and when recruiting for March 2011 was underway I was sent an application form. I sent a response several days ago. I will forward you the emails.

I am sure I would be appointed and they would refund my air-ticket from New Zealand to Oman. Even if not, I would be snapped up very quickly by another college somewhere in Asia. The advantage of Oman is the salaries are so good. More than double that of China.

Here I am not accumulating much capital, and while the students are lovely, there are many social drawbacks. Also I would be so close to Europe and Egypt.

I would love to visit the Holy Land but am genuinely afraid the Israelis would not let me out alive.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: ESL Teachers Needed in Oman

Dear Haitham Al-Taher
On re-reading your email, I wish to make it clear I can start teaching in Oman in the middle of July this year.

Lloyd Gretton

Then please contact me in June–July. There is no teacher intake in July. The academic year starts in early September.

Haitham Al-Taher, MBA

Office Telephone: (968)24481759
Mobile Telephone:


Subject: two classes today

Dear Dad
I had two classes today. The first one I did the oral tests. The second one we watched a movie. They were already watching one when I arrived. I am not sure if they do that deliberately so they can watch the Hollywood rubbish. It was so awful, made for the video market. It starred Michael Caine. I told them I suspected most of the time the movie used a jobbing actor made to look like Michael Caine.

As I never comment on Chinese politics or know anything about it, I speak freely as my opinions on the capitalist west could not be more pleasing to the Chinese Communists.

In the evening Sissy came to the apartment for a lesson. I had sent several days ago my Sargon Press files to her brother-in-law to upload on to my site. I have had no response from him. Sissy said she would contact him about that. Sissy is a senior student, not one of mine, and a member of the Communist Party.

I read a chapter of Charles Ⅰ. It was fascinating to read how the society unravelled into civil war. When the issue over the foreshore explodes, it will be fascinating which side the armed forces will take. As things now stand, it is more of a Pakeha rebellion than a Maori rebellion.

It is getting horribly cold again in the evening and I have difficulty drying my clothes.
Love from Lloyd


Subject: one class today

Dear Dad
I am now in my winter pyjamas and it seems a big difference. I always have fruit and greens each day. I don't get colds or throat infections. Unfortunately the apartment heaters have now been turned off. We are now in spring but are enduring a cold snap that just won't go away. There is no dryer anywhere but I do have a porch and a clothes line. But in this weather it takes a week before there is even adequate drying.

Today I had one class. One final showing of the movie The King's Speech. Thank goodness. When at the movie's conclusion, the King waved to the London crowd, I said, "He is waving to the sheep". They found that amusing.

I read another chapter of Charles Ⅰ. They have just had their first battle between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. I read somewhere that up to the 1960s and the fall of public education, English school boys used to make up football teams divided between the roundheads (uncircumcised) and cavaliers (circumcised).

I am getting correspondence with Sissy's brother-in-law concerning my website.

As Mary won't communicate, do you know what Michaela is doing these days?

Now back to my poetry book.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: Winter's chill

Dear Lloyd,
It concerns me that you are feeling the cold again. I fear that you are not eating correctly. If you want to keep healthy you must eat adequately which I am afraid you are not doing.

Regarding the damp clothing if the apartment is centrally heated there should be a drier somewhere. If not get Sissy to buy you some strong cord and string a line accross the lounge and peg your damp cloths out at night. This is rather primative I know but you must have dry clothes in winter.
However if you find a drier pop them in that when you go to bed. Tell Sissy about your trouble. It's amazing what women can come up with.

Beverley found my hearing aid which had fallen out without my noticing. I hunted high and low before going to bed and I was feeling as miserable as sin when I told her but she said,
"Don't worry I'll find it in 5 minutes" and sure enough she did.
Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: dad writes to mary

Dear Mary
Today is Mum's 85th birthday. I seem to have been at the computer all morning. I expected Becky and Bruce here to pick me up for morning coffee at the Wharf restaurant but it's now 11.55 and they have not appeared.

Also I am having troubles with my computer so I have spent the time trying to fix it but to no avail.

What I am phoning about is to check that I have your correct e mail address so answer back promptly, please.

Lloyd has had no reply to his e mails to you so I think I may have given him your wrong address from in my P.C.
Write to him and give him the right address.
Love from Dad


Subject: urban search & rescue

Hi lloyd
I just sent this email to dad and thought you also might like to read it. Trevor did show me another letter from you that went to an incorrect email address so just be sure you use this one carefully.

USAR stands for urban search and rescue so I am not sure what you meant about united nations.
I can't sort your computer problems out from here sorry.

Subject: student orientation at lincoln

Hi Dad
Yes this is the right address. Tomorrow is Mums birthday so that may be why Becky didn't turn up!

Sorry to hear the jinx has still got hold of your computer. My computer is also playing up so I am using my iPhone to type it.

Michaela is busy planning her move to Melbourne. She is hoping her flatmate Cameron (not her boyfriend) will go too, but he has to wait to see if Canterbury university will let him postpone his law degree.

I have been out to Lincoln today for our student orientation.
Twice as many turned up as expected but I think some thought their lectures were starting today. We actually start next week.

I went to the gym at Lincoln and it was very nice so that is a bonus. I only have to go there twice a week so not too hard to manage.

We still haven't got our other car as it is still on the hoist in the red zone. Alice got her full licence on Wednesday so as soon as we get the car she can drive Grace to school.

Trevor is well and Ecoglo is managing (I think).
Love Mary xxxooo
Sent from my iPhone

Subject: kowtowing to my students

Hi Mary
I think the problem has been I sent you an email without the . in the address. One seems to have got to Trevor who showed it to you.

USAR is affiliated to UN as all western NGOs are. You would be surprised how doctrinaire and political they are. It should be an interesting experience being under this environment.

My private student has a brother-in-law who has agreed to upload my site. Now there is a block from iServe who haven't replied today to fix my password.

I got an offer to apply to colleges in Oman. I have been there before. I am going to apply. I dislike the idea of kowtowing to my students to get a grade sufficient to stay another year at ChengGong College. That is a reversal of my understanding of a teachers' role. Oman starts this year in September. This semester here finishes in July.

What is Michaela going to do in Melbourne? The College students were green with envy when they heard that Alice has a car licence.

Subject: Mum's eighty-fifth birthday

Dear Dad
I got an email from Mary today. The earthquake seems to have aged her ten years.

I got the impression that Alice and Grace are back at school in Christchurch. Is that so? Michaela is going to Melbourne. What are her plans in Melbourne?

Today I had three classes. The Courtney girls came into the apartment in the afternoon and did the cleaning while I was having lunch.

After classes I went to town and did my grocery shopping at the supermarket. Then I went to Good Coffee restaurant and had a meal and a Chinese whisky. I got a phone call from Ana, the twelve-year old, demanding her wages. I returned and paid their wages. I arranged a one-hour weekly cleaning job with them.

So it would have been Mum's eighty-fifth birthday!
Love from Lloyd


Subject: a quiet day

Dear Dad
Today was a quiet day. I read my poetry book and surfed the internet.

I read two chapters of Charles Ⅰ. Charles Ⅰ has been reduced to living off the land like a transient.

I bought some Harbin beers at the shop down the road. In the evening I had drinks with Daniel.
Love from Lloyd


Subject: Assessment

Dear Lloyd
Today I am to be assessed for entry into Leighton House. Some women come in and watch me doing my housekeeping. They will then notify the authorities whether they think I can continue living alone.

They do this because there is a shortage of suitable Homes but no shortage of old folk. The verdict will be interesting. They will be considering whether I am senile or decrepit enough to be admitted into Leighton House.

However, the chief lady has just phoned to postpone the meeting until Wednesday.
Love and best wishes from Dad

Subject: re: Assessment

Dear Dad
Good luck with your assessment. They would be concerned with general safety.

This morning there was a man waiting at the classroom door who asked to attend my class. I am not sure if he was the Dean. At the class break, he smiled and said interesting. Then he left.

The class went well. I tested them for their homework and gave them a lesson in French words in English. I suspect that is related to my application to stay another year. I don't know if that is normal or not.

I have decided after all to stay another year if they will let me. The College will give me a return ticket to New Zealand and after six weeks a return ticket to Gongyi. All that time the College will pay for my salary but I will only receive it when I return to the College. If I don't do another year I will still get the ticket to New Zealand but that is all.

I spoke to the library staff. They have not found the books and say I will have to pay for them. I took a principled stand and say I won't pay for them as they lost them. I was told that at the library you should check that every book is scanned back into the system. I can use the foreign office card to take out a good supply of books, so I may have to swallow my indignation. It should not be much money as they are basic paperbacks and were probably acquired from a junk sale.

This evening I went to English corner and attended a talk on yoga and saw a Bollywood movie.

I also read some poetry in the afternoon and read another chapter of Charles Ⅰ. Charles entered the Scottish camp disguised as a servant but is now in detention.
This period is interesting also because it co-incides with Abel Tasman's travel to New Zealand.
Love from Lloyd

Subject: postponed assessment

Dear Lloyd,
How interesting you too should have an assessment. It sounds as if everything went fine. It must have been like our inspectorial visits. These were never very pleasant and were always good to get over.

At the last minute my visit was postponed. It will be held tomorrow.

Your college has been very generous regarding return air fares and holiday pay.

I am having a lot of trouble with this computer, if I use the capital, it stays in the capital for the rest of the typing. I will have to get Tony Ford here or Dawn.

Best of luck with your Dean's meeting. Love and best wishes


Subject: everything went right

Dear Dad
I don't know if my assessment was specially selected for me or also with other foreign language teachers. I haven't been game enough to ask. I got a relatively low rating last semester and the College might be summing me up. Fortunately everything went right.

It is a very unfair system. The student assessment happens in the middle of semester. That is just the time the semi-literate fun teachers are flourishing and the challenging teachers are incurring resentments. By the end of the semester students see the light but then it is too late.
As I have said before:

The Chinese ended their cultural revolution, the Western one continues on.

Maladjusted children, figurative and literal, run the western world. The scholars are the most persecuted.

All the other teachers think the email from the College was an invitation to commence a second year. I pointed out it doesn't really say that.

I had two classes today. I read another chapter of Charles Ⅰ. The Scots army have sold him literally to the English Parliament, who have imprisoned him in one of his castles. He remains treated as royalty but is a prisoner.
Not unlike modern heads of state today.
Love from Lloyd


Subject: do your work conscientously

Dear Lloyd,
Dont let the uncertainties get you down. If you are doing your work conscientously you should be OK. I still have faith in you.

If you apply and are accepted, then I think the college has been very generous regarding pay and air fares. If you can come home on leave I will keep the house so that you will have a base while in N.Z.

Looking forward to hearing good news.
Love from Dad

Subject: coming to Gisborne in July

Dear Dad
I suspect the assessment is calculated to benefit the 'fun' teachers. By the end of the semester, they can be found out but the assessment is finished. The language experts are at the end of the semester showing the light. But then it is too late. But life is unfair. Nor should we jump to conclusions. We will wait and see.

I will under any circumstance be coming to Gisborne in early July with a College paid air ticket. Granting me use of the house is very generous of you.

How did your assessment go?

Because of a public religious holiday, I will be having days off on Monday and Tuesday. I will have one extra class on Saturday morning. I plan to spend some days in Zhengzhou. It is a major city only a few hours distant from Gongyi. Sissy is there and we can spend time together. With her I am mindful of the movie and novel Disgrace.

I got finally emails from iServe. They have set a new password. I got an email from Andy in Beijing. He has at last been able to access my iServe account but has not yet been able to upload to Sargon Press.

Today I had two classes. The College is preparing for the festival and there is a lot of marching in ethnic costumes and visual displays.

I read a chapter of Charles Ⅰ. The Parliamentary army under Cromwell has become an independent political force under ‘agitators’. That is the word they are called.

Oliver Cromwell

Cromwell has kidnapped Charles from his castle. He has left deluded that the army is backing him.
Love from Lloyd


Subject: assessment was a success

Dear Lloyd,
I hold my breath every time I see there is an airmail from you. My assessment was a great success.

The physiotherapist put me through all the tests and I came out with 100% pass. I suspect I will not be admitted to Leighton House. I don't want to leave here anyway. I am very comfortable here with this set up.

Yesterday I went to the library and Adrian showed me through the talking book collection. I have brought home Sam Pepys Diaries and Michael Palin's New Europe so I should be set now.
I can play them on Mum's cassette player, Beverley has shown me how to use it.
Love from Dad

Subject: one class today

Dear Dad
Congratulations with your 100% pass. It does not surprise me but I am very much in the dark as regards family affairs.

Today I had one class. After it I went to the printer down the road and composed a letter and printed it. It said in one sentence that I planned to complete another year at ChengGong. I handed it in in the office to Jessie.

I read tonight one more chapter of Charles Ⅰ.
I am off to bed as for some reason I had very little sleep last night.

I finally worked out how to access my account at iServe. I had been reading my new password incorrectly.
It has a capital S.
Love from Lloyd