I have had a somewhat productive day off today.  I have done 3 loads of laundry (which with the size of my washing machine equates to 1 normal load).  I emptied my bins, bagged it all up and went out and located the local bin bank.  I have made another chicken-onion-and-pepper based meal.  I managed to connect the ancient computer I brought with me to the ancient TV in the apartment and play a computer game on it!

I have not posted many photographs lately, so I thought I would try and post a few I have taken recently and why I took them.

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This is the Mascot competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, some group matches of which will be played in Volgograd.  Since I took this picture, the wolf won.  His name is Zabivaka and he beat off the tiger and the cat with 53% of the vote.

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This is the Youth Theatre which isn’t far from my apartment (about 5 minutes walk) – that is also a tram station entrance, it is my nearest tram stop.  It is a very beautifully decorated building.

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This is a plaque on Mira Street (World Street) detailing how it was the first street to be renovated following the Battle of Stalingrad.  Appropriately my school’s main teaching centre is in a building on this road.

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This was a party at my school for the methodologist’s birthday!  They had two cakes – one was blackberry-based, the other looked custardy-ish.  They also had plates of banana and apple juice, both of which are within my tolerance limits.

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I get so confused by Russian milk products.  In the UK we have 3, basically – full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk.  Here they have a variety of percentages and colours, and additional milk products.  “Moloko” is milk, that’s easy enough except you can get it in 1.5%, 2.5% and 3.2%, none of which mean anything to me (I’d understand 0, 50% and 100%!), there is something called “Kefir” which is a fermented milk product, there is also slivki (cream), pakhta (buttermilk), smetakha (sour cream), pyazhanka (???), zakvaska (???)…

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Recycling!  This is only for waste paper, but it is a start.  They have containers for plastic bottles next to the bin bank, but they are full to overflowing so I’m not sure that they are taking plastic recycling wholly seriously.  But at least they are trying.

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This is the classified section of my local bus stop.  I’ve no idea what any of them say except the big orange one at the top is for a taxi.  “Rabota” (Работа) means work so these must be job advertisements – they are quite common posted around many places, not just bus stops but on the doorways of houses.  “Kuplyoo” (Куплю) means buy, so they must be items for sale.

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Finally, to prove I am actually doing real teaching, here is the whiteboard at the end of one of my lessons a couple of weeks ago about obligation, permission and prohibition.  At the start I was probably winging it a little – I knew the basics but not really how to present it, but putting it up there graphically made it easier to understand for me just as much as the students and now I can talk about these topics with a lot more authority and certainty.

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