We were going to move on today to the nearby backpacker village of Yangshuo but have decided to stay put as it is still raining constantly. This hostel is comfortable, with friendly and helpful staff and a reasonable collection of film to slob out in front of.

Computer and internet access has been a real pain in China, the connections are unbelievably slow and every hostel we have stayed in only has a few terminals. Added to this is the fact that our laptop remains critically if not terminally sick. The result being that uploading photographs to the website is a painstaking process that I would never have the patience to complete. After investigating this Simon thinks there is a small problem with the hard drive (This means nothing to me) and is going to try and sort it out with Dell. He admits that Dell are notoriously crap at customer service but then they have never come up against him before and he is the most persistent person I have ever met!

Its midday now and we have done nothing more than eat breakfast, we decide to go for a walk and amble aimlessly around in the wet for an hour before heading to the sushi bar for lunch. We buy the kids a DVD each and some new schoolbooks and pens. When we get back they spend over an hour writing a story of their choice. Not surprisingly they both choose an action theme but the stories are quite good. I worry that Ali’s handwriting is actually worse now than before we left and Maisie’s spelling certainly hasn’t improved but it isn’t through lack of trying on our part. We have found teaching them both satisfying and at times infuriatingly difficult and I hope their natural ability will be enough to ensure they maintain their high levels of achievement that we saw before the trip. If not private tuition here they come.

Its nearly 10pm now and we skipped dinner as we ate sushi late and spent the afternoon watching DVD’s and eating ice cream, chocolate, macadamia nuts and sweets. Simon and the kids have just come up to the room complaining of hunger. The only option open now is KFC so Simon and Ali go off to get that. Another healthy option meal.