Cat boxesA few weeks ago, I was asked to guide English-speaking school groups around my local Natural History Museum. I was of course happy to oblige, but was rather nervous come the day itself – aside from a potential barrage of questions I might not know the answers to, I was expecting an ungovernable mob to scream through the doors and pay no attention to anything except breakable objects. As things turned out, the kids already had scavenger hunts prepared and were extremely attentive as I tried to explain the finer points of gecko foot adhesion (van der Waals forces), water scorpion respiration (they breathe through their tails) and bittern camouflage (they pretend to be a reed).

On Friday evening, we were lucky enough to be invited to a small wine tasting event and spent a couple of enjoyable hours with several notable vintages. We split an order between us, to be drunk at gatherings (possibly with board games) later in the year, and I believe I can now reliably tell a red from a white without looking.

Asan adoptableAsan escapee

I hadn’t been down to the animal shelter at Asan (아산) in around a month, and so was eager to see how the animals were doing, who had been adopted and how the shelter was shaping up after the summer’s long-overdue staffing change. Most of the larger residents were more or less as I’d left them – as friendly and attention-starved as ever, and perhaps a little heavier due to improvements in the food and winter coats coming in. We set about the usual walking, playing, escape-foiling and fight breaking-up, punctuated with pauses to take part in interviews for an upcoming expat magazine article (and possible photographic fame!).

Asan anklebitersAsan curious cats