Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Dear Students,

I am going home for Christmas and I`m really looking forward to seeing my family and friends.

Christmas in Britain isn`t the romantic holiday it is here in Japan. It`s a time for people to be with their families and loved ones.

Anyway, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an especially Happy and Healthy New Year.

Have a relaxing break and I`ll see you next time next year!

Angus

Easter Island,Chile

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Easter Island,Chile

I took this picture on a long journey I made through South America. Easter Island is one of the strangest places I’ve been to. It’s part of Chile but is so different to other parts of South America. The island is a 5- or 6- hour flight from the capital city of Chile, Santiago, and right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is Polynesian, similar to Hawaii or Fiji. The island used to be covered with trees but now there are none. It’s very mysterious, and it was fascinating to see all the huge statues, called maoi, that were an important part of the island’s religious beliefs. The island’s population decreased dramatically over the centuries, maybe due to the people destroying their land or maybe because of the introduction of rats, which bred very quickly, eating all the vegetation. Notice in this picture that the statues are all facing inland, not out to sea. People are still trying to understand the old Easter Island culture. I was privileged to visit the place but I don’t think I would like to return there.

Ipanema Beach, Rio, Brazil

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Ipanema Beach, Rio, Brazil

This is one of my favourite photos.I took it in the late afternoon on Ipanema Beach in Rio, Brazil. I love Brazil, it’s so full of energy! Rio is a stunning city, with the beaches and the sub-tropical forest covering the many, steep hills there. It’s a dangerous place and there’s a huge difference between the rich and the poor but I would urge anyone to go to Brazil once in their life. Next year, the FIFA World Cup is going to be held there, and in 2016, it’s the turn of the Olympic Games. Brazil is often in the news these days because of these upcoming events.

My Birthday

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My Birthday

I turned 50 on Sunday and I spent the weekend celebrating with my friends and my Mam, who had come from England for the event. It’s so strange to think that I have lived for half a century. On the one hand I feel just like I did 20 years ago. On the other, my life and my attitudes are so different to what they were even a few years ago. Change is inevitable, but I am still coming to terms with the idea that I am so old!!!

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