A Month in China 25th March 2015 The final installment from Blog.Com

And so this is the last blog that I have to type up from when I used blog.com If you are a regular reader then I am sorry I haven’t blogged anything original for a while… and if you are a new reader then I hope you will still read my new stuff – or indeed go back through my archives and read from 2015 onwards.  The last blog was written by husband, and this blog was written by my mum. Neither of them have blogged since!  We were greeted by Alison and Eleanor, a welcome sight after 10 hours … Continue reading A Month in China 25th March 2015 The final installment from Blog.Com

While the wife’s away…… The Adventure 17th February 2015

So off I go, being all independent, spending a night in Shanghai then a flight out to Guilin and yes it is awesome. The Karst formations are simply stunning. There was a cave which was the spit of Durdle Door, but it is called Elephant Trunk Hill as the image suggests! So I met for dinner with my friend on the first evening who broke the news that he would have to work for most of my stay. So he suggested I go up to Longsheng – he would pay for the entry attractions, the bus there and a hotel. … Continue reading While the wife’s away…… The Adventure 17th February 2015

Can’t breathe 30th January 2015

It is difficult to put into words what the air pollution is like and how it governs our lives. Maybe it shouldn’t govern our lives, and maybe I shouldn’t think, though I don’t for the most part, about what the long-term effects are of living in an environment where the air isn’t that clean to breathe. On Sunday 25th January the Air Quality Index (AQI) reading was well over 350 otherwise known as Hazardous. Today the reading was 162 which is branded as Unhealthy. However on Wednesday the reading was in the 80s – Moderate. By contrast Edinburgh is around … Continue reading Can’t breathe 30th January 2015

First piece of toast and a visit to the kitchens 25th January 2015

Not the most inspiring title to most people who own toasters (hope you are enjoying your toaster Naomi), but bizarrely we haven’t bought bread for 6 months. But given that our “oven” has a grill facility I decided to buy bread and toast it this morning. Compared to a toaster, grilling bread is a laborious process, manually turning it and rotating it with turning, it isn’t just flipping it, and keeping an ever watchful eye on it. The bread isn’t mothers pride or hovis but it will do. It is quite sweet bread. Since the last blog, Eleanor and I … Continue reading First piece of toast and a visit to the kitchens 25th January 2015

Happy New Year 14th January 2015

Can you still wish someone a Happy New Year two weeks into the year? But of course China is 4 weeks away from its new year. The year of the sheep is nearly upon us and the shops have despatched their Christmas decorations to storage and everything has now become very red. However, many places still have Christmas Trees up, making us still feel a little festive. Christmas was spent back in HK. Having arrived back in HK on Christmas Eve we met up with even more of Martin’s ex-students who took us for lunch, and then another student took … Continue reading Happy New Year 14th January 2015

6 years old 23 December 2014

Our five-year old is now six. Thanks to my first cousin once removed (I think), I am now reading A.A Milne’s “Now We Are Six” book of poetry. I think we are all enjoying it, especially when I haven’t voluntarily read poetry for a long time! The plan for Eleanor’s 6th birthday (once we knew we were going to China) was to go to Hong Kong Disneyland. We would have liked to go on Eleanor’s actual birthday,  but when one of Martin’s ex student’s friends offers Disney free for the day before, you grab it with both hands! As her … Continue reading 6 years old 23 December 2014

Chinese attractions and Re-entry 23 December 2014

On 15th December we departed mainland China for Hong Kong. In Hong Kong we found blue skies, warmth, normal toilets and QUEUING. I hadn’t expected mainland China to feel different, but it does. A) It is definitely more expensive than the mainland B) People queue. There is no pushing or shoving especially on the metro system. C) The toilet cubicles have western toilets and in Disneyland HK there was one squat toilet – for which there was a queue. D) There is no spitting. Above the bins in the metro stations there are signs “No Spitting. Spitting Spreads Germs. E) … Continue reading Chinese attractions and Re-entry 23 December 2014

The Slow Boat to China has Docked!!! 8th December 2014

I imagine the boat docked quite a while ago, but then there was a palaver over customs and the fact that we should have gone through the red channel at Pudong airport. Upon arrival, we apparently should have declared the belongings we did not have. But no one had shared that information with us. So after we made a trip to Pudong airport to fill in a customs form, our shipping arrived on 3rd December!!!!!! Great relief all round frankly. There is only so many times I can be asked “has your shipping arrived?” But it now feels like we are … Continue reading The Slow Boat to China has Docked!!! 8th December 2014

A road trip on an e-bike 11th November 2014

Thursday 6th November was about exploring. The College had a professional development day so Eleanor and I got on our e-bike and met with Adrian and his son MJ. Bikes fully charged we left the confines of SIP. Our trip took us over a flyover which had a dedicated bike lane with its twisty incline and decline on either side, there would have been great views had it not been overcast. Was it overcast for the sake of being overcast or was it pollution? One can never quite tell. Our adventure was to go to another lake, Yangcheng Hu, see … Continue reading A road trip on an e-bike 11th November 2014

A proper Tai Tai? 5th November 2014

Tai Tai and laopo are the words for wife in Chinese. Wo shi jiating zhufu is “I am a housewife”. But everyone refers to expat wives that don’t work as taitais, pronouned as tietie. I don’t particularly like it – if I have to have any title I am a “trailing spouse” without any identity myself. I am identified with Martin. Even now at school I have to be careful not to introduce myself as Martin’s wife – I am at the school in my own right. It is like when Eleanor was born and suddenly the midwife would say how is … Continue reading A proper Tai Tai? 5th November 2014