Food Glorious Food 29th October 2014

When I now go to the market I try to buy something new. And I try not to poison Martin and Eleanor with it but from looking at the fruit or vegetable, sometimes not knowing how to open it or cook with it is a battle. This week I bought a pomelo (a citrus fruit like a big grapefruit) and a kind of pear thing, that I haven’t eaten yet. Last week’s food was like a courgette with knobbly skin, but sadly it ruined the dish I had cooked and tasted nothing like a courgette. After a consultation with friends … Continue reading Food Glorious Food 29th October 2014

My own set of wheels and Game, Set and Match 16th October 2014

Some leaves are turning a golden red colour, some of them are falling and are being swept up by workers using witch like brooms and people are wearing coats, trousers and long sleeved tops. Until Tuesday I was still wearing shorts and t-shirts and attracting even more attention that what I usually attract. I had a man come up to me gesticulating at my bare arms and legs. I smiled and walked on. We have had the Mid-Autumn Festival here, then Golden week in October marked the bus prices dropping (the buses are cheaper on October/November and April/May as the … Continue reading My own set of wheels and Game, Set and Match 16th October 2014

Shanghaied -part 2 – 5th October 2014

According to vocabularly.com  “To shanghai someone is to kidnap or trick them into working for you. The traditional way to shanghai someone is to drug him and put him on a ship. When the person wakes up, he better get to work. … The shanghaied person would wake up and find himself at sea, often on a long trip like to Shanghai, China” After the birthday party we got the bullet train to Shanghai. Suzhou has three main stations, with two of them serving Shanghai (Suzhou SIP station -suzhou yuanqu and Suzhou main station) and Suzhou North which you go … Continue reading Shanghaied -part 2 – 5th October 2014

An introduction to haggling – Part 1 – 5th October 2014

I type these past blogs changing my grammar/spelling but apologies for anything that I haven’t changed! I have also embellished a little. But this blog I have renamed and divided into two.  We (should read just me, it would take another year for Martin) have come a little bit nearer becoming an e-bike owner. I went with a friend (Adrian – the husband of Eleanor’s teacher), to buy an e-bike helmet. Originally it was for me, but I also got one for Eleanor. I have always known I have a small head as my horse riding helmet was VAT free because it … Continue reading An introduction to haggling – Part 1 – 5th October 2014

A week of firsts 20th September 2014

I went to a recital featuring Alexander Suleiman, Dr Bin Huang and Dr Angela Cholakyan. Suleiman was the only musician of the 3 that I had heard of, but Bin Huang shared 1st prize at the age of 14 with Maxim Vengerov at the international violin competition in Lublin, Poland. Dr Cholakyan accompanied both musicians in their varied repertoire, but also played a number of Bach’s solo preludes. Suleiman showed that he is not only an accomplished cellist, but can sing whilst playing too. That was definitely the surprise of the night. What the concert highlighted for me is that … Continue reading A week of firsts 20th September 2014

Can I have a pet? 15th September 2014

WARNING DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EATING/DON’T LIKE PET SHOPS As we walked past a pet shop yesterday (Sunday), the above words were uttered from Eleanor. What she had seen were two, albeit, lovely looking puppies. Thankfully she didn’t see beyond the cute puppies. I did, and I had seen more of that in the Flower and Pet Street in Suzhou (Pishi Jie) during Friday’s walking trip in downtown. The street is tucked away off the main walking/shopping street by the metro station, Lindun Lu. I had expected an onslaught of smells but at 9.45am as I walked through, … Continue reading Can I have a pet? 15th September 2014

All Mod Cons and Mid Autumn Festival 6th September 2014

There are some things that you take for granted when buying goods in large supermarkets. The conveyor belt and the ability to pick something from the shelf, pay for  it and take it home. The conveyor belt, probably a relatively modern invention, but I have yet to come across one in Suzhou. Here you take your shopping out of the basket or trolley (never take a trolley as no longer have a car to load up the boot!), put it where there should be a conveyor belt and push it manually towards the checkout assistant. A few items is fine, … Continue reading All Mod Cons and Mid Autumn Festival 6th September 2014

Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, 1 Month 3rd September 2014

When a child is born and people meet new parents, the question is often asked “how old?” The response varies from days, then weeks and then around 12 weeks the answer turns into x months and then years and then years and exact months if the child is asked. Well we aren’t counting the days anymore, weeks are varied and difficult to define when you aren’t working, but this week is different as we are entering our 1 month anniversary in China. Does it feel like an extended holiday? No. Martin is working really long hours but REALLY loving it, Eleanor is … Continue reading Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, 1 Month 3rd September 2014