Gainfully employed once more

From August, I will no longer be a “TaiTai” or “trailing spouse”. I will have my own Z visa and no longer be classed as a dependent. Better declare that then to the Student Loans Company! I applied for, and was successful in getting a post at Dulwich International High School, Suzhou as a College/Universities Counsellor. I have a specific remit to help students with UCAS. I have been enjoying my time not working, I have been lunching, having coffees, helping with Eleanor’s class, window shopping, planning holidays, getting my nails done, learning Mandarin and generally enjoying myself…From August I … Continue reading Gainfully employed once more

School Days are the best

Eleanor’s school days I hope will hold happy memories, whether they are from Leweston Junior Department, or DUCKS (Dulwich College Kindergarten School) or whatever school she may end up at over the years.  In DUCKS though, each term, 2 consecutive days have been assigned to Art. I have been an active parent, and have been to at least one of the days each term (well maybe only half a day on each occasion!) The first set of days in November 2014 featured Japanese Pottery and Babushka Dolls.  The Teacher chose two cultures that Eleanor has in her class.  I went … Continue reading School Days are the best

Extra Curricular Activities

There are certain advantages to being a “trailing spouse”….the main one is you can go to and do things when people are at work.  My recent escapade was the 2015 Suzhou World Table Tennis Championships, sponsored by Qoros.  The 53rd,week-long, Championships came to Suzhou for the first time, but it was the 5th time they have been hosted in China.  Traffic around the Culture and Expo centre became a nightmare, we had dedicated traffic lanes, Zumba was cancelled because of the Championships in the nearby building and one metro carriage per train (I think) was emblazoned in the green logo. I … Continue reading Extra Curricular Activities

Moving on up

We arrived in August 2014, and had a pretty horrendous 5 days coping with a new city, new country, jet lag and of course finding somewhere to live.  The apartment we chose back then has suited us well.  We knew what we were dealing with when we chose it as the apartment had no underfloor heating, no double glazing and hard beds, but it was well located. 10 minutes from the tube (metro/subway), 15 minutes on the ebike to Eleanor’s school, on a bus route to Martin’s school (though he gets a lift in each morning and takes the tube … Continue reading Moving on up

Huangshan aka Yellow Mountains

The Chinese last year started a competition to give Chinese names to places in the UK.  And almost all of them have literal meanings eg Hadrian’s Wall – Wall of Eternity and the Royal Mile – A beautiful street with long history and profound culture.  So where the Yellow Mountains going to be yellow? Well, we don’t actually know.   With my parents being here and then travelling to Hong Kong, we didn’t actually research this trip as well as we/I could have done.  Infact, we asked friends where they stayed, got the answer, looked at trains, booked them and … Continue reading Huangshan aka Yellow Mountains

Till death us do part…

Don’t worry, everyone is still alive!  On Saturday 4th April, Martin, Eleanor and I went to Changzhou for the nuptials of Jake and Barbara.  Both are colleagues of Martin’s and  teach English.  Jake is British, Babara, Chinese.  Changzhou is about 90 or so minutes from Suzhou, but sadly not on a public holiday where all the toll roads are free and subsequently jam packed.  In about a space of a  couple of miles we saw 10 rear end shunts – a reminder that driving in China is hazardous.  There is no lane discipline here, cars weaving in and out of … Continue reading Till death us do part…

Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Having spent a night on the sleeper, we met Mum and Dad and the Guide at Xi’an train station.  Martin was greeted with a McDonald’s Coffee, and whilst probably not the best coffee on the market, it was the only one on offer! Into the minibus for the 5 of us and off we went to a museum of some archaeological value.  To be fair I just wanted to go and see the Warriors, but, the Guide clearly had her own plan of things to do and see that day, and so, I followed without complaint.   It was really … Continue reading Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Will the “sleeper” live up to its name?

When my parents suggested that they come to China and go travelling when they came, we asked them what they wanted to see.  They have a list of places, but for this visit it was Xi’an and Shanghai.  I was cheeky and told them we would be coming to Xi’an with them as it is home to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.  When we looked into travelling there, the options were flying or taking the sleeper train. Issues with flying were that >Xi’an airport, like most airports is not just next door to the City or the Warriors. >Martin can’t … Continue reading Will the “sleeper” live up to its name?

New Site

If you are reading this, then my new blog site has worked.  Blog.com was fine when it worked, but more times than not I had difficulty logging in.  Both sites are hard to access in this Country.  I should hopefully be able to post more photos on this site.  The last blog on that site will have been my Mum’s.  So if you haven’t read her blog, go back, read hers and then come back to this one. Martin had an adventure of his own, as you know.  It was also the longest piece of writing he has done in … Continue reading New Site