Thursday, 29 October 2015

Late Summer Domesticity

The air pollution has been much better this year than last year apparently, and the place looks much better with blue skies than with grey (see the photo at the bottom of this post).

Apartment view on a clear day

Evening watering hole

Sunset reflection
 The local markets have a great range of the familiar and not so familiar

Pickled Things
Our home cooking remains unchanged
Smoggy day

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Learning Chinese

As an avid reader of this blog, you might have noticed a distinct and abrupt absence of new posts since I returned from summer in Savoie.

What with getting the kids settled into school, some immediate travel by Katherine and the need to get the house set up for the serious part of the year, time was at a premium.  Add to this some serious IT issues which took a while to resolve, an off week and some general inertia and there you have it.

So, where to start?

Well, I’m learning Chinese.  While mind is old, I understand the concepts quickly, and although I struggle to absorb the vocabulary, the grammar is simple and repetition appears to be slowly working.  I can say hello, how are you, lovely weather, no worries etc, etc.  I can count to 999 and I am starting to recognise some of the prices that are asked of me at the markets, though I will have to admit to sometimes being left reaching for 100 Yuan note with no idea what I am committing to.  The problem is a combination of a poor ear, the use of slang and the Beijing accents.  Rarely does a stallholder say in a nice, clear voice the Chinese equivalent of “two dollars fifty” but rather, “that’ll be couple bucks and a half mate, a bargain!” – which leaves me scrabbling through the sounds for a recognisable number.  Anyway, it’s an adventure - and I am even learning my characters too - which is actually fun.

Enough of this ramble, my next post will be of some photos – most of which have graced social media already but will be provided again in order to paint a picture of the end of summer in Beijing.

Cheers for now

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Back A While

But for a variety of reasons I've been too busy too post ... I'll have to sort through my photos and test my Internet access again.