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An Englishman in Hainan, Wuzhishan, November 2019 (Part 2)

November 16th We were blessed today with a nice day for walking, sunshine, but not too hot. Giving Huan her choice we set off through the countryside for a nice long walk. I only took two hundred and seventy photos today! However, quite a few of them were in ‘continuous mode’ to try and capture movement. I whittled the ones I will keep down to sixty four but of course I need to whittle even further for you dear reader. I still think today may have more than usual. To start with, not far away from the house, we had chickens running towards us instead of away, I guess it could have been around feeding time and they thought we were the bringers of food! Here’s the one who got the closest.

We walked down the river on the way to the ‘countryside’ and next up was a ‘trip’ or a ‘tribe’ of goats. (PS I looked up the collective noun for goats on Google, otherwise I would probably have said a herd.) It took me a while to get this photo, every time I clicked the shutter he either looked away or put his head down.

From the river we walked back up and alongside the irrigation canal where we espied a very lonely duck. He wasn’t an ugly duckling though was he? He appears to be daydreaming.

Next up was a very happy farmer threshing his rice the old fashioned way. I wonder what he was thinking about as he went through the motions.

Now when we say the countryside, sometimes we mean roads, sometimes we mean tracks and sometimes we mean both. Today it was both; this was on our way out. Spot the track, spot the road and spot the “high” way!

This is where we turned round today, in the future, we will go further and have lunch at one of the little villages before coming back. I don’t know about you but we think we live in quite a beautiful part of Hainan.

On our way back, just before we left the road to back into the ‘real’ countryside, we came across these fellows mixing concrete. It looks like they were using some kind of plough to do that. I certainly don’t think this machine was made for what they’re doing. It seemed to work just fine though.

I gave Huan the choice of taking the road back or going via the medicine factory, she chose the latter. It’s a good job this next photos was not ‘alive’ or she may not have been so happy. We see a lot of dead snakes. In fact, I think we’ve only seen three live ones in the four years we’ve been walking here. That’s just as well because I don’t like them either! As you can see, this one wasn’t such a small one.

We took a few photos in the medicine factory, you’ve seen most of that place before. I took Huan to the small pond that I showed you on October 24th and we spotted a lovely white, long legged bird. Unfortunately it was a little too far for the lens on my camera. I must start dropping hints about Christmas presents!

This walk is one of our favourites, the sounds of the city are not audible, the sounds of the country are. The air is fresh and the scenery is wonderful, just look at it!

Finally, not long before we reached home, we came across someone threshing in the more modern way. Spot the ‘spotter’ out in front, presumably looking for obstacles such as stones, bits of wood or dead animals.

A lovely day’s walking but, I think tomorrow I’d better leave the big camera at home! Being Saturday, we had our usual full English lunch and then, after we’d had our much needed OAP nap, we had an international tea. This comprised of German bread, Swiss Emmental cheese, Chinese ham, tomato and cucumber, Australian butter and for me, American mustard. How did it taste? Lubbly jubbly!

November 17th Having swamped you with photos yesterday, I left the camera at home today. We were late getting out; I slept late, something to do with waking up in the middle of the night freezing, having somehow removed all the bed covers off my tender young body! So, I took Huan on her favourite ‘short’ walk up and down the scenic mountain route. I did take the Nikon with me to show our video viewers our new route to the famous crossover bridge. If you want to watch that, go here. - https://youtu.be/FFyZjRj2FTA. Towards the end of the video, we met some snowbirds, one of whom was telling me how his grandfather fought the British and seven other nationalities in his time. All I can say is his grandfather must have been very old! Anyway, this chappie liked a bit of a laugh and was using his walking stick as a gun so I grabbed it off him and did a few British Army drill movements with it. Huan took a few stills with the Nikon but the sun was really in the wrong place and they didn’t turn out so well. I did convert one to sepia so here I am doing a bayonet charge!

Of course, I had to have my photo taken with both of the men. I wonder why they insist on doing this but then never offer to share the photos. They said they would walk down with us but we soon lost them, they couldn’t keep up. They were all younger than Huan as well!

As for us, we had had a phone call from the post office in the morning to tell us ‘we had mail’. We popped in on our way home, which gave us a good distance of eleven kilometres today. Now I thought the mail would have been Huan’s birthday card, sent by one of my sisters weeks ago, but it turned out to be two Christmas cards. One was from the same sister and her family and the other from one of my brothers and his family. We are now displaying very early Christmas cards!

There then followed a very lazy day…

November 18th Before Huan started having music classes five days a week, Monday was always a rest day from strenuous exercise, such as walks. I’ve decided I need to go back to that routine, unless of course rain has stopped play too much in the week before. So, this morning after she had left and I’d finished my nice relaxing after breakfast coffee I decided it was time to take the car for a wash. Now I know some of you will be saying “Why don’t you wash it yourself, you lazy good for nothing!” The answer to that is of course that we live in an apartment on the seventh floor and I haven’t got a hosepipe that long! The car, which has no name yet, even after four years, was also the next item on the agenda, top up the fuel tank while I remember.

Next up I thought I would get some of today’s shopping out of the way so set off for the local supermarket. I should have guessed by how many cars were in the car park that it was a bad idea. Obviously, a lot more snowbirds have arrived. Once inside there wasn’t a sign of a trolley anywhere and the ‘up’ escalator was crowded. I did a rapid U-turn and went home.

I still found something to do though, I put myself on ‘latrine duty’, I think that’s what we called it in the army. Both toilets, both sinks and the bath were given a good old seeing to. The C-in-C was most impressed when she came home!

No afternoon sleep today because I had failed with my shopping plan so we had to go out and do that instead. Being within the Hainan lunch hour, (11:30-14:30) the supermarket was easy, hardly any people at all and most definitely no crowds.

Evening time I decided I need to do a lot more concerted practice on just one song and one set of chords or we’ll never get our Christmas song done. Why is the ‘F chord’ so difficult?’

PS If anyone can think of a name for the car, you can put it in the comments. It’s official name is “Dongfeng AX7”. There will be no grand prize, only the honour of being mentioned in next month’s blog.

November 19th The weather was very overcast again today so I left the big camera at home. I shouldn’t have done, it cleared up as I was making all my dog’s legs around the town to get the requisite ten kilometres. Ah well, c’est la vie! Even though I only had my phone I still took a few pictures. One of the things I love about nature is how, if it’s left to its own devices, it soon springs back to life. This is a place we haven’t walked for a couple of years, maybe three, and when we did last go there you could see the ‘ground’. Just look at it now.

Having walked through it my boots were a little dirty so what to do? Well, what any normal person would of course, stand on a small weir and clean them! You don’t want to see my boots again though so here’s a picture of the weir.

As expected, I was home before Huan so I had the first of three practices on the guitar today. It’s really not easy! I’ll keep trying but the Christmas song may well be delayed, or lost on the internet! At least my practicing is only short periods, you can’t play guitar all day until you are pretty good at it. Her Ladyship’s practicing is a different matter completely. I just told her I’m moving out to a hotel for some peace and quiet. The time is nine thirty in the evening. What was her response? “The other husbands are complaining too”!

November 20th this morning, I felt like an old man when I woke up, didn’t fancy getting out of bed, didn’t fancy walking, even having a wash and cleaning my teeth was a chore. It may have had something to do with Huan singing until midnight! I don’t think she really wanted to stop then either. Trying to get her to understand that she was not only likely to damage her vocal chords with so much use, (she doesn’t believe me), but that her brain would be getting very tired too and hence prone to mistakes, was a lost cause. Despite me showing her singing tutorials on YouTube, translating articles for her and generally trying to help her, she thinks she knows better. I tried…

I did get out of bed of course and I did go for a walk. It wasn’t long, there were no hills and it wasn’t fast. Not a great deal to show you except the empty shopping centre which is still empty. Why do they build these places I wonder?

Before I went out I had practiced on the guitar and I repeated that again when I got home. ‘Cooked’ Huan’s lunch for her, strange woman that she is, sweet potatoes with nothing else. I think it reminds her of when she was young. Another guitar practice was done in the afternoon. Personally, I don’t see a great deal of improvement yet. Maybe a listener would.

Having not walked enough his morning I joined the ladies on their walk to the town square, having a good old gripe on the way about Huan and her homework. I may not be alone, the other husbands are not over impressed either, but I am the only one who has to listen to it until midnight. The same notes are sung over and over again before they are recorded and then sent to the teacher via their WeChat group, within a deadline. Thank God we didn’t have all this technology when I was at school. Anyway, back to the dancing girls, there were seven when I left them, “The Secret Seven” and eight when I got back. The internet is failing me with “famous eights” except for the US Gang of Eight which is not really apt, so I think I’ll settle for “The ‘Orrible Octet”! I did take some photos but none of them were very good so you can have a street lamp against the sky instead.

November 21st Sometimes when I go out in the morning I have no idea which way I’m going to go. Living where we do, there are a limited number of options for getting off the beaten track. Once you are in the forests you have no idea where you are and there are no Ordnance Survey maps to help. Also, I miss Huan walking with me these days, she is singing five days a week in the mornings. She did suggest stopping the three mornings that aren’t “school” but she enjoys it so much, it would be wrong for me to agree.

Anyway, today I decided to take the ‘first turn right’ off the main road towards Sanya, just to remind myself where it goes. First it passes a fish farm cum restaurant which we think we’ve seen advertised recently but it looks as if the business is not yet off the ground. It’s a pretty place though and should be OK once it’s open. This is the fish pond, the restaurant buildings are mostly out of the picture to the right.

There is a nice new concrete road up to the farm so I followed that. A couple of workmen told me that there was no way for me to walk through so in my not so good Chinese I assured them that there was and that I had been there before. What I had forgotten of course was that when Huan and I last came through the farm, we came down the hill. I was faced with this.

I soon realised where I was going though and was even able to guide a couple of snowbirds walking in the reverse direction to me. The track gives way to a road which then brings us back onto what shall from now onwards be called ‘the first turn off’. Today’s will henceforth be known as ‘the second turn off’.

Today’s wildlife includes the first pig I’ve seen for ages and some fish, from another small fish farm. The pig looked to be quite old and I couldn’t get it move at all. The fish on the other hand, were very young.

All in all it was a very pleasant walk and it was over the daily ten. I must remember to take Huan that way again, she’ll enjoy it. No afternoon sleeps for either of us today although I must admit I came dangerously close to it. Huan was doing her homework. This time they had a piece of music to listen to and then they had to sing it ‘for teacher’. I get to listen to all their responses of course and I pointed out to Huan, that without exception, they were all singing it wrong, well the last couple of bars anyway. She could hear what I meant but I’m not sure if that’s what she sent, she listens too much to the others.

This week I found a ‘packet curry’ in the cupboards, it had been there while so I said I would cook today. Remembering back to the days of ‘Vesta’ curries in the UK I did wonder what it would be like. The first surprise was opening the packet, it’s like an enormous ‘oxo’ cube, segmented like a bar of chocolate. The instructions showed a segment being added at a time so that’s what I did. The residue from the packet tried very hard to stick to the bottom of the pan, so, if we buy it again, I will ignore the instructions and use boiling water and a jug before adding it to the rest of our chosen ingredients. The second surprise was that it was very tasty. I would have preferred it a little spicier but Huan was happy with it as it was. If you are in China, or see this packet elsewhere, give it a go!

November 22nd We were surrounded by clouds this morning so I was a very lazy boy. First I did a little guitar practice. Then, because I felt a little cold, I put my dressing gown on and proceeded to do nothing at all! After lunch I wasn’t quite so bad, I did some Chinese review and a little more guitar practice. Oh, I also had to take Huan’s proof of life photo, the one we have to do twice a year for her pension. Previously, she’s always had to hold up “today’s newspaper”, which makes sense. This time however, she just had to hold a calendar with today’s date marked, which to me, doesn’t make much sense at all!

Having not walked at all in the morning or afternoon, I decided an evening one was necessary and that I would not start off with the ‘orrible eight’, because they walk so slow.

Surprise, surprise, I was not alone this evening. ‘Water Lily’, a.k.a. the dance teacher, was not well so dancing was cancelled. This meant that Huan was walking with me. I decided to take her the reverse way to my last walk, I knew she would enjoy that. Like me, she likes to get out of the immediate city and onto the tracks through the woods. When we got nearer the fish farm cum restaurant, we could see, from our vantage point higher up, that there were lights on around a pond we hadn’t seen before. We made our way there and found the restaurant, and pond, that are both actually operational. There was a chap fishing and a few people in the restaurant. I did take a few pictures, unfortunately, none of them were any good!

We carried on, heading towards the river, to make our way home. To our surprise, when we got to the main road there was a lot of activity going on. A couple of ladies on one side of the road were waving poles with streamers on. Huan took photos of them; guess what, none turned out well enough. Across the road some dancers, we believe from Xinjiang, were waiting to start. I took a few photos here. The dancers didn’t start while we were waiting but what you can see is just how many snowbirds were also there. PS There were just as many people on the other side of the road with the streamer ladies.

Back home we went, along the river side, and even more snowbirds were seen, all over the place. One group, from Huan’s Monday, Wednesday and Thursday classes, were down at the river’s edge singing. Another much larger group was by the Fodelai hotel, also singing. In fact there were crowds of people every where. I think it’s safe to say that winter has arrived up north! We also found the start / finish line of the amateur triathlon that’s taking place in Wuzhishan tomorrow. It’s a four kilometre run, a four kilometre swim and a sixteen kilometre cycle race. It seems not all participants have to enter the cycle race. I’m not really sure where they will have people swim four kilometres either. It’s not possible in the river unless they go upriver and downriver many times. Just in case you were wondering, no, we are not entering! Actually, I’m not allowed, too old, and we can’t have Huan going alone now, can we? We do have free tickets for the after event party in the town square tomorrow evening though, including one free beer each. I know I’ll be forced to drink Huan’s to make sure she doesn’t get all red and itchy!

November 23rd What a busy day we had today, and it’s not finished yet. Our walk was almost identical to yesterday’s, except that we turned right after the fish farm thus joining the main road just a little further away from home. The moon was stronger than the sun this morning so it was a very pleasant day for walking. The reason we took the same route was so that we could come back along the riverside and check out the farmer’s market again. First up for you are some cute little chickens, priced at only ¥4.00 each. People will buy them today to take home and fatten up before Chinese New Year, poor little mites.

Next up are some creatures I don’t think you’d like in your camp bed at night time. Now, just for a change, these were not for eating, but to show where the Chinese medicine, that the man was selling, came from. I was reminded of the snake oil salesmen of the old wild west!

And lastly for this morning, something that everyone wants, particularly every mother. I well remember mine telling us “Money doesn’t grow on trees you know!” She was wrong!

Being Saturday we were back to a fried breakfast of course, not quite a full English this week, we’ve run out of bacon until our next trip up north. After a little rest we were then off shopping. Now I know the weekly shop is usually Monday, but it’s the supermarket’s birthday and today was the last day. Spend ¥100.00 and get a voucher for ¥50.00. That’s what they said. When Huan got to the information counter to get our vouchers they only gave her ¥80.00, telling her that they had run out. When she told me I dragged her back to complain further and pointed out that we had spent ¥390.00 and therefore should have received vouchers for 50% of that amount. Someone was visibly losing face and still maintained that “there were no vouchers left, what could she do, it wasn’t her fault”. Someone slightly higher up the ladder then turned up and rooted around in the drawer and topped us up to ¥130.00 which, while still not correct, at least was better than ¥80.00. We’re still not sure whether they did actually run out of vouchers or if they were trying to cheat people.

Huan then went for another visit to the dentist while I drove home and ‘struggled’ upstairs with all the shopping. The day is still not over, we have to attend the event in the square tonight, I now know it’s the “Closing Ceremony” of the “Wuzhishan Adventure Challenge” and includes, as well as the free beer, a raffle. There will also be a brass jazz performance, a Li fashion show and a DJ, that could be where the ‘foreigner’ comes in. Quite what all the snowbirds will make of a western style DJ I’m not sure. The whole event is due to last only two and a half hours, starting at seven o’clock. We’ll see how it goes.

Well it seems like we had quite a few things wrong. This was an ‘International’ triathlon, probably with only people from Hainan though. Thirteen nations were represented with three hundred competitors, at least according to tonight’s compère. I didn’t see that many but there were a lot. I had a chat to the compère, Frank, before the start to tell him about Tropical Hainan and suggest he sent the completed video to them for publishing. If that happens, I will try and remember to share it for you. One young lady from India, whose name I either didn’t get, or forgot, told me that she is a reader of this blog. Whoever, you are, I’m sorry about your name, you can put me to rights in the comments. It wasn’t a bad evening although it wasn’t quite as we expected it to be. Our tickets were only for beer and sitting ‘outside the fenced off area’. However, Frank invited us in so we got a better view. The show was pretty good, with a break for the prizegiving in the middle. The prizes were for stays in local resorts and were well worth winning. There were even prizes for the children, both rollerblading and cycling. I took a lot of photos as usual and a, not very good, video. I’m not going to put them all here; hopefully, we will get a link for the whole thing for you sometime in the future. I will show just one, the final disco, with DJs Matthew and Matt. They were not bad at all!

November 24th After a late night last night, not the event, but the video editing afterwards, we both managed to be up early enough for a nice walk this morning. Today’s route was up the main street, take the second turning, and around the back way to the third then into the countryside. Usually we go to a village up there then turn around and come back. Today we were not on the road but on small tracks through the fields so we went a long way past the village. Struggling to the top of a hill we thought we might be able to reach ‘turn off four’ by going over the top. It wasn’t to be, at least not today anyway. This was the view when we got there, with no apparent way forward.

We retraced our steps and then just before we got back to the village I took this photo, it’s Huan’s favourite of the day. I couldn’t get closer without falling in the water.

This one was my favourite, again I couldn’t get closer, not because I would fall in the water but because the cat kept escaping whenever I got nearer.

After a stop in the village for some much needed water, and a chat with a couple of old ladies, we made our way back home. Huan needed to plant the flowers she had nicked from the mountainside and I needed to cook our Sunday brunch.

Afternoon was a salty bath for me and another dentist visit for Huan. The dentist stuck some medicine in her tooth and told her to come back again in a few days. This was met with much displeasure by her Ladyship of course, but I pointed out that it’s not costing her a fortune, she’s not in pain and I’m sure the dentist knows what he’s doing.

No rest for Huan, after our evening sarnies she was off dancing again and then to stand outside the supermarket with all the other ladies to see who’s won the raffle. PS She got home just after ten, left early because the raffle still hadn’t been drawn. It was advertised as half past eight, obviously that was for all the other rubbish first!

November 25th I’m glad I decided Monday’s would be ‘lazy’ days again and today there wasn’t even any shopping to do. Huan went out to school, I had a slow start to a relaxing morning. I did do three practice sessions on the guitar and another eleven Chinese review tests so I wasn’t a complete layabout. In the afternoon even Huan relaxed with some TV, no ‘earworms’ for me to put up with for a change. After some more guitar practice, I got lost down YouTube where I found a UK television programme called ‘Taskmaster’. The first episode had me in fits of laughter and even better; this appears to have been put up legally so I’ll be able to watch more. After dinner, it was a D2 evening for Huan, even more guitar for me, the next Chinese lesson in the course and some more YouTube. I also got some reading in today, finished a book by Paul Bishop and started one by David Kagan. All in all it wasn’t a bad day, lazy and busy at the same time. No photos of course!

November 26th Orders for the day, as given to me by the 2IC, (me), a bit of escape and evasion, just like the good old army days. I was to escape from the house and evade the rain. Well about one and a half kilometres out, I felt I was doing very well, the sun had come out to play, giving me this wonderful view.

However, at the four kilometre mark it became obvious that the sun had gone home and wasn’t going to come out again.

I plotted a new course, and being the fool that I am, made sure it would give me the six kilometres I needed to make ten. The last one was a wet one! As for the ‘escape’ part of the plan, well the good old “bungee cord of love” pulled me right back home again! That was just as well though, it gave me time to prepare the cheese and onion baps for the C-in-C’s lunch, and mine of course.

The afternoon was spent trying to make sense of Huan’s homework. They were given a few bars of notes and then told to write the ‘sonophones’ of these notes in the bars below. Google translated the Chinese to ‘sonophones’, which I understood as ‘sounds the same’. A more accurate description would be enharmonic equivalents. What was making this very difficult, apart from the language differences, was that Huan’s book has answers in it and the answers to the first exercise were wrong! For example, the enharmonic equivalent of the note C was shown as C with two flats, instead of D with two flats. Now obviously bbC does not sound the same as C, but bbD does. With the aid of Huan’s keyboard I was able to explain what I meant although I wasn’t sure that Huan was quite getting the idea. Having said that, she saw that the answers to the second exercise were correct, in the manner that I had explained. Now she will be able to explain it to her classmates who, also being totally confused, had been sending her WeChat messages all afternoon. As ‘singers’, they should never have to bother with double flats or double sharps so maybe this is just a way of getting them to learn more about music.

The rain eased off enough for Huan’s dama dancing, so I was able to do some guitar and Chinese, not really enough of either though!

November 27th No ‘real’ walk this morning, I was under orders to meet the ‘class’ for lunch, yet another teacher is leaving. This one is going back up north for a while, something about giving and receiving annual bonuses. Chinese New Year will be in January next year. The ‘Fab Four’ were on their bikes today, three normal and one electric so they were going straight from the class to the restaurant. Muggins was walking! “Get there by eleven” was the command as they would finish class early. I was there, on time, and guess what? The class finished late! Mind you, that gave me a chance to not only have a drink and a rest but also to video them arriving. Here they are, posing!

The class or I suppose you could say, the choir, has grown considerably. The food was great and interspersed throughout the lunch there were quite a few solos. Once everybody had had their fill, the choir all sang together to finish off the occasion. Here’s a not very good screen shot of the video I filmed.

The ladies cycled home together, and I walked home, alone… (sniff, sniff). Actually, I quite enjoyed it, the sun was hiding behind the clouds and I walked down by the riverside. Come evening time and they were off on their bikes again, first to the town square for dancing and then down to the riverside for even more singing. That left me “alone again, naturally”. (Can you remember the song?) I did go out; I needed to make up the distance from this morning. I had used ‘Endomondo’ to and from the restaurant but it was only around six and a half kilometres, not enough! Eight kilometres this evening made it better. I walked back along the riverside, and on the way I heard, coming towards me the dulcet tones of “meow, meow etc”. It was only the Fab Four cycling down to their singing spot and getting some practice in on the way. And they think I’m crazy…

November 28th this morning, I was out by half past seven but I didn’t go for a ‘twenty’ or anything like that, because I wanted some guitar practice before lunch. It was still a long enough walk though, just over thirteen kilometres in just under three hours. That also included photography and video stops as I had the Fuji with me today. The weather did worry me part of the way through, a ‘big wind’ came up, but then it went down again and there was no rain to go with it. Cloud cover also kept me reasonably cool.

So what did I see today? First off, very near the house, I saw a caterpillar that I had never seen before; its legs look like fern leaves.

To start with, I had no idea where I was going today, but my feet led me to the quiet of the countryside again. Sometimes, we forget which roads we have been on, especially if it’s been a while. One such road took me to this signpost where I remembered we couldn’t go any further last time. Going up one side of the sign brings you down the other side!

Dogs, ducks, chickens and geese were seen aplenty but I decided you don’t need to see them today. Instead, here’s another insect I’ve never seen before, this one looks like it’s dressed up for an officer’s mess dinner.

Next, I found myself in the middle of a herd of cows. I had been taking a video of my walk, stopped to take some photos of them and then went closer to take anther video. They were grazing and just kept coming, some of them even nuzzling me, it was quite an experience. In the past I have had the occasional cow be brave enough to come and ‘say hello’, today I guess I was just ‘in their way’ and lucky enough that they continued on the same path. Here are a couple of screen shots from the video.

I carried on walking, leaving ‘my friends’ to their food, and finished making the video. A few more photos were taken on the way home, I thought you may fancy seeing another ‘many-legged’ creature, this one is a crab. It’s in the water, not so very easy to take a photo of, but you should be able to see it. This was in an irrigation ditch next to the rice paddies.

After that, I still managed to get home by half past ten and do as I’d promised myself, some guitar before lunch. I wonder how many years it takes to get that ‘F’ chord! Being early also gave me some more Chinese review, that’s almost as difficult as the ‘F’ chord. Mind you, I did understand maybe half of what the lady in the lift said this afternoon when I went down to collect Huan’s latest Taobao purchase. What did Huan buy? Shoes, of course!

November 29th We were surrounded by fog this morning, or as I prefer to think, we were in the clouds. That gave me a chance for a quick guitar practice before going out, but also meant I would have to have two walks today. First, I wasted a lot of time watching an excavator mixing concrete in a large hole at the side of the river. He was then filling up the buckets of two bulldozers, one large and one small. I could see where the large one was taking his load, to make the foundation of the riverside path a bit further down. The smaller one actually left the river and disappeared over the other side somewhere. I don’t know if he was taking a ‘freebie’ somewhere or it was an official delivery. Anyway, here’s the mixing pot.

On the way home, another weird and wonderful beastie was spotted. It was moving incredibly fast but I did manage a couple of photos, here’s one.

Huan had another trip to the dentist this afternoon, complete with whinges about the number of visits she was having to make and how much it was going to eventually cost. For those of you back in the UK, it will cost her about £45.00 this time. That’s for a replacement filling. I think she’d be happier to go to the dentist with no doors to the street, but I’m happier that she goes to this one.

November 30th The ‘better half’ was a little on the sleepy side this morning. When I got up she was having a good old snore! Consequently, I decided an amble was probably better than a walk today. Our first photo is Huan in the wishing well, I bet you are wondering how I got under the water!

Our route home took us through the Saturday farmer’s market where we took only a few more pictures this week. You’ve seen most of what is on offer but today we have ‘fresh’ peanut oil coming from a factory built in the back of a van.

And I’m not sure if you saw this little creature before. Instead of showing you one squashed into a very small cage, I’ll show you the advert, without the telephone numbers of course. 果子狸 (guǒzi lí) means ‘civet’.

And lastly, in fact the last photo of the day and coincidentally, the last photo of the month is one of me and “Second Brother”. That is his name, in Chinese 二弟, (Èr dì). Whenever he sees me he goes crazy. If his ‘mum’ is holding him, it’s not a problem but if it’s ‘grandma’, like today, she worries far too much. Huan did try and get a photo of him trying to lick me to death but unfortunately that one wasn’t clear.

Walkies for me in the evening and a walk to the square for Huan followed by a limousine ride down to the riverside. She went to watch a show produced by her classmates and I went to make up my ten kilometres.

And that’s it, another month over. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? It certainly flies as you get older! Take care all, see you next month.

Unclebob 7 days ago 0 55
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