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Life in Hainan, Wuzhishan, June 2019

June 1st “June is bustin’ out all over!” (Rodgers & Hammerstein). Their song of course was about sunshine and the onset of good weather etc. Well here, it is the rain that is bustin’ out all over. We had just about gone one kilometre from home when it started. We persevered, walking under shop awnings and the like but of course we ended up wet, again! The Nikon was wet too but we did manage one almost clean screenshot.

Almost home, after a few hundred metre detour to make sure we got at least five kilometres today, and we came across another ‘impression’ of what the island in front of our house is supposed to look like by the end of this year. I can’t quite see it myself unless they build a better dam just downriver from us. What’s more worrying though is the potential noise that will come from there. There is a park near our place in Ledong and the noise often goes on until after midnight. Just in case you wondered, yes, our bedroom does face the island. Oh, and the finished island will not be ‘stretched’ as it is in this impression!

Just to spite us, for a change, it didn’t rain in the afternoon today. Of course that’s also the hottest time of the day so no walk then. Even worse is that it came back in the evening, but not for long enough to keep us in. This meant Huan went dancing and I had to go walkies!

In addition, I spent most of the afternoon and the evening trying to get communication from my PC sorted out. The people who help are reasonably good but not always so easy to contact. After speaking to two of their ‘agents’ the problem was sorted, or so I thought. After dinner I lost the connection again and couldn’t remake it.

June 2nd We were caught by the weather again today, thinking the rain was going to come early. We waited, and when it didn’t come we went out around nine o’clock. We were doing well and then seven kilometres out the rain came. It didn’t make much difference by then, we were already drenched in sweat. At least the rain here is not too cold! So, what photos do we have for you today? Well the first is someone who was markedly slower than us. Do you think he knew he was having his photo taken?

The second is a blaze of colour. Huan didn’t like it at all; she said it made her feel sick. Can you guess what it is?

Staying with the animal kingdom, the third and last photo was this little chick. It was alone, no idea if it had any siblings or where its parents may have been.

Today’s photos don’t quite seem as good as usual but that may be because I am not using the Fuji until I get the screen protectors from Taobao. That should be in a day or two.

Anyway, once home we decided the ‘full English’ could wait until dinner time and we had mangoes followed by iced coffee for lunch instead. After this morning’s walk, fourteen kilometres, I stayed in while Huan went dancing. I spent the evening with ‘no connectivity’ again and not much sign of when the problem would be sorted.

June 3rd Monday, which means rest day, no walking, just shopping. We did have a few Taobao deliveries today though and it was my duty to go down each time and collect the parcels. Easy job, nobody could get it wrong, eh? To be fair, I didn’t actually get it wrong, my flip flops did. The right one decided to ‘slide on ahead’ which caused me to go into splits mode, (almost), and the left one turned up underneath my foot, in the process, pushing my toes down into the concrete. I doubt there will be any fast walking, or boots, tomorrow!

Needless to say, when Huan went out for her dancing time, I didn’t go with her. I stayed home, with, lucky for me, a ‘connection resumed’ to the rest of the world. That kept me amused for a while and I did my Yoyo Chinese of course.

June 4th As mentioned yesterday, no boots today, not a fast walk and not a long one either. Just our luck as well, the rain has not turned up today! Huan was happy with not being out too long, it meant she could use three of her Taobao packages. As well as dancing and singing she has now decided to try and learn how to play the keyboard. We already had one of those but no stand, no stool and no power supply. All those arrived yesterday so this is Huan today, (happy as a pig in ****), in the gif that I uploaded to Facebook!

The rain stayed away so when Huan went dancing I went walking, just to make sure I got my ten kilometres in today. I didn’t make it. However, I did talk to seven of my local friends, six Labradors, or mixes thereof, (four golden, one black and one white) and then a husky.

June 5th Another beautiful day today, not a sign of rain anywhere. I was alone again because Huan was at her singing lessons. I kept my pace fairly slow, around four kilometres an hour and stayed out for two hours. That’s your maths homework for today. My toe is getting better. Last night we stopped in at the pharmacy, chemists or as we call it, the medicine shop. Just like the UK we often ask the pharmacist for advice rather than visit the doctor’s. I guess he used to be a football physiotherapist because he presented me with a ‘magic spray’. Looking at the box I must say I had my doubts, we even explained to him that my toe was bleeding from the base of the nail. “You can still use it” he told us and lo and behold, he was right. I used it last night and my toe looked a lot better this morning, less pain too. Here’s the spray.

Usual evening, dancing for Huan and a little stroll for me, I did manage to reach the magic total of ten kilometres today.

June 6th Still in sandals, toe getting better but calf is painful, possibly because of walking strangely with my toe. We walked around the town and river for eight kilometres though which means I should reach ten easily enough today. The only photo from today was this little critter. There was one of him going for my feet but that didn’t turn out so well.

Huan’s singing class is in the afternoon on a Thursday and for a change, I went out with her. Once I had walked her and her singing partner there I carried on walking, for yet another eight kilometres. That means of course that I easily made the ten. Are you suitably impressed? I know I am. Sometimes walking around the town we can find little gems, like this one, a beautiful water feature in front of someone’s apartment block. Even better, it’s not all dried out as they often are.

They also had some nice places to sit down but you don’t need to see them. I will show you this next picture though, a building named after me!

Well, not quite. It would appear that someone got the English wrong, especially the spelling. Here’s the inside of the “building”! Do you think they meant “Body Building”?

Having done my target today I let Huan go dancing alone and stayed home for Yoyo Chinese, Facebook and watching Youtube.

June 7th Another beautiful day in our little corner of the world and another walk around the countryside. Our first job was to be good Samaritans again, this time for a little gecko minus its tail. It was on the path and seemed to have no idea where to go, perhaps it was a baby. Huan picked it up and put it in the grass verge. I took a couple of photos but they didn’t turn out so well. Later on we came across a bunch of villagers harvesting their fish. Today is the first day of Duanwu Festival (端午节) more commonly known as the ‘Dragon Boat Festival’ and the village was going to have a communal feast this evening. We watched them go ‘one way’ and filmed it after which they were going to do a return run to get some more.

Heading back towards home we came across this. Never mind that it’s a road, it seems like a perfect place to put your crops to dry. Huan told she thought this was black rice.

The afternoon was difficult, I could hardly keep my eyes open. Huan had decided that we shouldn’t have a nap today. What she didn’t tell me was that while I was struggling in the office she would be flat out on the sofa making zzzzs.

Having done nine kilometres this morning not too many were needed this evening but I went out before Huan’s dancing practice and got another six in anyway. No dogs today but for a change, a cat. We see cats around but more often than not they won’t come anywhere near us. This one did, and let me make a fuss of it, although getting its picture wasn’t so easy.

Today, apart from being the first day of the Dragon Boat Festival was also the first day of this year’s Gaokao examinations. This is the hardest test that Chinese students ever have to take and it lasts two or three days. If you’d like to know more, Wikipedia has this - This year, ten million students will sit it. Our little town is no exception of course and the local government does their bit to help. They block the roads off near the school where the exams are held, and if you should have to go that way, because you live there, they also forbid the use of horns. Here’s a couple of the road signs which will be put back in place again tomorrow morning.

June 8th Well, aren’t we blessed, another wonderful day with not a drop of rain in sight. My plan today was to walk eighteen kilometres and get the electric bus back. Unfortunately, after just over six kilometres the commander in chief insisted we walk back home which meant we only got just over thirteen kilometres in. Still, I shouldn’t complain, that’s more than the target ten per day isn’t it? Somebody was terribly British today though, socks and sandals. For some reason these sandals have been chafing my feet, none of the previous five or seven pairs have. Never mind, no Brits here to extract the Michael!

Having done all that exercise in the morning I had a restful day, not even going out for an evening walk. I let Huan go dancing on her own while I did my Chinese lessons and then played with my Ultrasonic bath. I wonder if they could make human size ones that would make all these layers of fat disappear!

June 9th It looked like it was going to be a scorcher today but luckily for us the sun hid behind the clouds for most of our walk, ten kilometres for Huan, fourteen for me. My outside legs were good for more, but my inside leg told me to go home, quickly! As we were walking so fast not many pictures were taken today. We did see this specimen, which unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, had already popped its clogs. It would have been good to see it mobile, from a respectable distance of course.

Tomorrow we have to take a drive again so today we had another trip to the tyre shop as the ‘onboard computer’ keeps telling me my front right tyre has low pressure. This time they decided that the computer is still reacting to the wrong wheel from when two of the tyres were rotated in the past. The rear left tyre had a nail in it and that was the cause of the problem. I think I need to study how these things actually work. Remember I said it looked like it would be a scorcher today? This was the temperature when we went out.

Nice relaxing evening for me, a soak in the bath, some Chinese and some ‘Bill’ while Huan went out for some more exercise, dancing.

June 10th Awake most of the night, or at least it felt like it. We had set the phone alarm for half past three in order to get to the hospital early enough for the car park. Maybe we were worried about oversleeping? The longest stretch I had seemed to be from quarter to three until half past. Anyway, we were up on time and out on the road just after four. There was no queue for the car park and we were in by just after half past six allowing us to go and have breakfast before joining the inside queues. This was the queue for the downstairs cash desk at twenty past seven, ten minutes before they opened.

We were queuing up on the second floor which was a little easier. The first queue is to arrange and pay for your doctor’s appointment. You then go the relevant department and queue again there to actually see him. Because mine is a repeat prescription we managed to get through a little quicker. After that, you return to the cash desk and join the queue again to pay for your medication. Once that is done you go to yet another window, give them your prescription plus proof of payment, and wait again. The last hurdle is to take your medication downstairs again to the nurse who will treat you, not much of a queue there. Of course, for me, this is the worst part. It was a different nurse this time, with a different method, and it hurt more! Most of that is my fear of needles though. I said to Huan that maybe next month she can take a video of it; I still haven’t seen the needle yet!

Being so early has its benefits, we were out of the hospital before nine o’clock and could get on with the more pressing matter of shopping. First stop was the wholesale market for some more sausages and bacon. Second stop was ‘Corner’s Deli’ for cream, cheese, butter etc. They are refurbishing the store so many of the things we like were not available. Hopefully they’ll be done by next month. Last stop was ‘RT Supermarket’ for some of their wonderful sliced bread. Back on the road home than, stopping at Tungshan rest stop for Huan to have some lunch, I didn’t feel like it, too many drinks this morning. Getting back in the car the temperature was even hotter than the picture you’ve already seen, this time 43ºC.

We thought our luck was changing a little later on. There was this enormous noise and then the windscreen was covered in what looked like bird poo. We English think that’s a lucky omen, the Chinese think the opposite. As it happens it wasn’t birds at all but we didn’t know that until I stepped through the video frame by frame. We must have gone straight through an insect migration and travelling over 100kph we didn’t see them. You can get an idea from this picture though, and the windscreen was a right mess after. It was in fact a ‘cluster’ or ‘flight’ of dragonflies. (PS I had to Google the collective noun.)

Evening was a very short walk for ‘dinner out’ and then dancing for Huan, dashcam for me.

June 11th Well we both slept well last night! Tuesday today but as we were absent from Wuzhishan yesterday, today became shopping day. Another day’s rest with no walking, I wasn’t complaining. In fact I still had to take an afternoon nap!

June 12th Wednesday today so singing lessons for Huan and a solo walk for me. My plan was to walk almost eighteen kilometres but somewhere along the way I took a wrong turning. I realised when after seventeen kilometres I was going uphill and not finding it easy going at all. I had to retrace my steps which meant I had done twenty and a half kilometres when I reached the ‘electric bus’ stop. Lots of cold water needed on the way including an extra bottle at the bus stop to pour over my head! No photos taken today, I was going too fast but I did get a couple of short videos. The first was a wedding procession, note how the most expensive cars are at the front.

The second was a herd of cows with the farmer and a car trying to pass them. Spot the cow giving me the eye. He, or she, made sure to give me a very wide berth after.

Walking home from the bus stop was not very easy I can tell you. Restful afternoon with a nap followed by a long soak in the bath. Needless to say, I did not accompany Huan to her dama dancing in the evening!

June 13th Another solo walk today, Huan was off to court, along with two other members of the ‘committee of eleven”. We left the house together and it was worth it just to see the face of the leader of the eleven. I’m not sure what she was more worried about, me going with them, how to fit me in the car or the fact that I was dressed for walking complete with obligatory boots, hat and Keymission camera! Huan explained and she visibly relaxed.

So, after yesterdays long, fairly fast walk, I decided a more local one was needed today and just went up the scenic walk in town. Here I am, at the bridge, just before crossing and coming down again. I was walking slower, but still sweating cobblers!

Still, once up to the bridge, the descent is mostly under the trees, so nice and shady. I was doing a Keymission video again today which probably explains why this photo doesn’t look as I wanted it to. Memo to self, sort out the Fuji!!

As expected, I was home long before Huan today, I only walked twelve kilometres in two and a half hours, much more relaxing than yesterday. Anyway, when Huan returned I asked about the news from the court and it seems we are still in the realms of maybes and possibilities. She thinks the judge will come down on the side of the eleven, mostly because the maintenance company haven’t had a contract since the beginning of this year. Of course, we don’t know for certain and now we have to wait, again…

The afternoon saw Huan out again, this time for her Thursday singing lesson. I stayed in, did the blog, did some more Chinese study.

In the evening I decided that as I had done my ‘ten’ today I wouldn’t accompany Huan to her dancing. To be honest, I knew that after yesterday’s fast twenty kilometres I would be a bit stiff today but I hadn’t realised quite how stiff. My calves are fine, probably due to this morning’s walk but my thighs are not so good. I also have pain in my lower back and for some strange reason in my shoulders and upper arms. I’m sure I was only walking and not marching like my army days!

Huan called me from the town square, there was a show on. China celebrates its Intangible Cultural Heritage on the second Saturday of June so it was a Li minority show. (I know, today’s Thursday!) It included a variety of Li customs and traditions such as bamboo dancing and weaving. I didn’t join them, I didn’t really feel up to it and the photos they took are not good enough to use here. However, if you want to know more about the weaving you can follow this link to UNESCO’s Youtube channel: -

June 14th Today started off with us both trying to analyse the weather. Looking at the sky and the clouds we both thought it was going to rain. Huan’s phone said it would rain today. One of my weather channels said it was raining already, the other said it would rain by eleven o’clock and that it had rained on this day 28 out of the last 30 years! We had another look at the sky and clouds and decided it was worth the risk and what do you know, it was. We made sure we didn’t stray too far but still walked over seven kilometres around the town. As I write this (12:37pm), the rain still hasn’t appeared even though all our weather channels tell us it is raining here now. No photos taken again this morning, just a short video of a little beastie, I think it was a centipede, which I made sure I didn’t touch! Screenshots were rubbish!

After dinner the rain still hadn’t shown itself so when Huan went dancing I went to make sure I got my 10k in today. Not having taken any photos today I looked for something especially for you. I found this, on a car bonnet. I have no idea what it is supposed to represent, only that it is something to do with football. If you know, send your answers on a postcard please or put them in the comments below.

And here’s an extra, a screenshot from the little riverside video I made. It’s quite a pleasant walk although unless you’re walking very slowly, it’s a sweaty one!

June 15th Another solo walk today, Huan was not well, I think it’s her menopausal problems again. She gets them every two to three months. Leaving Huan in bed I wondered where I could go for a decent walk but without staying out too long. I decided on the landfill route again. The continuation of the highway to Haitang Wan is slowly coming on, a few more bridge legs are visible now. This is the side you saw before, now with much more to see.

This is the other side of the road, much lower, you can see I am looking down on the scene. They are getting the foundations ready for more legs on this side.

The rain held off while I was out but once again I was drenched anyway, it is all uphill for the first five kilometres. Arriving at the little shop back down in the village it was another bottle of water over my head and one inside my belly! Anyway, I was back home in less than two hours to make sure the boss was OK.

The rains came in the afternoon which in a way was a good thing. Huan was up by dinner time and made herself some rice soup, (not for me, don’t really like it). No full English for us today, I had salty duck egg salad instead. If the rain hadn’t come, Huan would have gone out dancing, much better that she stayed in and rested. It also meant that I couldn’t reach my 10k today, I’ll just have to try and do more tomorrow!

June 16th Her Majesty was feeling better today but didn’t fancy a long walk so once again we kept to the town, still got seven kilometres in though. As we were getting home we were arguing as to whether it was raining or not. Huan was convinced it was, I was convinced it wasn’t. In fact it was less than what we would call ‘spitting with rain’ in the UK. Anyway, neither of us got wet. Once home it was one of my nice iced coffees again and then a break before our ‘Full English’ for lunch which I must say, we both enjoyed very much.

Having not made my target of ten kilometres per day, (except for Mondays and hospital days), either yesterday or this morning I went out before Huan’s dancing to get another five in. That would give me a total of twenty two for the two days, good enough. I got back just before Huan finished her dancing and about a minute before the rain did show its face! Only one photo for you today, the first bridge support to our ‘new island park’. The walkway will be through the middle, the supporting cables over the top. I still can’t see it all being done by the end of the year.

June 17th Shopping day today and, as we had previously had an altercation with those pesky dragonflies, a car wash. Here you can see the before and after pics. Otherwise, NTR!

June 18th Yesterday we received a phone call from the Post Office, there’s a letter for me. I must say it does make life a little easier when they phone, all we have to do is collect the mail. Because of that I kept the distance of our walk reasonably short today and made sure that said Post Office was on our homebound leg. We did get some photos today, even though I still haven’t sorted out the Fuji. We saw another nice water feature but rather than bore you with more of the same, we’ll show you some more ‘test cars’ instead. These were ‘Jeeps’ and not very well disguised at all.

Having wasted a lot of the last couple of days ‘surfing the web’ I decided to get another Chinese lesson in this afternoon. I have been using the flashcards and repeating some quizzes but I hadn’t been as conscientious as I should have been. Bad boy!

Of course having done my Chinese in the afternoon I was free for a short walk in the evening. Not a fast walk, 4.7 kilometres in an hour but I did stop a few times to chat to various four legged friends! Huan did her usual dancing and then brought her friend home along with her laptop for me to sort something out. Unfortunately, as said friend didn’t know the password to get the thing started I could be of no help whatsoever. We’ll try again some other time!

June 19th Wednesday again so my big plan was to walk fifteen kilometres or more, maybe even another twenty. However, hypochondriac Bob took over this morning and I spent a good hour on the internet trying to find out what causes your head to spin. I had woken up in the night and the whole bedroom was spinning, it was very unnerving. I came up with this – “Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This condition causes an intense and brief but false sense that you're spinning or moving. These episodes are triggered by a rapid change in head movement, such as when you turn over in bed, sit up or experience a blow to the head. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.” There were of course many other results but this one seemed to fit my symptoms.

So a very long walk was out of the question. Instead I went on a river, countryside and town walk. This is how I got down to the river, via the storm run off.

I didn’t take any photos but I did take a video, you can see it if you follow this link: - I managed to get more than ten kilometres in, good enough for today.

Huan was out in the evening, dancing, but I stayed in, preparing and uploading the video and of course learning some more Chinese.

June 20th No ‘spinning’ while sleeping last night but I did have a little trouble focusing this morning. This is a minor problem that many people have so I didn’t mention it to Huan. The weather didn’t look so good so on the pretext of possible rain I kept our walk around various streets in the town. Huan was happy that we were home after just seven kilometres. Having tried not to worry her I almost put her into panic mode in the lift. I bent down to start undoing my bootlaces, as I usually do, and everything went haywire. If Huan hadn’t been there I’m fairly sure I would have ended up on the floor. Talk about an intense feeling of spinning, even I was a little worried. I did try not to worry Huan even more though.

Huan went off singing in the afternoon, once I had convinced her I was fine, and I stayed home and cooked today’s dinner. It was chicken curry, made with boneless chicken leg meat, potato, sweet potato, onion, mushroom and a little carrot. I had to have the obligatory side dishes of desiccated coconut and raisins, brings back army memories you know. Huan was well pleased, walking in to dinner on the table!

While Huan was out I was still getting bouts of light headedness which once again I kept quiet about. When she went dancing in the evening I went for a slow walk to make up today’s distance. The first thing I saw was Huan sweeping up the dance area they use.

Someone was being a little nosey and trying to peer through the trees.

And what was he trying to look at? Why, the ladies of course!

I was actually back before Huan, still a little worried that my head is not quite right. No need to panic Huan yet though, I’ll see what it’s like tomorrow. If it’s not improving then maybe I’ll pay a visit to the hospital.

June 21st My head is still not right, some dizzy spells when I turned over in the night. They are even worse if I open my eyes. Decided to give Huan a treat today and we walked around the scenic mountain route. On the way I thought I would take a photo of the signpost, mostly because of an article I read about how companies will not be allowed to use foreign terms in their names. I wonder how tourist spots will fare?

Once we were back into town, we parted ways, I couldn’t convince Huan to continue along with me. I carried on along the riverside, this time walking on the lower path and took a lot of photos. I’ll just share a couple with you. The first was something stuck on the riverside wall. Could it be some kind of insect pod? I did touch it, only with my fingernail though, and it was hard, almost like stone itself. If you know what it is let me know in the comments.

Then, how about some reflections? This one took my fancy.

Lazy rest of the day for me apart from surfing the interwebs looking for piano lessons for Huan and sneakily looking at guitars for me. No decisions yet, only wondering and thinking.

June 22nd Huan needed to go to the phone shop to top up her account and the bank to get some money so we merely meandered through the town this morning. That was probably better for me today, I didn’t sleep so well again last night, had some more dizzy spells too. We decided to check on the possible side effects of my monthly dose of female hormones. Here are some of them: - hot flashes, sweating, headache, dizziness, mood changes, increased or decreased interest in sex, impotence, bone pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite, sleep problems (insomnia), acne, or mild skin rash or itching. Of course it’s also followed by the usual disclaimer – “This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.” Today’s verdict? Only the emergency section of the hospital is open today so we’ll wait and see what I feel like by Monday morning.

In the afternoon, I should have been doing some Chinese but instead I was lost down the Youtube plughole, spiralling ever deeper. I don’t how it started but I ended up listening to a huge amount of late sixties music, good memories though.

Not having got my 10k in the morning I was ‘forced’ to go out again this evening to make sure I got them. Boss’s orders, although she’s not worried about the 10k, just about whether my feet swell or not. Once again, I found someone who goes very slow, down in our entrance hall. I took some photos of it the other day but they were rubbish. In the meantime it has moved another two feet up the wall, I hope this photo is good enough. I was using my phone again, I still haven’t sorted my Fuji out, so this is a crop from the high resolution version. What is the piece sticking out?

June 23rd Huan fancied what she calls the farm side walk today so that’s where we went. Of course we had to take a detour as well, off the road and onto a little path with no idea where we would end up. Still, that’s what makes it fun. Here’s Huan trying to decide which way.

I chose the way she was looking as it still led us away from home. Eventually the path met a concrete road and led us into the village with the school in the middle. I wonder if you remember that one. I knew where we were now so it was off the roads again and through the countryside to the medicine factory. Nothing new to see there. We did spot a snail on the way but I must have had some ‘sweat’ on my lens when I took that photo, not so good. Once back on the road after the medicine factory, at the first village a water stop was called for, internal use and external use! I seemed to be sweating far more than usual today.

From there we had a little more off the road until we completed the circle and ended up back in the ‘school in the middle’ village. Here we came across a couple of pigeons only one of which tried to move away from us, and then only half-heartedly. I think it was looking after the other one which seemed to have a leg problem. Unfortunately there was not a great deal that we could do so we left them for the villagers to find.

Usual full English when we got home followed by a very lazy day for me and music practice for Huan. An even lazier evening followed for me with a nice long soak in the bath with a book while Huan expended even more energy doing her dama dancing.

June 24th Monday came round again so we went shopping again. Otherwise not a lot to talk about, it was just a lazy day. I did try and sort the Fuji out though and got the screen protector fitted. Do you remember this photo from July last year?

At that time, the local government had given up trying to rent these places out and had begun trying to sell them. Well, someone has bought two units in front of our house, that’s the first six windows in the picture above. Just to be nosy we had a walk up to see what was likely to appear there. The ‘man in charge’ said that it would be offices which I thought was a good idea. Now a couple of weeks later we can see the progress that has been made. I certainly wouldn’t fancy working in an office there! They have removed all the front windows and are building internal walls everywhere inside. I should point out that this part of the building has no rear windows. I wonder just what kind of offices they will be.

June 25th I’m still having problems with my head so, much to Huan’s relief, I agreed to go the hospital today. At least it’s not too far from the house, and in a brand new building now too. We do have to go through the same rigmarole as we do in Haikou but being smaller the queues are not so bad.

The usual procedure then followed with the doctor asking questions, translated and relayed to me by Huan, then I answered and vice versa. I doubt my Chinese will ever be good enough to know what’s being said in the hospital. I know Huan asks many things apart from what I ask her to, in this case, where to go if her husband, (me), has a stroke! Bless her. It seems this hospital can now deal with stroke cases as long as we get there quickly enough. Let’s hope it never comes to that. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, the doctor came up with exactly the same diagnosis that I did on the 19th, BPPV, I hope she wasn’t using Google too. She prescribed this Chinese medicine for me, I have to take five capsules, three times a day. I’ll be rattling!

This medicine is for high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia and headache caused by the above diseases, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia, etc. Seems all possible avenues have been covered, I think I’ll avoid Google this time.

No walk this morning, decided to go home and have breakfast instead. I had purposely skipped that just in case blood sugar tests were required. The only test I had was my blood pressure before seeing the doctor and that was 138/83, not perfect but not too bad.

Not having had a walk in the morning I decided an evening was necessary. No photos taken although I did spot the traffic diversion signs again, being prepared for tomorrow. This is the date for another important test for Chinese students, the Zhongkao, the results of which decide which high school they will go to. Pressure, always pressure, from kindergarten right through to the day they finally graduate from university.

June 26th Wednesday again, singing lessons for Huan this morning so a nice little walk in the countryside for me. I had planned to go up to the local reservoir again but as I was walking along I seemed to find a very comfortable stride that told me, “Avoid all hills!” My Fuji was fully operational again so quite a few photos were taken. I’ll share two with you, the upriver and downriver views from a bridge about ten kilometres out which is where I crossed and turned back towards home.

I quite enjoy being out in the country, away from city sounds, but there is a small problem, it’s called chafing. I realised that the red mark on my right bum was being caused by my wallet rubbing through the sweaty clothes. Of course, as many hikers, and runners, will know, chafing can also appear in other areas. For me it’s the middle of my backside. (Don’t worry, no photos!) Once I got home and finished showering and lunch a lot of internet surfing was done to try and find a solution. I suppose I could always try naked walking!

Huan is off out dancing again tonight, I’m staying put. Apart from chafing worries, I walked far enough today, 19.82 kilometres. I only missed the twenty mark because I got caught in the rain in the last kilometre and couldn’t be bothered going around the block to make up the extra 180 metres. Do you ever wonder why I like to walk so much? Well, if I don’t walk I get fluid build up in my feet, especially the left one. That even shows up after my ‘day off’ on a Monday. Today I was thinking how ironic it was that I was walking to avoid fluid build-up and filling myself with more fluid by drinking three 500ml bottles of water on the way round!

June 27th Our plans today were the normal scenic walk up the hill and back. However, we hadn’t been out too long before the rain started so we ended up not straying far from town again. We still managed seven kilometres though which means not too much for me to catch up on this evening. I had the Fuji with me but subjects of interest were very difficult to find today. I guess you’ll have to make do with a couple of fishermen.

Huan was off singing again today so I said I would cook. Today’s offering will be a stir fry. First in the pan goes some chopped chicken with garlic and onion. Follow this with diced potatoes and diced carrots, and shortly thereafter diced mushrooms, diced red peppers and diced yellow peppers. After another little while add snow peas and then, at the last minute, bean sprouts. Season while cooking as required. For us I will add a little paprika and maybe a little oyster sauce. I only hope the boss approves!

This is the finished dinner and I’m happy to say that C-in-C approved.

Because we, or rather I, had not completed ten kilometres this morning I had to have a gentle walk around town this evening. Huan of course, was dancing.

June 28th Not a good start to the day, I woke up at five to nine having had a terrible night’s sleep. I thought these vertigo tablets were supposed to help my insomnia too! Anyway, both Huan and I weren’t sure about the weather so she decided to stay in and do some plant re-potting and I decided to go out and keep an eye out for the rain. It didn’t come, in fact, it didn’t come at all today! I did take a lot of photos though. First we have a man pruning the trees. They will eventually form a canopy over the road but they’re not tall enough yet so have to be pruned to avoid being hit by buses and trucks.

Lots of animal life today, we start off with a little pussy cat that I manage to stroke now and then. He seemed to have a bit of a sulk on today though.

I then stopped off at the local pet shop where they had some little chicks, not in cages, probably because they can’t fly yet. This one was shouting “Feed me!”

The town square had been taken over by a farmer’s market. I wonder if they will continue to do this on Fridays, it’s not a bad idea. Here’s s photo from there.

Meanwhile, just off from the market but probably going to end up there, a bigger bird was playing “chicken in a basket” but not as you’re used to.

By the time I got home, even with multiple photo stops, I had walked eight and a half kilometres in an hour and fifty three minutes which I pleased enough with.

I still had to make some distance up though so before Huan went dancing I popped out again for a short walk. I told Huan I would probably be back before she started dancing, she didn’t believe me. I was though, I met her as she was walking down to the gate. This time I had excelled myself having done three kilometres in thirty five minutes. That doesn’t sound too good until you realise that the first one took just over fifteen minutes, I had to talk to the dog at the gate!

More Yoyo Chinese at home including going over previous quizzes to make sure I haven’t forgotten too much. They will be having a ‘Study Streak’ competition in July where whoever studies for the most continuous days, (possible 31), has the chance of winning a free course. My present streak is thirty eight days. It all depends on whether we stay in Haikou on ‘needle’ day and if we do, if I am able to access my lessons while I’m there. I’ll try!

June 29th Huan was lucky, she got her favourite walk in this morning. Here she is on the way down, although she is going up a little. Spot the sweat!

It is a lovely walk, especially the way we come down, there are some great views.

As we passed the WC lay-by we spotted this ‘snowbird’ playing with his whip. I wonder if he knows what song this is from, “A beautiful sky, a wonderful day, Whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away”. Do you know? It’s from “The Deadwood Stage from Calamity Jane (1953)”. He was enjoying the ‘craic’ anyway.

Usually on this walk, we separate at the seven kilometre mark and Huan goes home while I continue to ‘get some in’. Today I bribed her with “It’s OK, I’ll cook the full English today, you can rest.” She carried on with me and we both got eleven kilometres in! In case you’re wondering and thinking that I’m a big meanie, I did cook the ‘full English’.

Come evening time and the rain came back so no dancing for Huan and no walking for me. Not to worry, we did enough this morning anyway! Instead we had Huan practicing keyboard and singing in the living room and me practicing Chinese in the office. I think I need to buy a guitar to compete with her!

June 30th My choice today so I chose the road to Changhao with detours through the countryside and a little village. We were quite lucky, there was not as much construction work going on as we expected so the road wasn’t too dusty. We stopped in the little village for a wee rest, it’s a very pleasant place. Here I am refreshing myself.

And here’s what I was looking at. No, we weren’t using a wide angle lens, the tree is actually bent and with the little circle in front the effect is exaggerated.

As you can probably guess Huan was taking all the photos today. She even had to take one of me in the WC. She wasn’t in there with me, the windows were wide open so she stood there to ‘protect my modesty’! This is the disabled toilet, which we often look out for because they have western style loos. Don’t ask me why there’s two.

Once we got to Changhao we decided not to go for ten kilometres, but to get the bus back so that Huan could have a rest before she made us a ‘full English’. Oh, I do love weekends! I did manage to take a couple of photos there, this one is a happy Huan having just spent some money! She decided that the fish here was cheaper than in town.

And that’s it. The rains came back in the evening again so no more walks, just internet browsing, FB, YouTube etc.

So, we come to the end of another month. Time flies by doesn’t it. In fact I recently read something explaining why time goes faster for us oldies than the younger folks. Sorry, can’t remember the details, you’ll have to search for yourselves.

See you next month, take care and be good!

Unclebob 01.07.2019 0 148
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