Happy Christmas Everybody!
OK. Relax. This isn’t going to be a six page rant by a deranged President.
It’ll be shorter!
OK it’s been a big year. Things in the White House… Oh! I’d better not talk about that.
Back home in England there’s also been some politics… Probably better not to talk about that either!
OK, it remains for me to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Will & Yvonne
Sorry, you thought you’d escaped, huh?
Thinking good thoughts, I’m so grateful our big baby, Chubbies, is still with us. Back in the spring he had further traumas and we think suffered some brain damage after hitting his head on the coffee table as he fell off the settee. He was paralysed for 12 hours. He recovered a bit but I thought he might not make it past August. Then, despite getting weaker and being almost unable to walk, I thought he’d be unlikely to see Christmas. But he’s still with us. Still adorable and happy despite his problems. The highlight of his day is after his breakfast. When we’re having coffee on the balcony and indulging in some soft gooey sweet Chinese bread he pricks up his ears and struggles to join us, often falling over several times. But he knows he’ll get a treat and stares up adoringly at his daddy!
The other four, Mr Jack, Miss Chili, Yoda and Miss GeGe are all also adorable. GeGe sleeps in her cosy little bed beside ours and wakes us up in the morning with little kisses and meows. She came to us in the spring and is a beautiful Golden British Shorthair.
We know the weather in the UK has been awful this autumn but it’s been quite pleasant here. This last week the temperature has dropped and we at last switched on the underfloor heating. The fur babies love it! It’s still not really cold, just 8C, but I put on my fluffy lined winter trousers which make it nice and toasty when we go out. I can’t believe I grew up wearing shorts until the age of 12 in the middle of winter (when winters were a lot colder). Shorts here in Changsha are the order of the day from May through September/October. No longer!
Yvonne and I crossed off a bucket list item in April to celebrate my 70th. Only a short trip but memorable. I was surprised how clean Tokyo was. And not a waste paper bin anywhere in sight. Everybody takes their rubbish home. A model to follow!
We’re still going to our singing classes but I’ve been relieved at not having to do any solo’s in public this year. The last special event was a couple of weeks ago, singing a patriotic song in the opening ceremony of the local finals of ‘It’s a Knock Out’ type of competition. Lots of parades, military escorts and flags etc. And unbearably cold at 07:30 in the morning. Just in our shirt sleeves and dresses for our bit, we performed physical jerks to keep warm before we got ‘on-stage’.
I do miss the Highgate Choral Society and singing those big classical masses and requiems. So grateful for having had the chance to take part in them for 10 years. There are symphony concerts here but I can’t remember the last one I went to. I haven’t been following the programme of events as I used to.
Yvonne continues to complain about the amount of time I spend on my phone! Most of it is to do with photography. I’ve done some Udemy courses in editing stills and also a bit of video but I’ve not majored on the latter. I contribute regularly to a Facebook photo page which is a mutual self-help group. Lots of constructive crits and examples about how others might edit your own photos. A great learning experience.
I’m writing this on a new iPadAir3, a generous gift from Yvonne’s daughter Shu Fang. I’ve located the old one (still many thanks to WGMC for their generous gift), next to our fish tank (no fish, just plastic plants etc). I’ve got a Fish app on the iPad including some sharks so I can compete in a way with a Scot’s friend who keeps REAL fish!!!
I’ve also got a new pair of Apple’s latest cordless earphones. They’re great and so much better than a single cheaper earphone which never worked properly with phone calls.
Another short trip we made was to the world’s longest glass bridge. We thought we were going to it last year but ended up booking on the wrong tour!!! In the end it was a lovely setting but not as scary as a much shorter one we’ve also been on! It seems the Chinese have a fascination with glass bridges. Hunan has another 3 of them. Do they have them elsewhere?
As I mentioned earlier, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us both
Will & Yvonne
For the best of my photos (though not necessarily in chronological order) go to
And for my occasional ramblings