Sunday, May 31, 2009


This evening I met up with the friends that I went with to China. It was a beautiful evening and we sat in Anna's garden enjoying the late sunshine and a few drinks. We then had a lovely meal (not Chinese) but Sallie and I did use chopsticks. Eating salad with chopstick, didn't look or feel right. Guess who finished last but where there's a will, there's a way-why did I add pine nuts to the salad (my contribution)!

We listened to Chinese music and chatted about the trip as we looked at some of the photos. It was really interesting that, although we all had different things that were our favourite parts of the trip, we all agreed it was a very memorable holiday.

We are now planning the next trip - what do you think about Machu Picchu?

2008: Not a day of rest
2007: Name this Tree

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Silent Saturday-end of the day.

2008: Meme-Music
2007: Witty Wednesday-8 The Dentist & Frank

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Friday, May 29, 2009

China # 6 Memories of an evening walk

In China many of the people do not cook at home as they often have small apartments or houses and these are shared with extended family, so there is little space for kitchens as we know them. In many areas, of the cities, you will see a lot of food being offered for sale on the street or in small shops.Not sure what the guy above had in his baskets. At the end of the evening you would see everything being washed over the drains in the street.
I think I mentioned before the number of bikes and electic motor bikes that can be seen parked on many of the roads.

It is amazing what you can carry on the back of a bike!

There were some we saw that were piled even higher than these, it's surprising they could keep everything from falling off. Come to think of it we did see one that collapsed in the middle of a busy road but I don't have a picture of that.

2008: Stork came calling
2007: Anyone for Walkies

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

China # 5 Time to Relax

Just to prove it wasn't all sight seeing. We had time to relax as we sailed down the Yangtze-so what's the film??

You can tell by the peculiar face I'm pulling I had no idea I was being photographed even though it looks like I was staring at the camera.These two (Keith and Gordon) were totally unaware of what was going on around them. I got roped into an entertainment sketch with these guys.When in doubt keep grinning!
What do you think of the hat!!!

2008: Witty Wednesday-51 Management Course
2007: My Visitor

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Witty Wednesday # 97

Thank you for these Daffy.


For several years, a man was having an affair with an Italian woman. One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant. Not wanting to ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money if she would go to Italy to secretly have the child. If she stayed in Italy to raise the child, he would also provide child support until the child turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write 'Spaghetti' on the back. He would then arrange for the child support payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.

'Honey, 'she said, 'You received a very strange post card today.'

'Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it later,' he said.

The wife obeyed and watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and fainted.

On the card was written:

'Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti.

Three with meatballs, two without.

Send extra sauce.
A 54 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital.
While on the operating table she had a near death experience.

Seeing God she asked "Is my time up?"
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth!
Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"
God replied: "I didn't recognize you."
Reasons not to mess with children.

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, 'When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah'.

The teacher asked, 'What if Jonah went to hell?'

The little girl replied, 'Then you ask him'.

My friend Anna sent me this:

Two Asian heroin addicts have injected themselves with curry powder by mistake - both are in intensive care... one has a dodgy tikka and the other one is in a korma.
Keep smiling

2008: Meme-I've been tagged to show and tell
2007: My Secret Swap Surprise Arrived

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

China - Shanghai Transrapid # 4 a system of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles, predominantly trains, using magnetic suspension.
The line runs from Longyang Road station in Pudong, to Pudong International Airport. The journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of 30 km. The trains can reach 350 km/h (220 mph) in 2 minutes, with the maximum normal operation speed of 431 km/h (268 mph) reached thereafter.

It is an incredible smooth ride, the train appears to tilt and you only feel a slight shudder when another train passes going the other way about halfway through the journey. We just did a round trip for the pleasure of going that fast and I believe it's the first commercial line in the world.
You will see from the photos below I managed to take pictures as it was travelling at it's fastest speeds (just to prove it does go that fast)!

2008: Fun Monday-68 Family Holidays are Best
2007: Inside the room of your soul

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Monday, May 25, 2009

No Fun this Monday unless you like roasted peas!

There is no Fun Monday this week as it's Memorial Day in the States. In the UK we also have a public holiday today. Next week (June 1st) Mommy Wizdom is hosting, she will be letting us know the topic later in the week.

Fun Snacks
One of the things which impressed me in China was the very good service you got on the internal flights. On my recent trip we had three internal flights; the planes we travelled on had better leg room than you find in the UK, there were free newspapers, drinks, snacks and a meal (not that one actually needed it when the flight was only an hour or so).

One of the snacks we were given was roasted green peas. Looking at the packet I wasn't quite sure what to expect..........
........but they were really quite a tasty little snack. Has anyone ever tried them?... and I wonder if they would catch on here!

2008: Facts from last weeks news coverage
2007: Let's Celebrate 'Friendship Friday'.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tom on the prowl + Worm Update

One of my plurk pals wanted to see the tortoises and my worms after I mentioned them in a post. So I decided a short video might be the answer. Tom was charging around, I suspect looking for the ladies, but they were safely surveying him from the comfort of their house.

The worms are look healthy and I have have just added another tray, so I hope they will migrate upwards. It has taken a long time but the earth in the bottom tray is looking back and rich (although does not appear that way in this picture). This suggests they are doing their job. I don't think we are ever going to produce enough compost for the whole garden but even a little helps!I might even get to sit in the garden today as it's lovely and sunny.

2008: Super Hero
2007: Quick and Tasty

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tom's in Trouble

I have been defending Tom when EmBee accused him of eating the plants. I have never seen him trying to climb into the raised bed until today and he managed it. He made no attempt to eat the broad bean plants but he did his best to trample them under foot-why because I needed to run and get the camera for a photo shoot!
Personally I still think he was trying to find the shortest route to where I was with the food. I wonder what Turtle Soup tastes like!

2008: Friday 40 photo challenge-Sweet Memories
2007: Witty Wednesday-7 Skinny Dipping

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Friday, May 22, 2009

China- Shanghai # 3

Following on from yesterday after the tranquility of the lovely garden we walked through a busy shopping area to get to our restaurant for lunch. Many people buy off the street sellers and walk along eating their snacks(see below).Have you wondered how we managed to stay together as a group when we are walking down very busy streets and through markets that are heaving with people! Although we had our Wendy Wu name tags these could not be easily seen in a crowd. Some groups wore coloured base ball caps or had coloured vests or sweat shirts, but every guide had a flag and we also had a mascot on a pole which could be seen from a distance. It's not terribly clear in the picture below but we had a Koala (bottom right hand corner). It is very easy to get separated from the group as people do tend to push their way forward regardless of who is in front of them. We have a tendency to be polite and stand back but one soon learns that doesn't work. In areas like the ones in this picture you have to be very careful of pick-pockets and you are constantly pestered by people trying to sell post cards, fake watches and other bits of tack. Our instructions from the guide was if lost stay put and she would retrace and pick us up. We were all very careful not to get lost.
Behind the building below are the maze of alleyways and shops in the above pictures, there weren't that many people on the main streets. That photo was taken from the glass lift of a restaurant where we had lunch.

The Dragons above the entrance to the restaurant, which was on the second floor, were very impressive. There were more dumplings in this meal but everything was very tasty. I was less keen on the soups which are served with every meal. After lunch we were given some free time to browse the shops. I was much more interested in the street sellers. Below the guy was selling some type of confectionery being coated with sesame seeds.These guys had been dancing and were selling what looked like candyfloss.I saw these fish being wheeled through the street not covered and I hoped it wasn't heading for our restaurant! After all the hustle and bustle it was actually quite nice to get back on the coach and drive to the next place but that's for another day.

2008: Coffee with a Friend
2007: My job for today

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

China -Yuyuan Gardens-Shanghai # 2

Yuyuan Gardens
The Jade Rock in the center is one of three famous rocks in China. It is about 11 feet high and has 72 holes. It was on the way to the emperor in Beijing when the boat sank off the coast of Shanghai. It was submerged for many years and was eventually acquired by the family that built the garden.
The owner of the garden, Yunduan Pan, once a treasurer of Sichuan Province in the Ming Dynasty, had the garden built after the imperial type in Beijing to please his parents so they could enjoy a peaceful happy time in their old age.

The construction started in 1559 but went on and off for lack of money and did not come to completion till some twenty years later. Unfortunately, Pan's father did not live to see the garden completed. Eventually the family were forced to sell the garden. There are many different areas of the garden and it is beautiful example of a classical Chinese garden. Today the area covers several acres This is the Bridge of Nine Turns leading to the Huxinting Tea house, that is in the middle of a lake. It is believed that evil spirits cannot turn corners and the number nine signifies eternity and the highest form of patriarchal power.Some of the garden areas are separated by 'dragon walls'. Above you see "Twin dragons playing with a pearl".
Below you see the magnificent lions that are at the entrance to a corridor leading to one of the pavilions. It is very easy to tell the sex of the two lions. The rule is that the female one is always put on the left while the male one stands on the right. The female lion fondles a baby, while the male plays with a ball. Apparently there is an old saying in China "The lion's cub has to learn how to rough it." The mother lion makes it a point to give the baby a hard time so that it will be trained into a brave animal.

The gingko tree below is very old (can't remember exactly how old).
Examples of two different styles of furniture.The great rockery.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of one of the terrapins who share the lake with lots of carp. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my photos of this garden and if you ever visit Shanghai it's well worth a visit.

2008: Witty Wednesday-50 Blondes +others
2007: These feet are made for stamping!!! + Fun Monday-18 Ode to Computers

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