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He is here!

By on May 8, 2015 in Life and everything | 3 comments

For months we have been waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting for our baby to arrive. For months we have been making sure I eat only the healthiest food, making sure my body is as strong and as prepared as possible for the day our baby will arrive. I listened to the hypnobirth messages while we camped in the forest, and practiced staying calm, breathing in peace and comfort and letting my body relax. We sat together while we breathed and my husband repeated the birth affirmations to me, telling me to trust my body to birth our baby. We spent months preparing for the moment of birth. And then it happened, out of the blue, 9 days earlier than expected. We called the midwife and the nurse, inflated the pool and lay down to wait for our baby. When the time came I got into the pool, and lay my head on my husband’s lap and listened to his voice. The midwife and the nurse went back and forth...

Food on the go

By on Apr 24, 2015 in Life in Yunnan | 2 comments

I love bread and butter and cheese and jam. I’ll have it for breakfast and for lunch and sometimes I’ll happily have it for dinner too. But Kunming is not a bread, butter, jam and cheese kind of place just yet. You do get bread and those kinds of things, but it is still quite scarce (mostly only in the “foreign” section of the city). Initially this was one of the most difficult transitions to make to life in Asia, the major change in diet. Rice and noodles and dumplings just really did not hit the spot quite like I wanted lunch to hit the spot. But once you get over the change, the foods that you can easily find here is not bad at all. Kunming is not a city in which you’ll easily go hungry. There are food vendors literally everywhere. They drag, drive or cycle carts full of hot potatoes, mealies, peanuts, corn and dumplings after them where-ever they go....

Sidewalk calligraphy

By on Apr 17, 2015 in Life in Yunnan | 5 comments

I’ve written before about the great variety of activities that takes place in Chinese parks and squares. People dance, they sing, they play chess and mah johng, they do kung fu and they dance with swords. I’ve seen a “new” addition to the list of cultural activities that people like to practice in Chinese parks recently – they paint calligraphy onto the sidewalks. Not with ink but with water. You can watch them for hours in silent fascination so wrapped up are they in their quiet repetitive task of writing something that obviously means a great deal to them, only to see it disappear as it evaporates within a few minutes. I wish my Chinese reading was better so that I can more fully appreciate what it is that is behind this activity but alas, I’m lucky if I recognise two characters out of the whole lot. At least this way I can let my imagination run...

Music in the parks

By on Apr 11, 2015 in Life in Yunnan | 2 comments

As soon as you walk off the main streets of Kunming there is a festive atmosphere about the city. This is not just over festive times, but pretty much every day. The reason for this is the many small groups of musicians who gather around the city’s public parks and squares to practice or perform their skills. The range of people who do this vary from single elderly ladies, to groups of old men or middle aged men, and groups of punk youngsters looking to explore modern music culture. There is something magical about the freedom people grant themselves and each other here, the freedom to just sit and do what you love no matter how good or bad you are at it. No one will judge or be rude and laugh and point, they will either stop and smile at each other in admiration of good skills, just nod and keep walking by, or sit down to give the less talented individual an impromptu music lesson....

Babybump photoshoot

By on Mar 27, 2015 in Life and everything | 4 comments

I love my babybump. I’ve spent the last few months with one hand constantly attached to my belly, either rubbing, patting, cuddling or prodding it. The novelty of having a belly like this just does not wear off, I keep laughing when I see myself in the mirror and I see how big it has gotten, or I see my shadow somewhere as I am walking outside. But the belly won’t be here forever because out of it will come a baby boy to rub, pat, cuddle and perhaps occasionally prod. I wanted to remember the belly and what it looked like forever, and we’ve been trying to take many photos of me out and about with the belly but the photos we take just did not seem to do it justice. So we decided to hire a professional photographer to come to our home and capture the belly in all its glory. I am usually super awkward in front of a camera, really super awkward, but somehow this time it...

A day in the hills

By on Mar 17, 2015 in Travel in China | 4 comments

We have now had three trips to Liming, or Laojun Shan national park, and each time we go there the beautiful scenery just takes my breath away. On previous trips we were out in the hills every day, but on this most recent trip with my heavy belly I often stayed in the village to rest. So they days when I did feel up to going outside I enjoyed it even more than I did in the past. I also really enjoyed seeing all the odd little sights that we often take for granted out in the Yunnanese countryside. Strange and interesting ways of making irrigation channels, beehives and water throughs for animals somehow keep their novelty factor even after all these years. One day I went out with Pete and Tom to where they planned to climb and I spent a lovely morning drinking in the peace and beauty around me. As I sat against the cliff face I could see a sea of red and black peaks stretch into the...