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Babybump photoshoot

By on Mar 27, 2015 in Life and everything | 3 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...

The valley of cliffs

By on Mar 10, 2015 in Travel in China | 1 comment

Just outside the small town of Shigu in Northwestern Yunnan there is a valley of cliffs, it stretches along for maybe 10-15kms. As we drove along the valley road, my very excited husband kept stopping the car to leap out into the road craning his neck up and  exclaining “This is amazing!” Our friends Ling and Reuben recently moved out there to start a climber’s guest house in an old farm house they are renting from some local villagers. They named their new venture Stone Drum house, after the town of Shigu which means stone drum. Read more about their services and adventures here. It really was amazing. Cliff upon cliff upon cliff kept appearing around the corner, and even though I am not that avid a rock climber I can still appreciate the thrill of seeing so many undeveloped crags. Shortly after getting to our friends’ new house, Pete disappeared into the...

Our “babymoon” – second stop Shigu

By on Mar 4, 2015 in Travel in China | 0 comments

Shigu is a place where an old Chinese legend lives on – it is the place where the mighty Yangtze river makes a 180 degree turn, and instead of flowing out of China into Vietnam, it stays in China for the whole course of its 4000 mile length. Legend has it that the Emperor Yu, whose rule precedes the earliest written history of China by about a thousand years, from 2200BC to 2100BC, changed the destiny of China forever here at Shigu. According to legend Emperor Yu placed the mountain known as Cloud Mountain in the way of the southwards flowing Yangtze with the help of a yellow dragon and a black turtle. The intention was to turn the waters northwards in order to keep it from flowing out of China into Vietnam. The Yangtze is a mind bogglingly big river, it flows for 4000 miles all within the borders of China, starting at a height of 16 690 ft above sea level on the Tibetan plateau...

Snapshots of village life

By on Feb 27, 2015 in Travel in China | 7 comments

On one of our very fist road trips in Asia back in 2010 our camera broke. I remember actually crying when it happened because no matter how vivid your memories of a place, it is never the same as having a photograph of it. Since then we travel with two cameras, and lots of spare batteries and battery chargers. There are just so many moments in the course of a day of travelling that you think “wow that would make a great photo” but then you don’t have a camera with you or the battery is flat. Now, I try to just take the camera with me regardless of how short the walk or how probably uneventful my walk to the village market may be, because you just never know what you might see on the way! Here are some snapshots of one lazy morning wandering around Liming village and the surrounding countryside. I wish I was a braver people photographer though, because there was an old...

Celebrating Chinese new year in Liming

By on Feb 24, 2015 in Travel in China | 4 comments

Celebrating Chinese new year is a loud affair. New year’s eve and the morning of new year’s day is filled with the eardrum splitting sounds of hundreds of fire crackers. We thought this year we would escape the racket since we were not in Kunming city for new year’s eve, but were in the small village of Liming in northwestern Yunnan. We were wrong – the tradition of making as much racket as possible to ward off evil spirits is also followed in Liming. The towering sandstone cliffs of the valley provided an excellent acoustic, so that each cracker that went off had a multitude of echo’s bouncing back and forth between the cliffs. At dawn of new year’s day it started all over again, as the men of the family got up early to set off more crackers. The women lit big joss sticks at the main entrances to the house and set a small wreath of pine needles and local herbs alight...