Category Archives: Uncategorized

Expedition to the Watermelon Museum

Beijing, being the capital city of China, has no shortage of museums from the sublime to the unusual, and some which seem downright weird. A fortnight ago I persuaded a friend to come with me to visit a fairly new … Continue reading

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Jianzi – the ancient Chinese game copied by hacky sack

‘There is nothing new under the sun’ as the old biblical saying goes. Someone comes up with what they think is a great new concept and then they discover that it has all been done before.  That doesn’t always stop … Continue reading

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Zuo yuezi – Sitting the Month – the 30 days after giving birth.

To our great joy we have a new addition to our family, our second grandson was born in the USA 12 days ago. Needless to say we are all absolutely delighted.  As you can see he is an absolute poppet, … Continue reading

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Hustle and bustle – its hot and noisy!

In every nation/language there are words and phrases that defy exact translation making it is hard for foreigners to grasp the real meaning. In China one such word is  rènao  热闹   . Everyone who comes to China will experience rènao, even … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 10

Yù bàng xiāng zhēng, yú rén dé lì. 鹬 蚌 相 争 鱼 人 得 利 When a snipe and clam quarrel, the fisherman benefits. This is a very old proverb dating back in Chinese history to The Warring States … Continue reading

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Women only – Nǚshū – a secret language

In this more and more globalised, interconnected world, certain languages are becoming increasingly dominant – English (or a variation of it) seems to be spoken just about everywhere – and ‘minor’ languages with fewer speakers are slowly dying if not … Continue reading

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Qing Ming Jie – time for tomb sweeping

Tomorrow is Qing Ming Jie 清明节, which literally translates as ‘Clear Bright Festival’. It is one of the major Chinese festivals, in English it is often called ‘Tomb Sweeping Day’.  As it always held on the 1st day of the … Continue reading

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Chop it to make it legal

Do you know what a ‘chop’ is in China?  (hint: it is NOT a cut of meat).                                   It is a  carved seal bearing the name of the individual, company, Provincial government, government department etc. Chops have been used for thousands … Continue reading

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Chinese Proverbs

Tian gao, Huangdi yuan. 天高皇帝远  Heaven is high, and the Emperor is far away This is the first Chinese proverb I ever heard used and completely understood;  and to my mind it encapsulates China and the way it is governed. … Continue reading

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Twinkle toes!

When one is young, one doesn’t really give one’s feet much thought – they are just there -  conveniently placed at the end of your legs. And whilst I’m on the subject of legs -  what the hell happened to … Continue reading

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