While the wife’s away….

Amanda in KLM Business Class

Amanda in KLM Business Class

Amanda has had to go back to Nanning for a month to see the family. Her Dad’s not well and has been asking her to go back so now is the best time as she has found a part-time job in a care home which she should start about a month from now once the disclosure paperwork has gone through.
When we were online checking her in for her flights we were picking her seats and I spotted an available seat where I wouldn’t have expected one to be offered for her.
Not giving her the chance to say that she would prefer her “normal seat” (window, just by the middle exit) I said to her “Oh, there’s a good one, grab that !”. As it was late at night and she’d had a long day she was in no mood to put up much of a struggle so the deed was done.
She was more than pleasantly surprised when she boarded the flight at Schiphol, and had to check with the cabin crew two or three times that a mistake hadn’t been made.
I just got a call from her in Chengdu and she says she slept all the way. That’s the first time ever! Given how busy she has been over the past week and how tired she was when I left her at the airport in Edinburgh I’m so glad it worked out that way for her.
It’s also the first time I’ve ever been able to get an upgrade for anybody, despite years of trying, so I’m pretty happy about that too.
Now, while the wife’s away, I’m hoping to be able to get around to a few blog posts that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. They’ll be somewhat varied so there should be something for everyone. 😉

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Year of the Rabbit

I thought the mixing of the languages on the signs in the shopping mall was cool.
It’s strange but even without knowing the Chinese character I always read it as if in English without realising it.
Have a good Year of the Rabbit.

This tickles me

We have Chinese TV programs on a lot at our place since Amanda arrived, and in between some of them there will be a short musical video interlude.
One of them has been tickling me for months, I think it’s because it just seems so oddball.
See what you think.


(Jay Chou, Cowboy on the run)

Butterflies and other creatures at Detian Falls

Detian Falls

Detian Falls - China/Vietnam Border

One of my little habits when I’m out travelling and I have a camera on me is trying to get some decent shots of the varying wildlife, usually without success.

On Monday we went to Detian Falls on the China/Vietnam border, a trip I had been wanting to do ever since my first visit to China.

There are hundreds of photos that we took that day, some of which I’ll put up in a later post or two, but just for once I managed to get some semi-decent photos of butterflies and dragonfly-like things.

Most of these are cropped from the originals. I have no idea yet what particular species each of them are, I just enjoy taking the snaps.

Click on any of the pictures to see it in a new tab/window.

Photography is like fishing… you should have seen the one(s) that got away !

     
     
     

The long wait and the worrying is over

It’s taken many months and has been a long and stressful wait, but at last…
Amanda has got her Spousal Visa ! 😀 😀
It finally came through, although the last two days since she knew that the answer was on its way has been horrendous.
If she had been refused I don’t know what we would have done.
So now all we have to do is find the money for the flights for me to go out to collect her and bring her “home”.
Hopefully she will be here by the middle of September.
I can’t wait.
I’m going down the list of names in my phone, calling and texting everybody.
What a relief !

Google Healthcare: an unscientific poll

That is… the Google situation with respect to China, and Obama’s Health Care reforms.

I am interested in people’s reactions to these, purely out of curiosity, and invite you to take part in a quick survey.

There are only three questions so it will only take a moment, and none of your personal data is collected.

Please click on this link to open the survey in a new tab or window.

Thank you for participating. I hope to publish the results by 1st April. (!)
(Update April 2nd: I’m going to let this run a bit longer)

Have a good day.

Bring back the Darwin Awards, and here’s the first nomination

OMG ! This I could not believe

Entitled “Global Warming Breaking News: China eyeing perks of ice-free Arctic” this YouTube video tries to make the point that the Corporate world will carry on seeking out new opportunities for making a profit, irrespective of whether there are any of us left to provide that profit or if the search for that opportunity is itself the cause of our demise (through the global warming that it causes).

Why the producer of the video picks on China is not clear, because if (when) the Arctic ice melts there are many countries and Corporations that will try to butcher the resources that become available and take advantage of the new shipping lanes. But hey, it’s their video.

However, I digress.

Try to think of the most mind-bogglingly stupid thing that a group of people could possibly do.

Nope…. you’re not even close yet. Try again.

Need some help ? ….

Think dumb-ass, and then add thirty eight noughts to the end of it…. Yes, THAT stupid !

See if you can imagine a situation where a whole group of people could be just standing around, minding their own business, having a lovely day, fascinated by what they are seeing and hearing, and waiting for a spectacular event to occur… and yet be so blissfully unaware that when it does occur it will, inevitably, lead to their deaths.

Can you think of anything ?

Watch this…
(Clip Length 5:03)


Almost as unbelievable is the fact that the producer classes them as “victims” who were “swept out to sea as a glacier melts in front of their eyes and then carries them to their deaths”.

Well that must be the fault of global warming then !

I nominate all the “victims” who had not yet had children as the first recipients of the newly reinstated Darwin Award.

How I miss those…..

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