It’s all Double-Dutch to me

Amanda will occasionally tease me by “cursing” me in Chinese. This I accept.
But this evening, in the kitchen, she muttered something that I didn’t understand and when I asked her what she had said her reply was “Oh, it’s ok… Not even Mandarin speakers would have understood that. It was in my local dialect.”
What ?!
My few words of Mandarin, (my name, “Nihao”, and about five items of food), don’t stand a chance of helping me to understand her when she’s blabbering in Mandarin, but now I’m expected not to understand her in some strange dialect too !
That woman expects too much of me. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Frosty the Snowmam (Yep, that’s right)

Frosty the Snowmam

Frosty the Snowmam

I think I probably made a snowman in the winter of ’63; I know I did make one onceย when I was a kid.

Amanda has never made a snowman before and, dear little wife that she is, she badgered the living daylights out of me this morning until I finally went out to help her and offer some well needed technical advice. (It’s what us men are for).

There was me thinking that she would just go downstairs and make a little one outside the door, maybe behind my car. But, oh no, over into the car park she went to make as big a one as she could !

“Frosty” ended up at 4ft 3inches (1.3m) and with no arms, but oh, so cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t think my back will forgive me this side of Christmas but Amanda’s happy, and that’s what matters.

Oh, and yes, it is called “Frosty the Snowmam“, because that was how Amanda labelled the folder that she uploaded the pictures into. ๐Ÿ™„

Amanda and Frostyย  Us and Frosty

Amanda and Mary Poppins are the same person

Mary Poppins bag

Do you remember Mary Poppins ?

Do you remember the plethora of weird things that she pulled out of her Salisbury travel bag ?

Having seen what Amanda managed to produce from the suitcases when she was unpacking the other day I think she must be Mary Poppins in disguise.

Yes, given that this was Amanda’s “moving” trip and I had to book an extra case on the flight I knew there would be endless amounts of clothes and quite a few more pairs of shoes, but the list of other items was quite impressive…

Webcam & Mic
Rice cooker
Spoons/scoops for attaching to outside of rice cooker
Spare bowl for rice cooker
DVDs of Nanning Folk Festival
2 Electric adaptors and 2 extension leads
1kg Chicken Powder Seasoning
Set of place mats and Coasters
Upright chrome drying rack for kitchen, designed for holding chopping boards, knives and chopsticks
Chinese New Year door decoration
Dried salty fish (very smelly, but very well wrapped)
Dried Longan berries
Pork Flossย 200g
Pack of dried mini-shrimp
Preserved eggs (pack of 8 )
Duck wing (1)
Chinese bacon
Chinese sausages (4 packs)
1 vacu-packed pillow
Water melon seeds (large pack)
More sausages
2 boxes of soft-grip gel ink pens
Sauce for hot bean curd (6 packs)
Some liquid for helping with the cooking (clear alcohol of some sort)
A shoebox full of assorted (Chinese) medicines
59 moisturising face masks
2 new pairs of shoes for wearing with her Qipaoโ€™s (very smart)
1 gold handbag, one blue double wallet, same purpose as shoes
A plastic mini heat-preserving lunch box with sections for soup, rice and main dish
Moon Cakes (seemingly hundreds of)
Another pack of CDs/DVDs in a travel holder

Somehow we’ve managed to find homes for it all, but it’s really emphasised the need to move to somewhere bigger. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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 ! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
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 !

I Heart China

I have a few blogs on WordPress already, all of them attached to this same user profile, Honorarynewfie. Some of them you may be aware of, some of them maybe not.

But now I’ve started another one !

For reasons that would only be clear to me it’s not part of the same group; I now have another profile, B2212.

The blog’s called I Heart China, and it’s a retrospective travelogue/diary of “our story”, Amanda and I, beginning with my first trip out to China to meet my beautiful little Chinese wife.

A lot of the pictures, especially the early ones, are not of a particularly high standard. There will be ones taken using mobile phones, video cameras, basically whatever was at hand at the time; but it’s not about quality it’s about the experiences, memories, and helping me to organise the thousands of photos we have taken over the past two years.

The blog will be a small selection of those pictures with a brief description of the events of each day.

The “About” page explains a little more.

The layout is still work in progress so it may chop and change about a bit until I get it settled. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll still be “doing my thing” on here; I’m not going anywhere; there will just be more of me ! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Enjoy !

So much to learn…

Last night was “Queen Night” on the “X” Factor and it got me thinking again about how much in life that seems just perfectly natural to me means absolutely nothing to Amanda because she “wasn’t there”.

So here is a list of some things, people, events etc that are just a normal part of life to me but will need explaining to Amanda…..

Freddy Mercury (God rest you Freddie)
The Beatles
the lunar landings
Falklands War
World War II (the European part)
the Normandy beaches
The Battle of Britain
Remembrance Sunday
New Year (Western as opposed to Chinese)
Top Gear
Top Gun
Top of the Pops
“Ghost” (I’m looking forward to explaining some of that…)
Heaven Can Wait (…. have I got a morbid streak ?)
J J Cale
Love Actually
Last of the Summer Wine
The Two Ronnies
Monty Python (God help me !……)
the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (… and again !)
Slartibartfast (well, one has to start somewhere ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
wedding receptions
summer holidays
I’m ****ing Matt Damon
Trevor Senior, Jimmy Quinn, Martin Hicks, et al…
Elm Park
Reading 2 – Brighton 0
Ally McBeal
(spot the link between the last two ! )
Maggie Thatcher
(where am I going with this ? …..)
Radio Luxembourg
The Ashes
the Barmy Army
Lord’s (Mecca)
bunking off work to go to Chesterfield to see Middlesex play, only to find you get caught in a close-up on tv with a tinny in your hand ….. !
I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue
Mornington Crescent (there’s an easy one, won’t take long…)
The Commonwealth
“Dr. Livingstone, I presume ?”
The whole of the Roman Empire, and everything it has meant to everyone in the Western world ever since…….
Henry VIII
Manuel from Fawlty Towers
the Eurovision Song Contest (I don’t even understand that myself !)
Galway Bay
the old Wembley Stadium
American Football
Snow (although actually, Amanda spent 8 months studying in Minnesota, so she already knows what snow is !)
French Knickers
Morecambe & Wise
Benny Hill
The summer of Love
If you’re Going To San Francisco
99 Red Balloons
Richard Branson
VW Beetle (my Dad and I both had one at the same time)
The Masters
the 7th at Pebble Beach
Minestrone Soup
Double Cream
Rag, Tag and Bobtail (I used to get so scared that one of them would get lost :-S)
Postman Pat
the Old Man of Hoy
the National Trust
Badminton Horse Trials
Billy Connolly
James Bond
Sean Connery
the Isle of Skye
Norse Mythology
The Blue Danube
Torville & Dean
package holidays
IBM AS/400


How many is that ?

I hope she’s a good listener…. this may take some time… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Does anybody have any more suggestions ?

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