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. 😦

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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. 😉

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 once 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. 🙂

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. 🙄

Amanda and Frosty  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 Floss 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 Qipao’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. 😦

What’s the first question a new resident in the UK asks ?

Arrived home with Amanda at about lunchtime yesterday.  🙂
As we started to look around the place at all the suitcases and bags that needed unpacking (!) I spotted a police van and car pulling away from one on the blocks in the cul-de-sac opposite and I mentioned to Amanda that I thought some “undesirables” must have moved in over there some time back because I had seen the police there in numbers on a quite a few occasions over the past couple of months.
A. “Do I need to register with the police ?”
T. “Why ?”
A. “Don’t the police need to know there’s a foreigner living here now ?”
T. “No, darling… Not in this country.”

Thanks, Kelly, for reminding me of that.

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 !

Say “Hello Sweetie”

Sweetie is so little ! Sweetie, in close-up

This is Sweetie, Amanda and Lily’s new little hamster… and I do mean little.
Unfortunately Mr. and Mrs. were too much for Amanda to cope with; their personalities (and their size) just didn’t suit her so, unfortunately, back to the shop they went.
Sweetie is much more like the hamsters that Amanda and Lily have had before, so I’m sure that she’ll have a happy little life.
But she is so small !
Amanda is away in Hunan for a few days on one of her “Office Outings”, so it will be interesting when she gets back to find out how well Sweetie has settled in, whether she has discovered her wheel and, if so, how far she has run.
Lovely little Sweetie.
(There you are, Phuong. I said there was a post for you. I think Lily chose the name for her.)

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