What a different day........

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, July 23, 2012

Woke up Sunday morning to brilliant blue skies and hot sunshine. Quite a difference from all the rain the day before.

Sadly, the death toll from the storms has hit 37 people, and 60,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. You really wouldn't have thought it with such a beautiful day afterwards, guess that's the calm after the storm.....

On the positive side, the pollution was the lowest we've seen since we've been here - 9 micrograms of particles of pollution dust per cubic metre. No, that didn't mean anything to us when we arrived & people talk about pollution like the Brits do the weather. The World Health Organisation's guideline is 20. Averages in London are 24, Paris 22, New York 27. Beijing........ 142!!!!!! We've seen it at 120 or so & you feel like you're swallowing it & the air is so thick. Got the app on my phone from the American Embassy who take great pleasure in advertising it, much to the country's disgust. Today it's reached 90 (oh, and 32 degrees).

Beijing is usually very dry, and water supplies are always a concern for the city. It has old anti-aircraft guns positioned around the place which routinely fire shells containing rain-inducing chemicals into the clouds (this was done a lot before the Olymics). It really does make you think that you shouldn't mess with nature, she has a habit of getting her own back with devastating consequences, like this weekend.

So, what to do on a beautiful day? Our friend Ali text & we arranged to meet him at a subway station near the Hutong we went to on Friday night for dinner. Read about a great restaurant called 'Fish Nation' which do awesome chips, fish - naturally,and a good brunch. We thought we were in the right place, walked up & down the Hutong a few times, asking for directions, each time we got to the end a Chinese person would point us back the way we came (and when asked where is Fish Nation, replied which station?!!) After ringing and getting a voice service, and finally e-mailing to have it bounce straight back, we decided it's probably closed down!! Places seem to open & close so quickly here, every time you wander there is something different.

A good excuse anyway for coffee / beer stops along the way to watch the world go by. It really is a fab Hutong, with lovely food & drink stops, little boutiques, galleries, tourist shops & lots of people bustling along. We really enjoyed the wander. Oh, we had burger for lunch instead of fish, and very nice it was too.

I got a Birthday card & pressie in the post today from Lou Gilliatt - so thank you very much Lou! Keeping with the Union Jack / GB theme, it's a great team GB scarf from next, you'll see the photo's below but in the design very cleverly there are 900 figures to represent the athletes for team GB, 900 hearts to go with them, 900 stars, paralympic lions, 26 Olympic sports and so on...... Lou is volunteering at the Olympics, so Lou - we wish you all the best & hope you enjoy the experience. Not sure if we'll get to watch the opening ceromony live as it's at 4am Beijing time.

Kate, we hope you had a lovely Birthday yesterday, and that you managed to get some sleep after all those cocktails....! And sis, did you manage to drink any??!!!

Right, Monday night, time to chill - so catch up next time,

Love from

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Lou Nev on

Well having never tried hair of the dog before I was pleasantly surprised and I survived til about 8pm! X x

Rach on

Hi guys, just had a lovely read of all your blog entries. Looks like you had a nice b-day Tracy, the food looked amazing!! I'm cat sitting for Tom and Lau at mo, their cats are very well behaved compared to my moggies! Davehas stayed in Hove to look after our ones and Willow (ginger one - your fav one Tracy!) has been giving him bother all week, he must be missing me! Lau and Tom's wedding was brill, missed you not being there. It was so nice when your message was read out. Thinking of you lots, take care and keep us up to date with your news. Lots of love, Rach xxx

tracy-andy-pez on

Well done Lou!! A sure recovery!! xx

Rach, thank you - glad you all had a fab day, we were thinking of you all. Lou put a pic on FB which was great, looking forward to seeing some more but our VPN is down at the mo. Enjoy the cat sitting!! xx

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