Red, red wine........

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Monday, August 20, 2012


Well, Thursday afternoon Andy got his deal all signed & sorted, so we went with Ray after work for a beer in Paddy's to celebrate, such a good feeling. Came home & decided to go for our first home delivery - a fab pizza company called Gung Ho, easy to register & order on-line, half an hour later it arrived. One half spicy beef, the other camembert, chicken & wine soaked blackcurrants on a wholemeal base....... very scrummy! All sorts of food places deliver, even McDonalds - hmmm, a McDonalds breakfast at a weekend with a hangover is what we were thinking! (sis, you still need to get onto Mumm's cafe for a home delivery service!!)

Friday night we went to a couple of different places, one a fab roof top terrace with great views & a fab mojito. We met up with a girl who we'd seen at one of the Internations events, she was really nice & turns out, suprise suprise she lives in our apartment block - as does everyone it seems!!!

Saturday we headed off to the Silk Market, the main big market where we went when we first arrived. Our friend Alistair (that we go to footie with) has got lots of clothes made at one of the tailors there, and even all his wedding clothes last year, great quality & very reasonable so we met him there & Andy took in 1 of his Ted Baker shirts to copy, and be made - worked out at 30 for the 2, so we'll see what they're like and maybe get some other stuff done. I fell in love with a cashmere winter coat that they'll make to measure for 150, and that's without any bargaining. Randomly purchased a badminton raquet, forgot the shuttlecocks so we haven't been out playing yet, we can play in the grounds downstairs which will be cool. A coffee stop & a wander afterwards, that was our shopping done.

It was Ray's birthday today in the office (yep, more cake!) so we decided to celebrate with him on Saturday night & go back to the Black Sesame Kitchen which we love, rustled up a table of 7 friends - and  we had the main room to ourselves which was great. Fab food as always & had lots of fun. Poor Andy though, and I have to defend him here & say that he wasn't drunk, it was early on in the evening - put his large glass of red wine down on the table, and caught it on the lid of the bottle so it all fell towards him and totally drenched him, all over his favourite ted baker shirt & trousers...... totally gutted, you'll see a piccie below of the mess! The staff were fantastic, and the chef bless him, gave him a spare chef's shirt to wear whilst they put his in their washing machine! Good customer service or what hey!! (LouLou feel free to use that one in one of your lessons!!!). He let us take it home, along with his freshly washed shirt, free of red wine stains. We had been invited to meet friends at a very posh hotel where they had a booth & free champagne, but we didn't think that Andy rocking the Chef look & red wine stained trousers was really the right look!

Sunday we woke up with a bit of a hangover, so decided to order in a McDonalds breakfast, major disappointment as the website was all set up for ordering in English, until you had to put your address in in Chinese characters....... dowh!!! So instead, we found a new place for eggs benedict & a full English which hit the spot. After that we had our first manicure, yep me & Andy!! 2 for Andy & 4 for me (Andy didn't fancy the french manicure which I had ;) It took about an hour, and totally good value, just a little place in our market - the girls were really sweet, the one doing my nails couldn't speak English but she kept looking me & grinning, the other girl who spoke English kept translating for her & she was wanting to tell me that my hair was beautiful & a beautiful colour! Bless her. I get remembered everywhere for it, ,and still get stared at all the time...... suprise suprise....!

Anyway, after that, we met a Chinese friend called Gus who works in one of our fave bars, 1F. He took us to a place known as Calligraphy Street, a street full of great shops selling calligraphy brushes, art, and all sorts of crafts & curios. Had a wander through some old traditional hutongs too before heading back by Tianamen Square.

Spoke to Mum & Dad on Skype in the evening, first time in a while catching up - small world time, their neighbours son is a teacher along with his wife & they live in Beijing, turns out he knows Ray at work, and we've exchanged e-mails today.

We realised recently that we hadn't listened to any radio since we've been here. Being avid Radio 1 fans back in the UK, we were missing it and wouldn't know what's on release at the mo. We have now found an International radio station here & been playing that now. Funny the things you suddenly realise!!

Andy was searching our limited selection of TV stations last night for the Premier League footie games, but couldn't find any. Then found an internet site that streams it live, so managed to watch some of the Wigan v Chelsea game. Everton have their first game tonight against Man U, however it's at 3am our time so won't be watching it....... By the way, the site is available in the UK too

Mum & Dad said that the X Factor has just started, gutted - my first year without it. The ITV player won't work sadly, so am just going to have to live without!!!!

Sorry, just realised it's not really a very cultural blog - sorry, we must get out & do some sights again!!!!

That's all for now folks, TV time - a friend has leant us his portable hard drive with loads of films & series on, so just getting into Band of Brothers.


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Sarah on

Lovely to read about another very socialable weekend!! Glad to hear the red wine came out...pheeww. Missed you last Wednesday night - gathered at your sis's lovely flat and had some food and a glass of were missed! Went out on Friday and sampled the latest new pub in Petersfield....The Drum - recently taken over and now a LOVELY pub! Paid for it Saturday though with the most awful hangover....I realise I just cant take to much wine nowadays! You must telll me what your secret is!! :) Anyway must speak soon have a good week. xx

mum on

you both look so well and happy.
glad things are going well.

Lorraine on

Camembert on a pizza?! Really that should be outlawed - it's a travesty - it'll be chicken tikka masala pizza next! Glad you balanced that food faux-pas with some throwing-red-wine-over-shirt action - you'll be getting us Brits a bad name - oh wait - we already do! Delighted to see you are continuing to indulge your hobbies of food, alcohol and shopping - with a little culture and 'work' thrown in when you really have to :o)
Busy week in the Roper household this week. Monday we went up to London to see 'Wicked!' - me, my man and my lovely daughter had a great day. Went up by coach, had a little bit of a mooch around Hyde Park, lovely dinner at ASK courtesy of Tesco vouchers (bet they don't take them in Bejing!), then off to see the show. Ellen and I had seen it before (took her for a weekend in London in lieu of an anniversary present Simonn forgot to get me!) but it was equally good seeing it a second time. The singers are absolutely amazing and it's incredible to think that all that talent is unrecognised, i.e. they are not famous! You could easily be sitting next to these people on the Tube and have no idea what fabulous talent they have.
Yesterday we all went up to Watford to take the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Jack loved all the HP stuff when he was younger and has watched all the films. We haven't but still had a great time. It was a bit disappointing when we arrived - Jack said "That's not Hogwarts, it looks like B&Q!" He was right - three massive buildings but inside are the actual sets from the movie including The Great Hall, Dumbledore's chambers, the Common Room, The boys dormitory and so much more. The whole thing was about the making of HP and it was fascinating. Would definitely recommend it to any of your 'readers' and, of course, you - WHEN you come back!
Today though was the most exciting day - Jack got his GCSE results!! SOooo proud of him - A in English, Maths, German, Psychology, Science & Ethics - B in English Lit, (another) Science, and History. Distinction in his BTEC Sport and Merit in ICT diploma :o) He is absolutely delighted and is out tonight to celebrate - god help us! He really worked hard for it so certainly deserves the results he got. Tomorrow he goes to college for his interview just to make sure he can do the course he wants, and is also having a trial for the Sports Academy so keep your fingers crossed for that too.
So, a busy and successful week so far - everyone is happy - and I'm ignoring the fact I'm back to work a week on Monday! Still, it's been a great Summer and by the time I'm back to work for 15 minutes it'll be like I've never been away :o)
Keep us posted of all your exploits and I'll keep you posted of ours!
Much love to you both,

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