It's all for charity mate!!!

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, September 10, 2012

So, let's rewind back to Tuesday just before our 'ranty' blog which we hope you found amusing!!

I went back to my 'stich & bitch' club as someone in our office has affectionately named it, the British Club coffee morning. Normal meetings have resumed now every other week now that everyone is back from the summer, 10-12 on a Tues at the lovely Capital Club, a clear day & amazing views. About 30 ladies there, got chatting to a couple of familiar faces as well as some new ones which was good. Been invited to the next comittee meeting too so that I can help out where needed.

Tues evening Andy went bowling, a bowling league this time rather than the Internations social one just around the corner from us. He was top scorer for his team of 7. This is a regular thing with a team which he's set up, Ray from work also played too. I opted for a night on the sofa with 2 Bridget Jones back to back, heaven!!!

Wednesday was our long walk with our China observations!

Thursday we chilled out & watched a film, the Last Seven - a bit weird. It rained so we were glad to stay in.

A good week at work where Andy has secured 3 appointments for this week now, 2 on Weds & one on Fri.

Friday afternoon I'd had enough of my hair - not had it cut since the day before leaving the UK, and it had got very long & overgrown, so an impulse decision to do what I'd been putting off for too long, an went to Julie's salon where Andy goes & I have my fringe cut, 16 later, cut, wash & blow dry, and an eyebrow shape - bargain, and..... I love it, very very pleased. So sorry Nicky & Tina, your flight over has been cancelled now!!

Friday night was an Internations party, no ordinary party - the organisations 5th Birthday party with celebrations going on all over the world. Our party was at the V+ club, only a 15 min walk from our apartment, which was handy. I was invited upstairs to floor 25 before the party to Pia's, a girl we've met recently - she's lovely, Swedish but with a very strong Irish accent, we couldn't actually believe she was Swedish! She invited me up for Champagne & food, along with 2 other girls, one from Denmark & one from Switzerland. Think I've mentioned before that all the apartments here are identical, so there is something quite weird sitting in someone's apartment that's the same as yours, but a slightly different view being higher up!! A few bottles of fizz later, we walked down to the venue. As an aside, the police are having a big crackdown on illegal selling at the mo - and whilst we were walking out we saw 4-5 officers descend on the sweet little old man who walks the streets selling helium ballons, and pop them with knives. My heart really went out to him, they could have just let them off into the sky or given them to some kids or something, it was really sad. Then over the weekend all the street food sellers have temporarily disappeared from our main haunt, and it just didn't feel the same! They'll be back soon, as will the dodgy dvd's on the shelves of the shops!!

So, we arrived at the party, over 400 people which was a record, at a club with various levels & a fab roof terrace with sofa's, overlooking the city skyline & the workers stadium. There was birthday cake at midnight, which Andy & I ended up helping to dish out! A great evening.

Saturday I woke up with a rather large hangover, but the nice bit was Andy brought me tea & toast in bed - yes, toast.... a first!!! We have finally got around to buying a toaster, usually having fruit & yogurt for breakfast, so thoroughly enjoyed lots of toast & butter, sad hey.... it's the little things!!

We'd planned to go out to one of the schools, WAB - Western Academy of Beijing (Mum & Dad, where Carol & Alan's son works) for the NFL (National Football League) Experience, I'll let Andy tell you about that one, it fits under the remit of a 'match report' with cheerleaders thrown in, so I don't feel I'd do it justice ;) You'll admire the photo's of me in the Green Bay Packers kit I'm sure....!

What with a hangover & being in the sun all day, I was done in - back home & I ended up going back to bed. Strangely woken up again later with more toast in bed, another bath & felt I was starting my day all over again!! In the evening we met a few friends locally and had beer & burgers at the local bar called Frost, it's full title is Frost Coffee, Nails, Cocktails & Waxing, what more could you want! Finished our evening at our regular F1 bar before wandering home.

Sunday, a nice lazy morning then we tried a new place near us that had just opened - it wouldn't have been out of place in a trendy London street, a big space of shabby chic, stone floors, industrial ceilings with pretty crystal chandaliers, a mixture of wooden & antique looking tables & chairs, lighting etc. Really lovely, so I enjoyed a Cappucino, whilst Andy had a fresh kiwi juice. Very lovely having such a nice coffee stop so close. There are of course other coffee shops available, starbucks or costa within a 10 min walk in 3 different directions!!

Next on the list was a hair cut for Andy, then the local bookshop called the Bookworm had a book sale, 50p books. I bought 2, the lady kindly pointed out that one was number 3 in the series, so I had to explain I didn't intend to actually read them, they just looked pretty to go on our bookshelf!

We'd seen a charity event advertised at a bar we've been to before, the Brussels bar. When you bought certain drinks, the equivalent of 1.50 per drink went straight to charity,

who raise money to stock, build and furnish libraries in schools across China, that haven't got the money for books. We met the founder and got chatting, really like what they do so made sure we drank lots, donating 3 books per drink, how cool is that!! We've put our name down to volunteer next spring when they fit the library they are currently raising money for. Our boss is keen to work with us too and donating to the project, so a good thing for the company too. The Beijing Beatles played, really good band with good fun guys, and just had quite a chilled out afternoon / evening.

We legged it from there to watch the Grand Prix, Jenson Button was doing sooooo well but had to retire from 2nd place, gutted....... Lost interest at that point as we were shattered, so headed home.

A very early start for us this morning, well - 6am which was normal for me in the UK, but here we've got used to sleeping in til 7.45am....... A contact of Ray's had invited us to a breakfast seminar, it was at a very posh hotel, Grand Millenium, and we registered at 8am, hot & cold breakfast buffet on offer, and a presentation about Global Economies, followed by one more specifically on China. You may yawn at the thought of that early on a Monday morning, but it was really interesting, and I particularly found it useful to cement my understanding of the bigger picture and the effects on various countries & the markets. A bit of networking thrown in too, and a very enjoyable morning. Called round the corner to the Visa agent, to give in our passports to get our visa's renewed, then back to the office for the afternoon .

A chilled out evening, too tired to cook so we've just ordered in dumplings, a box of 10 each, Kung Pao Chicken in one box, and beef & water chestnut in the other, 2 veggie sides, 3 dipping sauces, all for a fiver - and very very tasty.

Change of plan...... Pez will do his match / cheerleader report another time as he's dozing on the sofa, we'll just tease you with the photos for now!


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Mum and Dad on

Enjoying your blogs, hair looks good Trace but not the green kit look !!! Window cleaning looks frightening, scooter is cool, Dad would love one I'm sure and the brekkie and coffees look just up our street.
Good luck Andy with your appointments we'll be thinking of you but will speak in the week like arranged. Lots of love xxxxxxxx

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