Cinderella shall go to the ball!

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, November 12, 2012

Good evening,

How is everyone? All good I hope. Slightly missing the UK at the moment looking through Facebook seeing all the X factor comments, the Christmas ad comments, although if I was there I'd probably be moaning about it being too early!! Just loved those cosy nights in watching TV when it's cold outside, before Christmas!

Starting with last Tuesday, I'd seen an advert for a photographer who I studied whilst doing my A level a few years ago, Martin Parr, has an exhibition here & was doing a talk at The Bookworm, our local libraby / cafe / bar. They have regular talks there & last time we just turned up & got a ticket. I was so looking forward to going, turned up & it was heaving - to be told that the tickets had been on sale in the last 2 weeks & had sold out, and around 20 on the waiting list.... not happy at all, no-where did it say on their newsletter or the website about buying tickets in advance. I came home again quite gutted, they did offer to play the audio into the back room but really, audio for such a visual presentation?!?! Nah..... I e-mailed after with my moan, and got an apologetic reply agreeing that it wasn't clear, and that they will make sure it is in the future.

Wednesday night was a get together with the Internations wine tasting group, the last event was the day out at the lavender fields / chateau, so this was a more civilised affair.... there is a great shop / bar opened up nearby called California Grapes run by a fab guy from Cuba who really knows his stuff & is entertaining as well as informative. He held a free wine tasting event for 20 of us, to try 5 different wines and some snacks too. Had a really good evening & stayed quite late trying various wines, he offsets the price of the wine by the glass against any bottle that you buy, it makes great sense!! Old & new friends again, and all good fun - nice to see some wines that we recognised from the Napa & Sonoma Valley last year whilst on holiday.

A quiet night in on Thursday, ready for the weekend, which is when I wrote the last blog & Andy signed his next deal that evening. Very happy. We both had a couple of appointments last week so things going on which is great, just takes time. The guy he signed was a recommendation from a guy who has just transferred over to us from another company, isn't even on our system yet & has still recommended Andy, which is a lovely feeling.

Friday was the Internations party, this week at a cool new hotel bar called Xian, at a very posh hotel the other side of town by a new shopping complex that has opened up. A lot of people, and a different crowd too, so good for networking & meeting new people, as well as catching up with the usual suspects! A very enjoyable evening, and a few long island iced teas!!

Last minute on Friday, we decided to go to a ball the following evening. We were disappointed that a few of us had left it too late to get tickets to the British Ball, which was James Bond themed & according to friends was a fantastic night. A few other friends were going to a Chinese HR ball, the tickets were 80 quid each, but we managed to get ours for 30 each, just as well as it wasn't worth 800. Free flow drinks, canapes but we didn't really see any, and a few dodgy 'talent' entertainers!! Although it was mainly Chinese people, it was really high level so most of them spoke very good English & had studied in the US, UK, Australia etc. and had good jobs, and really enjoyed talking to us.

We went to our friends, Bruce & Coco's place for a drink beforehand, Bruce is Scottish and as it was black tie / business suit, he decided to wear his kilt! He looked awesome (I'll be in trouble for writing that!!!), but his Chinese girlfriend couldn't really 'get' the whole 'skirt' thing & that he really was going to wear it. Walking down the street attracted lots of attention as you can imagine, and Coco & I walked in together, leaving Andy to walk in with Bruce!! It was like paparazzi, the cameras snapping away at him!! Of course all throughout the evening he got lots of attention! We've been told that the Chinese don't really do the formal thing as far as dress code is concerned, so they were really trying to enforce the black tie / business suit / ladies dress to impress thing, but there were still a few people there in jeans & trainers, the women ranged from full lenth dresses, mostly cocktail dresses like me, and a few more casual. Lots of very bad shoes & boots though with nice dresses. Kinda got used to that now here!

I did the total girlie thing & had to do an emergency shop for a dress on Saturday not having brought anything like that with me - tried one on in Zara, but of course had to look elsewhere. The Silk market were full of promises that they could make something for me & have it delivered home by 5pm, showing me all sorts of photo's in magazines etc. & to be honest, as great as it sounded, it was quite overwhelming and what if I didn't like it? So guess what? Yes, back to Zara to buy the first thing I tried on.

The ball was 7-11pm although they stopped serving drinks & started packing up around 10.30 much to my disgust! So we went on to a great night club called Sparks, Andy & the others know the manager, so he had us on the guest list, took us into the VIP area and gave us beers for the rest of the evening, we didn't spend a penny. Bruce still kept entertaining the crowds in his kilt & ended up on stage getting the crowd dancing!! A great evening.

Andy has his next boys night event on Friday, my ladies night is on Thursday. We are going to the very cool & trendy LAN club (the one we went to for the party with the amazing toilets!!), and the boys are going karting for theirs. A few of us met at the venue to check it out & make arrangments, so thought it rude not to have a go.

Now, I have never done this before...... and was a real girlie girl..... When looking at the photo's just now of me in the kart, I said 'Tracy Button', Andy said 'no, Tracy Daisy'. Yep, i was rubbish, 3 laps for me, 6 for the others!! I was a bit of a wimp.... sure another time I'll be more confident! Great to try something new though and it was fun. Reckon they'll have a great night there on Friday. There is a great viewing area & a bar too.

Headed back towards home afterwards & had some food in Paddy's, before retiring home to watch Madagascar 2 before crashing out.

Picked up some trousers from our local tailors tonight, had trouble finding some black trousers for work, and some that are thick enough for the winter - gave her my suit trousers to copy & she's done a fantastic job, and a bargain to for the 2 pairs. Very pleased.

Had a good result the other day, you know what I'm like for winning things here - night in a hotel, massage, umbrella, well I keep entering & we've won 2 tickets for the White Collar Boxing event here on Saturday night, worth 100 quid each, 4 course sit down dinner, free flow drinks, and the boxing at a posh hotel, how cool is that!! Will explain more about it after we go. Gotta be in it to win it!!!

Now, most of you will have seen that my crazy mad fool sister spent 24 hours in a life raft on Friday, with a group of equally crazy people to raise money for sail 4 cancer, here is the article from the Portsmouth Evening News:
raising around the 3000 pound mark the last I heard - so well done to all of you, fantastic news. And for Lou getting a permanent job at Sunsail last week having been on a temporary contract for sometime, brilliant news Lou - well done xxx

Chantelle if you're reading too, hope your wrist is healing now & you're feeling better. Enjoy the time off work!! xxx

Lastly, the weather update - this week between 6-11 degrees daytime, down to -5 at night. And to think 2 Saturdays ago it was a warm 20 degrees. The wind was really strong yesterday which made it feel much colder too.

Bye for now
Tracy & Andy

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Mum and Dad on

Great having a long chat and catch up.
Lovely pics of you both,enjoy Saturday at the boxing!
Love Dad and Mum xxxxxxx

Lou Nev on

Thank you for the shout out, sponsorship and congrats! Am still reading but always playing catch up so don't want my comments to be too out of date xxx

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