Happy Christmas!!!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Hi everyone from a very chilly Christmas Eve in Beijing! A lovely clear, sunny day but the temperatures dropped last night to -18……!! Christmas day is predicted to reach a 'high' of -8 during the day, and -14 at night. At least Christmas will feel right being cold I guess!!

I’ve even bought some thermal leggings now, the time came where the cold & the wind goes right through your jeans! Oh, and another hat, and 2 pairs of long boots, much needed.

So what have we been up to this week, the usual really. Andy went bowling on Tuesday, last one of the year. I stayed at home & spoke to Mum on Skype which was nice, although still not a great signal L

We hadn’t been to the Paddy’s pub quiz for a while, so we went on Wednesday for a festive special which was good fun. I still wasn’t drinking so sat back & watched the others have a few, we actually came 4th in the quiz which is pretty good for us! Tequila shots were involved too, but not for me!!

Thursday evening was the last Internations party of the year, a Christmas party at the LAN club where we’d been before, with a band too. A good turn out for a Thursday night, as lots of people had already gone home for Christmas. But again, another sober night for me! It was snowing quite a lot too, so had another covering.

Friday we closed up the office at lunchtime, and decided to head off to Carrefour to get a few things in for Christmas, chocolate, cheese, Bailey’s, and a bottle of whiskey – all the essentials!!! Later on, Ray from work had invited us for a drink, so we joined him for a glass of wine at a nice hotel bar called Centro, I had my first glass of wine in over a week, and it went down ok! Andy had to meet a client quickly later in the afternoon to pick up some paperwork, so we did that and went to a Texas restaurant for a bite to eat. I was fading fast by that point, really tired & cold, so we headed home for the evening to watch the last Lord of the Rings, which of course I fell asleep to, typical!! I was just feeling so wiped out still.

Saturday morning Andy & the rest of his bowling team were invited to bowl in a Chinese competition, starting at 9.30am….. so a nice early start for him! They didn’t do particularly well, so came home with their tail between their legs realising that evening bowling & beer is an integral part of their success!!

Went for a wander into town later in the afternoon, then food & wine at the Blue Frog, before finishing the evening in our usual bar, the First Floor. Really weird just being the two of us as most of our friends have gone home.

On Friday night a guy we’d met through Internations a few times & become friends with, slipped on the ice and very unfortunately broke his leg in 3 places, really horrible & ended up in hospital having surgery for 4 hours. We really felt for him, so went to visit him in hospital yesterday so see how he was doing. He’s here on his own, and his girlfriend is due to come over from Vietnam to visit on Wednesday, not the trip he had planned for her now! Makes you realise how important it is to support people like that & be there for them when they’re away from their own country, friends & family, so it meant a lot to him that we visited.

The hospital was opposite a pub we’d seen before, so thought it rude not to pop in for a drink & some lunch afterwards, it was called Little Britain!! And they even do a roast dinner, so we may have to go back sometime!! After that, met a couple of friends in town in a bar called Saddle Cantina, a mexican restaurant & bar, so had a few Margaritas, not the drink you’d imagine having when it’s so cold outside, actually the restaurant was almost as cold inside!! A really good afternoon which turned into evening, and fell into bed just as Andy was speaking to Stephen & Tanya on Skype, so unluckily for them they had a quick hello with a drunken sleepy Tracy in bed!!! Nice to speak to you both & hopefully speak again later on properly!!! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your Birthday too Stephen.

Very excitingly, we have just booked tickets to go to the Shanghai F1 Grand Prix in April, you’ll know that Andy & I went to Silverstone last year for my 40th Birthday, and that it’s another dream to see other races around the world, so we thought we’d start here in China!! The tickets are far more reasonably priced than the UK, you get much more for your money so we have grandstand seats on the corner just before the pit lane which looks like a great location. One of Andy’s closest friends here in Beijing is sadly moving to Singapore, however it does mean that we’ll probably visit him later in the year & go to the Singapore race as well.

Our Christmas eve involves a manicure for me, a hair cut for Andy, and a fantastic evening in store – Andy has been the lucky one this time and won tickets for a Winter Wonderland Grand Gala Dinner, at the very posh Ritz Carlton hotel. I still can’t believe something can cost so much, but the tickets are worth around 560 pds each, just how much food & drink can you have? I thought it would include a room for the night too for that price, but it doesn’t!  A very lavish banquet I would imagine, and maybe Santa & all the reindeer can put in an appearance!! Anyway, we’re not paying a penny, (or a yuan!) so it will taste even better I’m sure!!

Tomorrow Andy is treating me & making Christmas special for me as I’m sad to be away from home, and is taking me to the Four Season’s hotel in the morning for a massage which will be lovely, depending on the weather, if it’s a clear day we may have a drink in the afternoon in the highest building in Beijing, in the bar on the 80th floor. Then there are 13 of us now for the meal in the evening which should be good.

We’ll be around on Skype Christmas day from around 5.30 – 7.30 pm our time, 9.30-11.30am your time, before going out for dinner, so hopefully speak to people then.  Will really miss being at home for Christmas, and my advent calendar is now empty of chocolate, amongst the 5 Christmas cards (thank you Aunty Sal!), a bit different to the usual 50 or so!!

Hope you all have a very lovely day tomorrow, and Happy Christmas to all our friends and family & lots of love from us both in Beijing.

Tracy & Andy

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Ellie on

Sorry meant to write a bit here but added it to the picture!Goodness she must be drinking !

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