Yumo is potty training, which we’re hoping will be easier since he wants to do what his older sister does, but we’re in the habit of high fiving after he’s done it. I’d be ok with doing that forever.

Nervous flyer

I remember the first time I was nervous flying.

Growing up, it’s not that we flew a lot but when we did it was relatively long flights. So i’ve always been fine flying. It’s the safest form of travel! All the same, you’re pretty high in the air arent’ you often over boundless stretches of water,

It was after Elise was born and suddenly everything was different. The first time we flew a shortish flight and I was suddenly nervous on take off. It wasn’t about just me anymore.

I think this thought popped up because I was in the hospital today and that’s always a good place to get you thinking about things.

Finished our night away with a trip to the hospital after getting my finger very briefly trapped in a nice heavy door.

Even if I’m not taking part I’m really enjoying the photos from the contest! Thank you everyone!

I do not need to buy new stationary. I do not need to buy new stationary.

Am resisting the urge that to take the next step I need to buy new stuff to do it. When it’s true that the things I have already are probably* enough.


An afternoon sat on the floor of our hotel room cutting and sticking was very relaxing!

Day/night away

Grandparents are in and we’ve gone away, mostly visiting places that are popular online. Pho, then coffee, check in, ice cream and now day drinking and worms.

Full names.

It’s interesting to hear Elise talking to classmates as she leaves school. In Chinese she uses their full name - which is normally two or three characters and so that many ‘sounds’. So, it doesn’t make saying the whole name too long.

I thought how strange that would be if children did that in the UK or similar places.


Another day, another new place. This was to try some new tea based drinks. Those these ones are based more on the traditional tea people drink. Which is really not my… cup of tea.


Have been going for a shortish walk after dropping Elise off at kindergarten. It’s been nice, a little time to think things over. Mostly, I like it because I can’t do anything. I’m not sat at home wishing I was doing more productive things. That said, it’s already 30 degrees!

Welcome back for the 2020 school year! [A letter from your local superintendent and school board]

Welcome back for the 2020 school year! We are incredibly delighted to have our children and educators back in school again, particularly after such a challenging spring and summer. We couldn’t be more excited to see your kids’ smiling faces back in our classrooms!

As you know, some things will be different this fall. We wanted to share a few things for us all to think about over the next few months…

First, some of our children and families probably will become very ill.


Trying to get Siri to play Jaja Ding Dong from the Eurovision move by Will Ferrell was a fun afternoon activity. No, not Ding dong merrily on high. The trick is to say it wrong, j not y. Just FYI.

I go back to work next week. So I’m been trying to sort my sleep routines out a little. Going to bed a little earlier and getting up a little earlier.

Day 1 didn’t go so well. Didn’t go to bed yet early and ignored my alarm to get up.

'My Mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze."

To my boy, all that energy, so wild
Love your hues and your blues in equal measure
Your comings and your goings-away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

To my girl, all your innocence and fire
When you reach out, I am here hell or high water
This nest is never going away
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

To my boy, my precious, gentle warrior
To your sweetness and your strength in exploring
May this bond stay with you through all your days
My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze

Alanis Morrisette - Ablaze.

If you haven’t seen it, this video of Alanis Morrisette performing via the internet while holding her daughter is de-lightful. Link

Another day, another adventure

This time without kids and with a taxi there instead of a taxi.

It definitely ticked the adventure box. The first place we went to wasn’t doing food as we hoped, then the coffee took an age but we were playing Worms so it was no problem. The lady in the shop was lovely and gave us the coffee free in the end. Will definitely go back likely in the evening. It was a nice space. Chongqing is starting to get more and more of them. They’re mostly an opportunity to take some photos though! Often, relatively isolated and often looking very out of place.

So we went somewhere else for food, that was closed. So we went next door for Japanese.

After, we got lost finding a cake place. In the 34 degree heat, which was fun.

Finally, we went to a bar for more games a few beers.

It’s this hot, so we’re sitting outside instead of inside.

Pringle “taco”. Things I’m going to make at home!


Really enjoying Norsemen on Netflix. I read it described as Vikings meets Monty Python, which I kind of like. They apparently recorded it in Norwegian and English - which is pretty amazing. The way they speak in English, where the inflections are, adds a certain something. Trailer

Youngest has been up since 5:30. Got annoyed and am now annoyed about being annoyed. We need a plan!

As someone whose job it often to encourage and support parents to leave their child at school when said child is reluctant to come into school you’d think I’d be better at doing it myself.


Lyra wanted something like this after she had it in a place in Chengdu. Turned out ok, avocado, smoked salmon and eggs.

Getting in the car with/without children.

Without kids.

  1. Approach car.
  2. Unlock.
  3. Put on seatbelt.
  4. Spend some time choosing the right music.*
  5. Start car and drive away.


With kids

  1. Approach car.
  2. Chase children around car - “No, your seat is the other side.”
  3. Open back door.
  4. Close door, so child can open door.
  5. Put child in seat and strap in.
  6. Continue trying to strap in child.
  7. Close door on screaming child.
  8. Count to 10.
  9. Open door.
  10. “Daddy, play Trolls music.”
  11. “Just. Let. Me. Put. My. Seat. Belt. On.”
  12. Play Trolls music.
  13. Play correct Trolls music.
  14. Consider going home.
  15. Drive away.

Starting to think about going back to school

Summer holidays are coming to an end. For us in China, school will reopen for students on 17th August. In a similar state to when we closed. However, everything is a lot more open in China since we did close.

Quite aside from that I need to get back into the habit of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Don’t wanna!