Well after 3 months in England I am now back in China, I left the UK at 8am Monday the 15th of September and arrived in Beijing at 3.30pm Tuesday the 16th ( with the 7 hour time difference) I was very tired and to make it worse Jun and I missed each other as I came through the arrivals gate, my phone had stopped working as soon as i left the UK so I couldn't call her and just assumed she hadn't been able to get away from work early to meet me, so I stood at the far end of the arrival gate for 1.5 hours. Meanwhile Jun is at the other end of the arrival area ( it is a huge area) trying to contact me and wondering why I hadn't replied to her texts that she sent me when i was on a stopover at Dubai and naturally thinking something had happened and I had either missed the flight from Newcastle or something had happened on route. I didn't dare move from my position in case I missed her and Jun was thinking the same,eventually she made her way to the information desk to check if i had been on the flight when she spotted me stood at the far end looking like in her words " dead on my feet and completely lost" ha-ha. Anyway it was all ok in the end and we got home at 7pm.
I spent the first couple of days just pottering around the apartment and having a few catnaps to adjust to the time difference, I went to the local shop on the first afternoon and they were all waving and saying welcome back which was really nice, and when Jun came home from work we went for a massage which helped to relax some of the previous days tension.
It was a hard but enjoyable time working on our house back in the UK, Jun was with me for the first 4 weeks so we managed to buy all the furniture,carpets,paint etc,which entailed initially a lot of travelling about,we even managed to do all the hard work in the garden building stone walls in the courtyard to house all the flowers and plants we had bought, as well as fitting and installing a pond and fountain.All the stones for the garden were carried by Jun and I from the riverside and allotments as well as carrying 1 ton of delivered top soil from the road at the front of the house around to the back,all very hard work but Jun was amazing turning her hand to anything that needed doing eg mixing cement and even laying some of the stone walls.
We also at the end of the first month before Jun went back to China traveled to Liverpool for 3 days for my Nieces wedding which was lovely, we also had time to visit some of the tourist areas in particular The Cavern Club and the regenerated dock area,which brought back memories of when i was a young man in the Navy arriving and sailing from Liverpool.
It was especially nice that there was more time for visiting family and friends as well as having time to go to Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey.two day visits and one weekend stay. We also had time for some nice walks in Teesdale it really is a beautiful place,and of course quite a few car boot sales and charity shops (always looking for that bargain ha-ha) I did though manage to get some great Frank Sutcliffe framed prints. I also entered one of my photographs in to the Gainford Annual show and got second prize for my nature macro shot of the Ant and Butterfly,so i was pleased with that.
So now i am settled back in to life in China and have started teaching again and restablished contact with friends over here,we have also been invited to fly to ChongQuing to visit friends of ours a French family who moved there from Beijing, which we are hoping to do before we go back to the UK in December.