There was a National Holiday last Thursday to celebrate The Mid-Autumn Festival (the equinox). As the equinox fell on the Thursday, the Friday was also added as a National Holiday – but employees were expected to work on the Sunday to ‘make-up’ for the Friday – strange but true. Even the school was open on Sunday… but we skipped it.
Moon Cakes are traditionally eaten at this time of year and are made to symbolize the moon: these are sweet pastries filled with all sorts of fillings – almond, egg, red beans, lotus seeds….. . I’ve heard that they are kind-of the equivalent of the British Christmas fruit cake – in that they are eaten once a year and not always with a great deal of pleasure.
This festival features the beautiful idea that we all see the same moon phase on or around the same date. There are some small differences due to time zone, but, for the most part, the moon looks the same to all of us as night falls. As the roundest and brightest moon of the year was in the sky on that day I felt a connection with my friends and family across the globe.
The Autumn season is associated with illness and indeed a number of school friends have been ill: In Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy the body represents the five elements of life: earth, fire, wood, water and metal. In Autumn, the metal phase, represented by the lungs, is most vulnerable, which is why we experience more respiratory problems. Our school kindly posted some advice to parents:
I’m not sure if you can read this but it suggests drinking more water, eating less spicy food, keeping the skin moist and avoiding all cold food and drink (which is actually ill-advised all year round).
I have noticed so many people sleeping on the job and in the streets that I decided to start a photo collection:
hmmm…….. they are all men…..
‘Shanghighs‘: Spending some time over the long week-end to ‘chill-out’ with the family (and ‘chill-off’- the weather was hot enough for a last swim in the out-door pool before it closes for the winter weather). We’re off to Cambodia next week during the school vacation.
‘Shanghlows‘: A probable diagnosis of synovitis PVNS of the knee – this is not good as there is no known cause nor treatment with a prognosis that it will get worse. To confirm the diagnosis the insurance company is suggesting going to Hong Kong which is not very reassuring about the level of care being offered here! Actually I became a little suspect when I realized the Dr was using Wikipedia as his reference tool. Let’s hope he was incompetent enough to be wrong about the diagnosis 😉 In the meantime I’m going to follow more strictly an anti-inflammatory diet and cross my fingers.