It started about 3 weeks ago…….

…….Christmas decorations began to appear all over Shanghai. Quite surprising when a mere 3.2% of the population calls themselves Christian (behind Buddhism and Taoism……..).

Below is but a small selection of Christmas trees that I’ve taken photos of recently: Below (left) one made entirely of wine glasses and to the right the construction of our ‘own’ tree here in the foyer of our apartment building.




And here in the center of one of the MANY shopping malls around town…… dozens of trees of various sizes having their photo taken by enthusiastic shoppers.







Here are some more enthusiastic photographers  …this time the focus of their attention was a group of children from Blanche’s school who were in the street drawing the autumn leaves. (Note the Christmas trees for sale in the background! 800rmb).

Blanche is still surprisingly happy to pose for curious people passing by (whilst Antoine still refuses to oblige……and I don’t blame him…it really is rather annoying). Here she is with her finished interpretation of an autumn tree. I’m glad that she has not (yet) lost her enthusiasm to draw despite the Chinese style of teaching art which is typically a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach.

Here is a plaque proudly displayed at the front of a group of residential buildings. These notices are dotted around town and I’m supposing they are the equivalent of the Guides/Scouts ‘tidy camper’ badge awarded to residents for keeping their surrounds spotless.

Shanghighs‘: The 4th move in Shanghai (in under 2 years) went well. Friends offered to look-after the kids after school, and the new apartment was looking pretty good by the time they hit their beds. I would have to say that moving at least once a year is highly recommended as an excellent way of de-cluttering the cupboards.

The movers were very reluctant to set-up the bed the way I wanted because they said that the *feng shui was ‘bu hao’ (not good). They were most probably right but I just wanted the desk to fit in the bedroom.

One thing that I’ve learnt about movers is that they typically move with lightning speed, they do not take a break if they can help it, and they have long departed before you realize that not everything is exactly how you’d like it: on this particular occasion a cupboard door on a bookshelf unit no longer opens, the water dispenser doesn’t chill or heat water anymore, the bin is dented…….etc….. But they DID give free *feng shui advice and I love what they’ve done with my living room!

Shanglows‘: So far we have had 2 water leaks in the new apartment…but hey…the internet, gas, water and electricity are all working!

Shangunusuals‘: This is a Luo Han Guo (dried monk fruit) which is THE cure for a sore throat here. I cracked it, poured hot water over it and tried the red liquid. It had a slightly aniseed flavor and was sweet. It was actually for my daughter …. but she wouldn’t drink it!


*Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) ‘examines how the placement of things and objects within it affect the energy flow in your living environment, and how these objects interact with and influence your personal energy flow. Your personal energy flow affects how you think and act, which in turn affects how well you perform and succeed in your personal and professional life.’ (Feng Shui for Dummies)




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