5 years and counting

I first decided I wanted to come to China when we studied Chinese history at O level.  Everyone else did the traditional WW2 gig, for some reason our teacher decided on an alternative path.  We hurtled through the dynasties, paused for breath at the Boxer rebellion and rolled on to Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung before he changed his name) and Jiong Jieshi (the politician formerly known as Chiang KaiShek) before grinding to an abrupt halt at 2nd December 1949. It was if nothing of interest happened after that as far as the Oxford Examination Board was concerned.  We still had time left so we padded out our knowledge with British parliamentary reform in the 20th century.  I think our class must have had the most warped perspective of any examination candidates that year.

Continue reading “5 years and counting”

For Janh

I opened google today, and saw the link. I don’t know if you are already aware or it’s of use. Just thought of you:


(it has a bicycling option [see the drop dpwn menu below the a, b points])

Blissy biking.

Knee injuries make you feel really old.   I mean really old; Igor-loping, arthriticky, limpingly, grotesquely old.

Dodgy knees don’t like stairs. You pause and think “oh drat” before going up and you come down in the ungainly fashion of a unidexter.

Knee problems are a timely reminder to have patience with people who are a bit slow on stairs and to be considerate at all times to those folk whose entire existence is ruled by degrees of impaired mobility.

Part of the knee recovery plan has been to use the turbo-trainer to keep the muscles in shape.  It’s in the dining room overlooking the garden. Two hours before people turn up to dinner I get asked “Will you get that bike out into the garage?” and I’m afraid I always refuse because a) it’s a nice bike (elegant Simoncini frame with Shimano Ultegra gears) and b) because the garage is not a good place for a nice bike being so crowded with stuff and c) it’s a fag getting it to the garage and bringing it back again five hours later.

Anyway, the turbo-trainer deserves house room. I’ve kept faith with it through this injury and the frequent winter days when I deem it not safe to mix it with ice or traffic. Continue reading “Blissy biking.”