I do not really notice the time passing, and then suddenly realise that each day brings weather a little different from what I am accustomed to. Last week was breezy, a little chilly, and I broke out a scarf to wear as well as cardigan or jacket. Coming home from school, the boys are told, no keep your jacket on even if you are running and running and getting too hot. It is chilly as the evening falls and we have had pink and orange cloudiness glimpsed above the tall buildings before the lights start coming on and I decide it is time we left the park and headed for home. Of course it also makes me realise how very seldom we actually see sky or sun, just the general chinese city grey sky. [Here in Shanghai it is much much clearer than in Guangzhou, the ‘ceiling’ seems quite high, and is more no-colour, rather than grey.]
I took this photo on Wednesday – me holding up a queue of people on the one-person single-file space left on the roadside interchange between stations at Shaanxi Nan Lu. I wanted to remember this kind of typical work site, the men wearing safety helmets, but the huge heavy safe they were hauling overhead and the ladder was all within range of me and all the other people walking along, and the bicycle would ease out and ride by when I got out of the way. [I am still hugely anxious in the taxis, without seat-belts, the safety rules the west takes for granted are not part of the culture here.]
The men shouted together: Yi – Er – San , Shang Shang, and then heaved, and at each heave the safe went up about 6 inches, swinging from side to side on its rope and being guided by the guy up the ladder. I have no idea where its final destination was going to be – in one of the windows, maybe?
The photo also shows the no-colour sky. Wednesday was a beautiful autumn day. I went to Yuyuan and shopped for Christmas, having a lovely time wandering around the stalls in the old part of downtown. [Yes, Christmas, but I have to rely on China Post if anything is going to arrive by the end of this year, so lots of light-weight shopping.]
Now, the weather has changed, we were threatened with thunder yesterday, but got some rain and very high humidity instead. The tiled bathroom floors are wet again from condensation and I cannot understand why chinese building entrances are all faux marble tiles which are the slippiest material ever manufactured. Their beautiful appearance is of course practically unseen, as the gate guards roll out their cardboard/paper-carpet/non-slip walkways as soon as the rain comes.
So we spent yesterday evening at home, not too long in the park. Louis’ drawings continue to amaze us all. This is me, holding my iphone. it was actually Ali who started this off, as he was drawing outlines of hands and fingers, round my hands on the paper – you know how kids like doing this. Then he decided to do outlines round all sorts of things, including my iphone. Louis thought that was a good idea, drew an iphone outline and then produced his interpretation of what it really looks like, and how granny uses it. Do you like my 3-fingered hands? See the start of my name ELSP and the on/off button and camera point. The speech bubble at the side is “it is talking to you granny“. I do not know what all the orange items at the bottom are, though I can see his name in there – the picture must be upside down.
As well as outlines, Ali likes making squares and triangles and loves counting, so he often writes numbers everywhere. A nerd in the making! He has now begun to draw too, and is quite happy with his ten pieces of paper each of which has something on, and takes quarter the time to do compared with his brother’s concentrated masterpieces.
Well you can see I am enjoying myself, but I must get out more and see some films or something. I know there is a world somewhere which is not centred on my grandsons!!!