End of November coming

It is still clear and dry, glorious weather, fairly cool outside and inside is cool too – no central heating. I remember how used to central heating I have become, as when it is like this indoors, just switch on, and continue to walk about shoeless, slipper-less. Not here!!

Ali in his dressing gown, photo by Louis. Note, no slippers, again.

Here it is ‘put on your slippers’ and now also socks and jumpers. But, as Donal says, if only the winter did not come after this. When it does, apparently it only lasts about a month. I remember arriving last February, when I went to bed in my coat, I was so cold. The big blower heaters, which are air conditioners in the summer, do not seem to make much difference except to the noise level, so it feels better to keep them off most of the time.

I am now having a much more social time, having found a Sunday afternoon expats coffee meeting, and one of the old Shanghai hands there told me about ShanghaiMamas. As he said, this is the organisation you want, they are tied by kids but are free during the week most days when the kids are in school. Just like me!! So I have had coffee with Shanghai Mamas in Luwan and in Hongmei, districts on either side of Xuhui, and just as good, nice walking around those areas because walking somewhere with a reason to be going, always seems better. I also went to a book-group meeting this week on Wednesday evening, which was good but I was going under with a really bad headache which turned into another rotten cold, so I left the group early. I like Shanghai Mamas very much and hope I did not pass the cold on to any of them! So I have had a couple of days off Granny duty and Cindy had to take the boys to school, though I managed collecting them. Today we had a great morning in Hengshan Park, and then I just felt lik eit so we had lunch out at Element Fresh. As it sounds – fresh squeezed orange juice, etc. It is chinese international food, always ‘fresh’. They boys wanted to share a chicken and bacon salad baguette while I ordered humus which came with olives and fresh carrot, cucumber and celery sticks. Ali liked that, and the chicken from inside the baguette. Louis liked the bacon and the bread. I had the lettuce and tomato, and all the olives. We all had orange juice and everyone satisfied – though so we should be at RMB 220 which is about the same price as it would be in Edinburgh or Block Island, and probably more than in Boston or New York. China is no longer cheap.

Louis continues to create his world of pictures. I could not work out where he was getting this image from – he was so clearly drawing little devils with horns and tails and I have not seen that in any of the books, but when I asked I got that deeply resigned aren’t grownups stupid look – you know them granny – they live in your teef.

OH yes – there is a DVD which encourages proper dental hygiene – of course I have seen these little monsters!.

Q: Who are these little guys? A:They live in your teeth!

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