First words

Recently we got some stern advice that we should stock up on tea bags before we go to Beijing. Apparently it’s hard to find English tea there, and what you do find is not nice. It’s ironic since the Chinese are hardly strangers to tea, but it seems there are at least 1.3 billion people … More First words

Going solo

This time next week I’ll officially become a ‘kept woman’. I can’t believe I have only five days left at work – all I can be sure of is that one of those days will start with drinks in the office, followed by hugs on the dance floor, and end with Paracetamol at dawn. DD, … More Going solo


The first thing DD bought for Beijing was air filters. The city’s smog makes international headlines, and as pollution levels soar way above what’s considered hazardous, the government tells residents to stay indoors. When I went there on a work trip, I was horrified at the brown grainy veil that always covered the sky and … More Breathe

Red cocktail

As a young couple with no kids and few possessions of monetary value, DD and I don’t have too much to do in preparation for Beijing. We basically get on the plane with diplomatic passport and spousal visa in hand, having sent ahead a large supply of British medicine and toiletries, which the Foreign Office … More Red cocktail