The waiting is over; the MRI and chest x-rays were done on Monday and on Wednesday, after an hour of relaxing yoga to de-stress me, I am back seeing professor Thomas. The past few days have been almost unendurable with anxiety, punctuated by treats to try and keep an even keel. So on Saturday we went to Garsington opera with Tommy and his girlfriend Olivia, who prepared a most delicious picnic which we ate while sipping champagne by the lake; Sunday we had some dear friends round for a Thai feast in the garden. Both days were glorious and bathed in sunshine. Continue reading
The waiting is the worst. As the time for the scan draws nearer, the complete ‘otherness’ of Champery and the Swiss mountain air is appealing. Ross comes up for the weekend but otherwise I am largely left to my own devices, to meditate, do yoga, work on the book, garden and read. Continue reading
Went to get an HRT prescription last week, and thought it worth mentioning to the Doc that I was feeling exhausted, and a bit dizzy plus I am losing weight (a kg fell off since I returned from China, now 53 kgs). She took some blood tests to rule out a number of things including under-active thyroid, mycoplasma (a form of pneumonia prevalent in Singapore) and Vitamin B 12 deficiency.
It’s the anniversary of Dad’s death two years ago, and I need to do something positive to take my mind of all the losses of recent years.
So I decide to branch out and see some of Beijing on my own: the hutongs beckon. Hutongs are the very core of the city, vibrant and thriving communities, which date back to Mongol times. In the 1950s there were as many of 6000 of these streets crisscrossing the city – all east to west for good feng shui – but the bulldozers moved in and razed many to the ground in the name of progress. Now around 2000 remain, and the government seems to have realised that they are good tourist attractions and can feed their coffers with tax; the destruction seems to be on hold. Continue reading
My second tour, to all the classic sites – Tian’anmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace – is far less fun than my trip to the Wall. As I said before, it’s all about the company you keep: the two German girls of Turkish origin were perfectly nice, but kept to themselves, and the guide – who proudly showed us photos of him with Daniel Craig, Bill Clinton and other celebs – was, as a result, rather big for his boots and decided that the three of us did not merit any more than a cursory whizz around. He also had a smartass answer for everything, which grated after a while. Continue reading