A last weekend in Shanghai before we head to a warmer climate (Australia – in three weeks). We did a couple of touristy things – one a complete waste of time (when will I learn that China does not to Christmas well, no matter how hard they try?!!), and the other a fabulous, giant’s view of Shanghai.
Our first stop was Superbrand Mall for a hunt for Santa Claus. We saw him there in 2010 and haven’t seen him there since. So we ate lunch there instead – which now just means crayons and drawing on placemats while we wait for food.
We then headed back to our hotel for a nap before taking two not 100% healthy kids to Pudong to see a “recreation of an Austrian Christmas village”. It was the only one on this weekend (next weekend is the weekend to be in Shanghai for Christmas stuff) and it was, in a word, lame. Oh, so lame.
It took forever for us to get there (lesson learned: saying where the closest Metro station is does not mean the metro station is close), we were the only people there, we drank overpriced, and really terrible mulled wine, and looked at about ten stalls that sold, well, I can’t even remember what. But at least we made the effort.
The next morning was a bit better. We went for a walk through autumn colours to the Urban Planning Museum to see a scale model of Shanghai, as well as images of Old and New Shanghai. It was something we planned to do for years and are glad we finally got there.
Then it was back to the hotel to kill some time before coming back to Suzhou. These images look a little more relaxed that was the reality…
I’m now home with two children who are a little bit under the weather but not really enough to warrant the oldest staying home. Which means lots of fighting for Mama’s attention and bugging each other. Yes, Arlo and Galen are at an age and stage where the fighting and annoying has begun. I’m now just waiting for the stage where they can actually play together happily now and then. One day….
SO MUCH has happened in the past couple of months.
We had three groups of visitors arrive, one after the other. That was fantastic, though exhausting.
We did a few touristy things around town, this being our last year in China, we need to see all we can while we’re still here.
The weather got COLD. It’s winter coat time, though I know it’s just going to get colder. There are still leaves on the trees, but they are changing colour (not as beautifully as they do in other parts of the world – here they just seem to go from green to dead with nothing stunning in between).
Some random and completely unrelated child facts:
Galen is moving – commando style, though last night he made his first proper attempts at crawling. He loves munching on stroller wheels and has fallen out of our bed twice, knocked his face on the corner of a wooden toy and has had a constant cold/cough for months.
Arlo fell two metres off a playground, right onto her face and belly. She didn’t really cry until I told her that she couldn’t go on the slide anymore because it was time to go home. She also got the handle of her toy umbrella stuck in her mouth and cut her lip trying to yank it out. But on the positive side, she’s still loving school and when she comes home now she sits at her little table and “writes” stories in home-made books. Last night her story was about a rhinoceros who poos in dirt or grass, then wipes it’s bottom with clean leaves, then washes it’s hands in water and dries them on leaves. Clever rhino….
Yesterday she had a dance concert at school…
Life is good.
Do any of you quilty-types ever have a huge quilting disaster that you don’t think you’ll ever fully recover from? This happened to me making my last quilt, a gift for my niece, Eva. As usual, I left it until the last minute to make the quilt, so when I saw the disaster in progress I could do nothing but keep going and hope I didn’t make it worse. I Googled this type of disaster and while I was happy to see I was not the only one to make such mistakes, I wasn’t so happy to see that the only way to fix it was to undo all that I had done – which was not an option in my case.
Behold my disaster, or, as one blogger titled her disaster, “Pucking Hell!!”:
Yes, this is a close up of just one small part of the puckering I came across after I had quilted almost a quarter of this quilt. It was completely avoidable and completely my fault (as opposed to blaming my machine). I simply used a poor quality fabric (I couldn’t tell it wasn’t a good choice until four metres of it arrived in my house), pin-basted in a hurry, and didn’t check that the layers were holding together as they should until I had been sewing for around an hour. Lesson learned. I will not cut corners. And I will buy basting spray, if I can find it somewhere in China…
The rest of the quilt looks a bit better:
I screwed up a bit again in that this quilt is for a five-year-old who sleeps in a very small single bed. I think this ended up being queen-size. I really should stick to the correct measurements and stop thinking that just one more border will look great…! But apparently Eva loves it, puckers, gargantuan-ness and all. And that is what is important.
Arlo received a balance bike for her third birthday. Yes, I know, she received a regular bike with training wheels for her second birthday – we admit we jumped the gun a bit on that one. She couldn’t get the hang of using the pedals, though if we’d taken her out on the bike more than four times, that may have been a different story. But after Arlo saw the balance bike, that was what she wanted for her birthday. That, and a carrot!
The weather has cooled down a lot lately to what most of us consider perfect. Even the pollution isn’t too crazy, so it’s a great time to take the new bike for a spin. Or a walk…
She’s a natural! Before we know it, she’ll be whizzing down the roads on an e-bike like the rest of the Chinese people around us.
Or, maybe not…!!