One of my grandsons:

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I haven’t been there for a while, but I am off to one of my favourite places in the world for a few days on my bicycle for some winter riding.

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This is arguably the most interesting sign I have seen in my many travels in China. I found it over a urinal while walking the back streets of Nanjing in search of yet another section of the 700 year old city wall (do not ask me why I was in a urinal with a camera …).

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With a low key announcement on their website, Midnight Oil tells they are back after a fifteen year break. It looks like there will be a world tour in 2017. This is one the great bands, full of passion and politics and powerful music.

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It all depends on cultural interpretation. This morning, as I was enjoying a walk in a small park under some trees, I felt a spatter of something on my head and shoulders. Is it raining? I wondered. The sky was clear, or as clear as it gets in spring in Beijing. The squawk of a bird above me told me otherwise. It had crapped on me.

Back to my apartment I went, washing my shirt and head, before heading out again. I had arranged to meet some Chinese students on our way to the opening of the Beijing office of the University of Newcastle. They told me that this experience was incredible good luck.

Why? I had received a ‘golden gift from the sky’. When I told them I had experienced, back home, a seagull doing the same thing a couple of months ago, they opined that I am indeed very lucky. I must admit that I am hoping this kind of luck does not become a habit.

I have become used to the relatively high cost of things in Denmark and I always assumed one would never find anything free. However, the other day we were walking through the forest and happened upon this intriguing site:

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I went in to look, finding what we would call a bush camping site (right next to the ancient deer park):

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It sports state-of-the-art grass, forest and … toilets:

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And there’s even a place to warm yourself and cook some food:

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And the best thing of all is that it is free. Next time we’re here we’ll be making the most of this Danish treasure.

Like tiling, one of the great pleasures of life is … to sew. It has been some years since I have had a sewing machine. In the meantime, I have satisfied myself with occasional bouts of hand sewing. But for my last birthday, I bought a sewing machine. It has sat at home, waiting for me to return from China for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, we became familiar with one another, filling a few bobbins, remembering how to thread and then use the machine. Today, we began the first few of many happy hours together. The task at hand was to create a curtain out of odds and ends around the place. All of them had to be stitched together.

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At this point, I am in the process of stitching on the last of six pieces to make the whole curtain.

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Soon afterwards came the intricate process of constructing the hangers and stitching them onto the curtain. The result was was better than all expected, including myself:

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(ht cp for the photos)

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