The last time I posted an “Around here…” series was back in May. I cannot believe it has been that long, really! The flurry of activities that came about as we came out of lockdown was just overwhelming.
A bit of warning, this post of photo-heavy.
First order of business after lockdown was doing the round of hospital/doctor visits.
Then came the search for apartments since we needed space for a family of 7; that includes our 4 rescue/adopted cats. With the exodus of expats, there is more option but of course I had to ask the neighbours for their experiences during lockdown because I need to be prepared for any eventual lockdown that may arise in the future. We were fortunate to have found one quite quickly.
Naturally, next comes all the packing. Cannot say enough how grateful I am for my kids who stepped up with packing while I was working and in hand braces since I’ve developed carpal tunnel on both hands.
July and August:
All moved in to the new apartment and am loving the kitchen! A big contrast to our tiny one before. We are now able to be in there without hitting each other. The month was spent indoors, escaping the heat and unpacking.
Pretty much the rest of the months was trying to stay cool during the crazy heat waves with temperatures going up to over 42C! In between the never-ending PCR testing! Sporadic lockdowns and 72-hr window for a green code can take a toll beyond words but I have to stay positive…
With most people “locked in” within the Shanghai borders, I decided to organize a company team building outing to the suburbs and do some kayaking. Pretty fun but the temperature that day went up to 42C! As we were mostly in the waters, it did not seem that hot, but once out of the waters, whew! that is when you feel the scorching heat.
Navigating through the new school year with kids going into Grade 11 of the rigorous IB programme is another component that adds spice to our life here. And the excitement of the birthday month.
A quick 2-day business trip to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, left me rather disheartened with all the restrictions, checking of PCR tests, getting tests, etc. The redeeming part of the trip was being able to visit a weekend market with artisans showcasing their handmade unique goods.
On top of that, the launch of Wanderlust 2023 where I am one of the teachers! It is very very very exciting! Until 31 October, Wanderlust is being offered at the lowest USD 99 and this is a great opportunity to dive into art journaling taught by amazing artists throughout 2023.
Of course, it just rolled in. Went out of my comfort zone to join an offline event with the local Travelers Company group to meet up with other enthusiasts for the TN. I was the one with probably the oldest TN and also the oldest in the age group. It was actually a great event and I hope there will be more.
Carpe diem! Made 2 trips outside of the Shanghai borders – Suzhou and Anji. The Suzhou trip was during the 9-day holiday and more of a hike organized by a travel agent and got to go with 2 urban sketchers.
Then went to Anji with a couple friends. It was a long road trip that I spent knitting (though I realized I made a mistake hence had to unravel all the work I did). Lots of fresh air, fresh food and plenty of opportunities to actually sketch en plein air! LOVE IT!
Getting back was a bit of a hassle with our QR codes, getting tested and all these inconveniences, but it was so worth going out of the Shanghai borders!
There has been a lot of deep breaths, reframing thoughts, spiraling into anxieties, listening and more learning as I’m trying to navigate through all aspects of motherhood plus plus.
What have you been occupied with these days?
Thank you for stopping by.