I haven’t been here in a long time – almost seems like forever.
I guess what kept me away was being so busy, but that is always a lousy excuse.
However, having agreed back in August to take on the new project in China, while staying on in Taiwan until end Nov, and then trying to squeeze in (eventually) my 2 weeks in Japan as my 60th birthday treat, it sure has been a bit of a roller coaster.
Anyway, I have been to China 4 times now since August – 2×2 week trips and 2×1 weekers, and have finally decided that I do not want to spend the next 2 years in China. Simply put, Beijing is an awful place, devoid of any character and a hell of an ecological disaster with air quality probably equalling what London was like back in the 50’s; and the Chinese customer is a flat out bully and demands 24/7 attention, which I am just not up for at this point in my life.
So China is out; but luckily my boss has asked me to stay on in Taiwan and babysit that situation for another year, while perhaps something else will come up in the meantime, or maybe I will actually (I know – here it comes again) retire. I am quite content with that, as at least in Taiwan both my local team and the customer respect me and what I am trying to do, and Tricia is also pleased with the opportunity to stay in Asia (but to not have to go to China – her one visit there was also a disaster).
Presently though (mid Dec) I am in Stockholm, doing a hand over of the China project, and then I am off to the UK through Christmas and the year end. Christina will join us for 2 weeks through Christmas, and is bringing her boyfriend with her. We have not met him yet, so we are looking forward to that.
The Japan trip was fabulous. Our first real holiday as a family (all 3 of us) in a few years, and a chance to catch up with an old friend as mentioned in Tricia’s blog – here’s a picture of Jun and his daughter Misako. Even though I have been to Japan 3 times before it was terrific to spend some time actually getting to see more than just the surface stuff of Tokyo. Previously I had only been on business (sort of – my first trip was when I was in the RAF in the late 60’s), and had visited my friend, but only for a few hours, and then had “walked” the Ginza, which is about all I remember. I do remember falling in love with Mt Fuji in the 60’s though. I was with a C130 transport aircraft that was doing training and we flew round the top of Fuji and I have some pictures of that classical scene of the mountain with the snow on top. This time in Japan I was excited to be going to the base of Fuji, and then up some, to see it from the bottom. What a disappointment when Fuji decided to hide her face just before we got there. The tour guide called the base camp around 10 AM, while we were on our way, and confirmed that the top was clear, though with cloud on the way. By the time we arrived the top was indeed in cloud, and did not even peek out while we were there. I do have a lovely picture of the clouds though! Now I guess I have to dig out my 37 year old pictures and get them printed (they are slides – remember them?). Trcia has captured the holiday in her blog, so suffice it for me to repeat that I had a fabulous time (despite how expensive it was – a real drag for a Yorkie).
Now I’m looking forward to another Christmas in the UK, and thankful that we still have our house there to spend it in; even if it does need a fair bit of work now from having spent 3 ½ years empty. Still, that will give me something to do, and perhaps I can rope Christina’s boyfriend into helping me while I get to know him.
Merry Christmas to all our readers (good eh) – hopefully I can do better with my blogging next year.