Having seen all the family in the summer for our wedding, we came back to Beihai for our first Christmas in the new house. Shanhong had ordered a whole pile of decorations from Ikea, duly collected, boxed, and forwarded by her long-suffering brother, which together with what we found in local shops and what we had already got together - meant we were able to 'decorate' properly - my mum will be proud!


We also bought a tree and decorations for Shanhong's parents - so they could also celebrate! On Christmas Day however, they came to us and opened a few presents we had kept for them under our tree. The Christmas meal certainly wasn't traditional - Shanhong had just bought a hotplate - so it was a 'hotpot' for lunch and a cake full of tinned fruit and cream rather than dried fruit and brandy!


It may not have been quite the same as a Christmas in Shrewsbury (although due to illness and a death in the family, Shrewsbury didn't see its normal Christmas this year), but we had fun all the same! Quite a lot has changed in the house since the first house report, and so I thought I would take this opportunity to send an update! Hope you like the changes (those of you who actually remember what it looked like originally!).


The final photos were taken during the Christmas break outside Shanhong's parent's house and in front of the musical fountain. Oh - and Teddy wanted to show you a new outfit!


As I write this, we are about to return to Thailand - it is likely we shall be moving next summer, probably to work in Beijing, so getting home will be a lot easier. No doubt the house will continue to develop - there are plans for window seats and if only I can persuade Shanhong, a new bathroom downstairs!

Trevor & Shanhong.