It has been a while since I wrote the last report, and already we have had two short holidays. For the first we had a very quick trip to Bangkok, just 4 days with a budget airline. Plenty of time to do some Christmas shopping though (so much cheaper than Singapore) and to see a show. We also had plenty of time to enjoy some great Thai food!
For the second trip, we went to Beihai - our family home. Again, a very short trip - just 6 days, but long enough to do a few odd jobs, including framing the wonderful cross-stitch my brother did of our house. We ended up doing something a little unexpected too, which is described on the next page.
Shows/concerts continue to be plentiful in Singapore. We have already been to see 'Michael Learns to Rock' and 'Il Divo' in concert, and saw 'Mamma Mia' while in Bangkok. Between now and Christmas we have 'Duck and Dive' - a new musical which combines the stories of 'The Ugly Duckling' and 'The Frog prince'. Also, 'Victor/Victoria' a broadway musical, 'Reverie' an acrobatic ice-show created by the Cirque Solei team, and 'Menopause' a comic musical based on middle-aged women - not bad hey?
A new apartment
Having discussed lots of possibilities for some time, we took a day out while in Beihai to look at some of the new apartments they are building. We went to quite a few, including construction site visits, and found two in particular that we really liked. A few calculations later, there was one clear 'winner' and the next day we went back to put down a deposit. The apartments are still being built - ours will be a duplex on the 18th and 19th floors - and they are currently building the 5th floor of our building. In theory, the construction will all be done in late 2010 and we should get the keys around Easter 2011.
The apartments are obviously brand new, and so are sold only with exterior doors and windows. The rest is bare concrete, so we will have lots of fun planning floors and walls, choosing bathrooms and kitchens etc, before we can even begin to think about furniture. The plan is to move in for 2012 and then rent out or sell the house. The floor plans below give a rough guide to the layout.
Basically we have a reasonable sized lounge with small kitchen and two guestrooms downstairs - and the upstairs will be knocked into one large room with open plan bathroom, wardrobes etc. We liked it and cost wise, it works. Things are getting dearer in Beihai. This bare concrete 212sq m apartment will cost more than our completely finished and furnished 350sq m house did! But, on the other hand, the house has almost doubled in value since we bought it, and the apartment is still under 100,000 GBP, so compared to UK prices, still good value. There won't be any photos of this apartment for around two more years - so that's it for now!
Take care and keep in touch,
Trevor n Shanhong (and me, Teddy!)