Easter saw us back in Beihai, our China home. For those who don’t know Beihai, it is a city on the South Coast of China, not too far from Vietnam and Halong Bay, with a 25km sandy beach that stays empty most of the year. We have a lovely house here, with plenty of room for visitors! Shanhong’s parents are in the same city for the winter months, so it is a good chance to catch up, and go fly a kite! The Beihai barbecued chickens are the best in the world. Try one, and you won’t disagree! We spend quite a bit of time sorting out the overgrown back garden, and I planted some cacti – so we’ll see if they survive!

In April, my back went again – a recurring problem, but unfortunately one that seemed to be happening more frequently. When it didn’t recover as quickly as usual, it was time to see a specialist. X-rays and MRI’s later revealed a slipped disk from years ago, that was now completely dead and impinging on a nerve. I booked the op to take out the dead disk, put in a spacer, and bolt two bits together and was in hospital for two nights. Unfortunately, a complication (leaking spinal fluid) meant I had to go back in – but I am pleased to say Singapore hospitals are good, insurance paid (over $70000), and my back is doing well! If you want to see what I had done, you can watch this video! http://www.spine-health.com/video/spine-fusion-surgery-video. It worked… in July I was kayaking for a full day, horseback riding, and did the longest zip-line over water in the world!

We had a visit from Shanhong’s niece’s husband to be, and another musical in Singapore, and that brought us to summer. Our main holiday of the year was to be in USA, but on our way over, we did visit the UK to see Mum, to meet the newest member of the family (Scarlett, seen here with her big sis Eden, and Shanhong) and to spend a bit of time in our apartment there. Mum had unfortunately moved into a nursing home since our last visit at Christmas - not a place she loved, but there were some good days – and here she is singing along with a visiting entertainer! What she did love was getting out, and a favourite trip, given the season, was to the Rose Gardens nearby.

As you can see, a beautiful place when all the flowers are in bloom. It was an indication of mum’s dementia however, that having gone once and spent a good few hours, when we went back two days later, mum was convinced she had never been before. Little were we to know these would be the last photos with mum.

So, that’s all for this report – that brings us up to our departure for USA – and the next set of reports will be on that main summer holiday – hope you are looking forward to making that journey with us!

All the best, take care and keep writing

Love as always Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy (and friends) xx