If you were a five-year-old, what would your idea of a perfect gift be? China’s Last Emperor, Pu Yi, gave two huge vases to King George V (great great great grandfather of the new British royal baby George) in 1911. Soon afterwards, Pu Yi was deposed.
Pu Yi, the last emperor of China.
I learnt about this fascinating fact today in London, as I was a special guest at Buckingham Palace.
The pair of beautiful vases are huge, measuring 217.0 x 80.0 cm. “Pair of large, ovoid, cloisonné enamel vases, with bronze dragon handles, decorated with dragons on a green scale-pattern ground.”
The oriental dragons portrayed on the vases are playful, sweet and even smiling. They are serpent-like, in gold, benevolent, powerful, typical qualities of Chinese dragons. Continue reading
Helen: Wool against weapons, in Reading high street
After finishing my teaching in Reading last weekend, I explored the Reading high street (i.e. shopping) and saw this scene:
This is a beautiful scene as the contrast is powerful: a beautiful young lady with flowers on her hair was quietly knitting, smiling.
Her friend Mike with an explosive hair was trying to fold an origami crane. I watched on silently, after a few minutes, I offered him my helping hand to get his crane completed. Continue reading
I wrote about this village post office in Hursley, England, a few days ago.
This unique post office near Winchester opens 7 days a week. It sells stamps, lottery tickets and eggs. It takes care of the villagers’ dry cleaning too. Don’t you like a sweet little shop like this in your neighbourhood?
Hursley post office
One reader, Ruby, asked me if the postal service is available on Sunday. He also asked if there is a Queen Victoria post box.
I therefore made a special trip to Hursley post office yesterday and spoke to its new owner, a young man called Bhagwant. Bhagwant told me that the shop opens daily, but the postal service doesn’t run on Sunday. Since he took over the post office 8 months ago, he included National Lottery as part of his services to the villagers.
This post office is small, but it sells almost everything you need to get by everyday. It reminds me of a well-known Chinese idiom, 麻雀虽小，五脏俱全 (máquè suī xiǎo，wǔ zàng jù quán). It translates: even though a sparrow is small, it has got all the organs it needs. When you enters this post office, it will only take you 3 small steps from the door to the counter.
You can click the images below to view enlarged images.
notice board outside post office
letter box on the war
letter box text
next to a butcher
selling eggs and sweets
post office bus stop
Hursley village post office
post office new owner Bhagwant
post office on this pleasant, leafy village
post office counter
Hursley Village is an alluring English village. Whenever I travel, I like visiting traditional little shops. A little shop like this post office possesses the charm that a megastore does not have. And I feel that a village that could support a local post office is definitely a pleasant one.
I’m very lucky that I only live next door to this enchanting village.
My related posts:
Unique British post boxes: share your hobby
Does your post office open everyday?
Speaker Deck slideshow
A few days ago, I published an ‘ebook’: When Janet met Tilly: an ebook
Today, I’m surprised to find out that I could convert this ebook into a slideshow, via Speaker Deck slideshow from WordPress.
If you have already had enough of Tilly (The Laughing Housewife) and Janet, please look away now.
If you had problems before downloading the ebook, or you didn’t get round to read it (shame on you), here is your last chance to appreciate Tilly’s wholesomeness.
My Related Posts:
Recently, you’ve read a lot of my encounters with Tilly Bud (The Laughing Housewife) in the north of England.
I’ve turned these blog posts into an ebook.
You may think, “I’ve read these posts before. I don’t need this rubbish ebook.”
But, if I tell you, this ebook contains some ‘previously unseen photographs of Tilly Bud’, would you be willing to click the download button?
Click the image below to download the ebook (in PDF format). It’s free.
When Janet met Tilly: Click this image to download ebook (PDF format)
Credit: I’m grateful for PDF Converter, which turned my Word document into a PDF ebook. It contains all my hyperlinks. This service is free of charge. I’m forever grateful.
My Related Posts:
I know a new landmark in Stockport.
Does this place look familiar to you?
Tilly and Janet in Stockport
We only visited 4 museums during our 5 days in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
However, these visits had proved too much for our host, who was quickly turning into a jelly.
We visited Stockport Air Raid Shelters. Stepping back in time to 1940s wartime Britain was quite surreal. Inside the shelters, I was amazed at such an orderly community, and a world of volunteering. The instructions given, in modern terms, were equivalent to “every little helps” (food rationing; making tea), health and safety and team building.
Inside Air Raid Shelters with Tilly
The first morning in Tilly’s house, she had some visitors.
Alison came to visit with a huge cheese cake. Tilly said, “Alison has just made this for you.”
Alison is Tilly’s friend. Because I’m Tilly’s friend, Alison made this cake for her friend’s friend.
How sweet was that? I instantly felt in love with the people from Stockport. Continue reading
How do you like your tea?
I’m now addicted to caffeine after drinking too much tea in Stockport last week.
It’s an universal truth that Tilly Bud (The Laughing Housewife) drinks Earl Grey Tea. When she made me the Earl Grey tea, I noticed she would always pour milk in first.
If you have your tea with milk, do you add the hot water first, or do you add the milk first?
I’ve always been fascinated by how English people make their tea. Some people told me the Queen would add milk in her tea first, but some people told me she would add the hot water first.
I’m on my quest to find out the answer. Continue reading
I’ve never been a great traveller. On our honeymoon, we went to Jersey for 2 weeks. We couldn’t have gone abroad for our honeymoon like a lot of people do, as we had no money, and the Home Office had also kept my passport just to make sure that I wasn’t staging a fake marriage to a gullible white man.
After a week in Jersey, I was terribly ill. My body went into a complete meltdown due to a lack of rice in my diet. We had had a week of potatoes and pasta but no rice. My husband only realised then the high price of marrying a typical oriental, rice-eating wife. But it was too late for him.
Over the past 12 years, my body has slowly adjusted to a mixed diet with pasta, spaghetti, potatoes and rice. I’m almost weaned off rice now. When I took the plunge and visited my online friend Tilly (The Laughing Housewife) in Stockport, I was ready for anything thrown at me. Continue reading