A gallop back to England

Dear Bloggers,

As many of you know, we went back to England for the Chinese New Year holiday. At home in Bisham, we found that there were some welcoming snowdrops out near our doorstep.

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On Saturday, we had a delicious family Christmas dinner cooked by Auntie Claire (otherwise known as AC) – we enjoyed the roast lamb a lot. Timothy, Christopher, Alex and I had a nerf gun battle in the barn – which we decorated for Chinese New Year – and I got shot several times. We had a little bit of trouble staying awake until the end of dinner, & I really didn’t want to leave.

On Sunday, we went to explore the Thames floods near Bisham, from Marlow bridge and Higgingson park, and I was quite surprised at how high the floods were!

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We also had a very late pub lunch with some friends. We started eating at around four and left after dark.

On Monday, I went to the opticians and found out that my eye sight has not changed. Does anyone know anything about ortho-k lenses? The very nice optician (who knows Gareth) said they are quite good & I should think about trying them.

We met Granny Devon for a quick coffee and then set off for Stroud – to Victoria works studios, an old chair factory which Polly (Anna) & Chris have bought and are converting into art studios – almost ready for artists to rent. If you want to see their web page go to https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaWorksStudios.

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We met Polly in her new studio, had a good look around & then had lunch with Polly, Peter, Emma & Will before climbing the hill to collect Freya from school. Later on, Mum and Dad mentioned that they were looking out for a Christmas pudding. Polly phoned everyone in Chalford and a few minutes later Mum, Dad, Polly and Peter (but not the children [Emma, Will, Freya and myself] – who stayed at home, turned the volume on the stereo up and made hot chocolate) were on their way to the village shop, which had moved inside the local church, to buy one.

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On Tuesday, I went to Windsor Castle, a very old castle where the Queen sometimes lives (for those of you who don’t already know this), with Dad and Granny Devon. Outside one of the main parts of the castle, we saw a bell stolen (or taken) from Mandalay.

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We will be going back in the summer – with our 1 year passes – as we didn’t have time to explore even half of the castle. Why? Because next was dinner at Auntie Claire’s house again, except it was Granny Fix-it’s lasagne and the whole family wasn’t there – and there were no nerf gun games, but there was chocolate lump cake! I then went to the pub to entertain Mum, Dad & Granny while they ate fish and chips!

On Wednesday, Mum and I had a brilliant outing with Grandpa and Micheline to Basildon Park (for those of you who watch Downtown Abbey – it’s where they filmed the 2013 Christmas special – the “London house”). It was a very good outing – it’s just that it was raining, so we couldn’t go outside and explore the grounds. There was a donated piano inside that visitors were allowed to play – so I did.

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Later, Mum and Dad went to London to meet some more friends for dinner despite the tube strike – but I stayed at home with Granny Devon watching TV and reading.

On Thursday, after clearing out the garden sheds, we had another dinner, with a bit less of the family – and at the Tiger Cub (curry).

On Friday, we left England. Granny Devon came round to pick up a weeks worth of left over food parcels – and then we left for the airport. This time we upgraded our seats to luxury extra legroom – and it was totally worth it. Although the plane and entertainment system were a bit old – we slept very well. And once we landed, the captain let me in the cockpit – like all Virgin Atlantic pilots when they see my logbook! Here is the picture:

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Bed hair and everything!

And here we are back in Shanghai! Safe and sound. Here is a new sight we saw on the way home from the market:

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And this chinglish somehow squeezed itself in at the end of our trip.

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And, to celebrate our return home, we had welcome back pancakes made by Mum!

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That’s all for now.
From, Thomas.

BUT WAIT! – Check down here before you leave or before you comment:


Auntie Claire
Thank you for arranging & cooking our Christmas dinner – it was fantastic

Granny Fixit
Thank you soooo much for making delicious lasagne and chocolate lump cake (& for Mum’s Christmas stocking)

Thank you for taking us on an outing; as well as for little scarlet strawberry jam, curry night on Thursday and toblerone etc

Granny Devon
Thank you for coming all the way up to see us – and for looking after me

Thank you for lunch (bacon sandwich and cake) & for medlar jelly & lard

Auntie Sarah

Thank you for making our house look lovely before we got back

And anyone else who wasn’t the first few we thought of!


  1. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this
    blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!


  2. What a great trip Thomas – you lucky thing.


  3. You forgot to mention the tictac game……. Found two more yesterday!!!


    1. Where and what colour? Will mention the game this week – if I remember


  4. Auntie Hannah · · Reply

    Look forward to seeing you in the summer, prehaps we can visit the rest of Windsor Castle with you. Just so long as it’s not been washed away by then.


  5. Granny Devon · · Reply

    Really enjoyed your visit and now look forward to the summer.
    I saw a man being interviewed on TV this morning, he lives in Bisham and his house is flooded. Hope no.10 is ok.


  6. Granny fixit · · Reply

    Lovely to see you all. Can’t wait for your next trip – chocolate all ready for the next batch of cakes!


  7. Those pancakes look fantastic. With blueberries, bananas & chocolate sauce – no wonder you didn’t have jet lag!


  8. Polly-wolly · · Reply

    I always like to give our guests a pack of lard to take home.


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