Everything, and I mean everything, is a bit nuts at the moment - hence the lack of posting this last month.
1) Work - I'm sure it's not an actual conspiracy but, I'm short-handed in the world of management at the moment so the wierdest combination of events has inevitably transpired in a time-sucking, head-in-hands kind of way. Managing a company in China really can seem like herding cats at times.
2) Apartment - Fitout of my apartment is pressing on. I'm not on top of it as I'd like and, given the expense, I'm conscious that if doesn't end up how I'd like it I'm going to be very unhappy. The few visits I've made to my apartment aren't particularly helpful because the work that's going on is so chaotic, I've no idea how it's going to end up. For example, witness my living room from a couple of weeks ago. If you count carefully, there are 8 people just in this room!
3) Baby! In theory there's just over a week to go! It still seems unreal that I'm going to be a dad in just over a week (or a couple of hours - the uncertainty adds to the excitement). We're accumulating a large number of baby items that only time will tell whether they are, or are not, useful - no thanks to "The ultimate shopping experience for new and expectant parents" as they style themselves, who have singularly failed to impress me in any way with their approach to getting the stuff I've already paid for from the UK to China.
4) The car has transpired to go a bit wonky - slight problem with the steering which thankfully has been fixed now and only stole half a day of my time. Driving continues to be a slow and frustrating experience, such as the picture below - one of the cars up ahead has dinged the bumper of another so we sit, and sit, and sit, until the policeman (pictured, thankfully) releases the scene.
5) My Neighbours are definitely conspiring to deny me a satisfying night's sleep at the weekends. It's Saturday and I'd like just a little bit more sleep than usual, but no. The apartment above mine actually houses a company which supplies greeters, girls that stand by the door of shops and events wearing a qipao. This morning at about 6:30 a gaggle of greeters arrived and proceeded to run back and forth across our bedroom ceiling wearing high-heeled shoes. Going and complaining gave us about 5 minutes of respite before they started again...
6) I've just been accepted to an Executive MBA programme, which is fantastic but does mean from January I'll have less spare moments than ever! There will be more on this later, I'm sure.
7) Fitness regime continues. I am, again, lighter today than any day in the last 20 years. I'm working with a personal trainer at the gym, getting out on my new road bike at least twice a week (although winter is fast approaching...) and managed to run 2 miles in 20 mins twice this week. Whilst not a huge feat for a vast number of people, I'm really not convinced that I have ever run that far, that fast. If proof were needed that I've pushed myself further than ever I had, what I realised (unfortunately - did take the edge off it a bit) that I was experiencing a state of euphoria shortly after the first run. Still - 38kg down, 5.9kg to go!
8) Blogspot has been blocked again (surely it can't all be the fault of Chinabounder) so I'm in the process of setting up Ambling Sheep as its own site and off of Blogspot. Apologies to anyone trying to go to ambling-sheep.com as there will be a brief delay as my chosen hosting service neglected to mention that in order to set up, they had to post you an activation code. Seems a bit mad to me that an internet company has to send a piece of paper half way round the world before they can give me service! I'll look forward to hours trying to get that to work.
Sorry for the long "What I did in the last two weeks" diary entry - it seemed more interesting in my head. Normal service at some point...