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Beating a Fug with a Round Up: Beijing, New Zealand & South Africa

Gorgeous New Zealand – near Wanaka on the South Island

I am in a fug. Just a little one. Nothing serious.

I just peered over the parapet at a giant to do list and I now feel incapacitated. I had to cancel something I really wanted to do (go to The Stone Roses in Manchester with some friends – it is a long story). I want to run out of my house and not come back for a bit. Maybe hide on the common.

But that would be silly.

So, instead I am going to practice in a little evasive activity. I am brilliant at that (and I know that is not a good thing). Head in the sand, radio on, bopping in my chair and fantastically ignoring that thundering to do list which is booming in a corner of my brain.

There are many sections to my to do list. This job of mine, self employed as I am, has many lovely things that I enjoy. Then there are also the grim things underneath, the engine that keeps things going. The invoices, chasing invoices, pitching for work, writing proposals. The administration. It causes me to clutch my head in a Munch style Scream pose and despair. Occasionally.

My head hurts.

So briefly, some denial. And some photos. In my efforts to avoid productive activity I went through the last few months picking some highlights. I actually had to go through everything for some work stuff, so it wasn’t as evasive as I first implied. It wasn’t even evasive at all. I am deep in denial about everything. It is really a list of the things that I will be writing about over the next few weeks, a pictorial to do list, if you like. Now that the photos are edited, there are few excuses. It is a start, eh? (that eh is for you Canadians, as it is Canada Day, ahem :)

I best get back to it. I have a proposal to finish that (sadly) won’t write itself. First a coffee. Maybe an episode of Modern Family (as I finish the post I watched SIX). More evasive activity, I told you I was very, very good at it.

Peking Duck at Duck de Chine in Beijing

The best dumplings that I have ever had, and now dream of in Beijing (also at Duck de Chine and with egg yolk custard in the middle)

The inside of that glorious dumpling

With a Beijing snowman

Making noodles at The School House in Beijing

Picking vegetables for lunch with Annabel Langbein, in her garden in Wanaka, New Zealand

More lovely New Zealand

I caught a fish! (then smoked it on a beach and ate it) – in Wanaka, New Zealand

I was told HAD to try a certain burger, so I had one delivered to the airport. Decadent.

Sunburned but having a great time at a chilli farm in New Zealand

Gorgeous flowers near Capetown in South Africa

Climbing Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge – more than a little work and mildly terrifying – those ladders in the background are enormous!

… but then not even half way up, you start to see things like this

… and then at the top, this. Gorgeous. But not again, I got the cable car back down ;)

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A Reprieve from Festivities & Indulgence: Some Photos from Hong Kong & Beijing

Beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Stiofán – Happy St Stephen’s Day (in Irish :)! We don’t have Boxing Day here in Ireland, but St Stephen’s Day or the Day of the Wren. Wrenboys will be wandering down Ireland’s roads or lanes, travelling from house to house, with an effigy of a wren on a stick singing “The wren, the wren, the king of all birds, St Stephen’s Day got caught in the furze”. You don’t see it everywhere anymore but in my mothers home county, Cork, it is an active tradition. The rest of us will spend the day visiting family, and I am just about to do that.

Before I do, my favourite books of 2011 and random-other-stuff are due, but I’ve spent the morning, and a lot of last night, reliving my Hong Kong & China trip. I finally found some time to edit the photos and am now madly craving Peking Duck & Dim Sum. Here are a few photos with proper details on everything soon.

Sunset at the Forbidden City, Beijing

Snack Seller, Beijing

Beijing Rickshaw & Bicycle

The Forbidden City, Beijing

Sidecar tour of Beijing

I love these dinosaurs - Chinese art that is sadly way out of my price range

Another piece of Chinese Art in Beijing

Snowman in Beijing - with a deodorant can nose!

Dumplings near Wan Chai Market in Hong Kong

Luk Yu Tea House in Hong Kong

Peking Duck at Duck de Chine in Beijing (roasting in a wood fire as is traditional)

Peking Duck at Duck de Chine

Mustard Goose Webs - the web of a goose foot cooked in mustard - curious and crunchy

Duck Soup at Duck de Chine

Beautiful dim sum - made with Chinese turnip

Perfect Xiao Long Bao - dumplings with meat & soup inside - at Duck de Chine in Beijing

Glorious milk and yolk buns - stuffed with an egg yolk custard - now one of my favourite things