Since my last entry I visited Shanghai for 10 days to see friends and also do a bit of sightseeing. Though in all honesty it was very cold and wet there so we didn't visit too many places. It's not very often I go travelling half way round the world to visit somewhere which is colder than the UK. Still the food and company was good so I can't complain too much. I did discover a pretty good tune from Bruce Springsteen when watching some of the local TV in China. I wouldn't consider myself a fan of country and western, but this song did have me hooked.
I also managed to visit some places not too far away from Shanghai.
Suzhou is around an hour away from Shanghai by train and is a very picturesque city with some nice canals. I've heard people call it the Venice of the east, though having never been to Venice I'm not sure how true that is.
I also got an opportunity to visit Xitang which does remind me a lot of Lijiang. It was used to film a few scenes from Mission Impossible 3.
Last weekend (13th January) I went to visit my brother and his family. Whilst my brother and most of his family seemed to be suffering quite badly from colds it didn't dampen the weekend too much. It was also nice to kick the ball around the garden with Dylan, he's also very good at sweeping. Next time he comes to Exeter he can have a go at cutting the grass ;)
The happy weekend wasn't to last for very long, at around midnight on Saturday I received a call to inform me that my grandfather had passed away at around 8pm India time. I found it extremely difficult to sleep that night, partly due to the fact that I was thinking I should have visited him when I went to India last year. My grandfather was cremated on the Sunday, I didn't get chance to talk to my father until Monday morning before heading off to work.
Here's a picture of my Grandfather taken in 2003 when I last saw him in Assam, India.
107 years and out. Rest in peace