So it's not possible to connect to the Internet via Google from China as the government evidently isn't happy for reasons I don't understand, so I've been incommunicado until today when a colleague told me about an app called 'hide my ass' which gives a false VPN address (whatever that means). So far I've only got it on my iPad so no chance of downloading pictures yet - I'm hoping another colleague may help with that, although to be honest the place I'm in is such a dump there's not many interesting photo opportunities apart from the daily fatal accidents on the road to work - I've stopped looking out of the bus window now as its too upsetting.
For reasons I don't really understand I'm now working in a shipyard on the Yangtse river opposite Shanghai in southern China. It all started when the news came through about dear bobskoot passing away; I was attending a funeral for a close relative when I read the sad news, and made an instant decision to pack up work and go home to England. Unbelievably, the day I got home my 93-year old Mother had a heart attack and was rushed to hospital; I spent the next few weeks looking after her. She's a tough old bird though, and soon recovered. I spent a lot of time thinking about my retirement and what to do with myself; it seemed like time to stop and smell the roses before it gets too late, if you know what I mean? However, reality soon set in; within a month I had to sell the Tiger to pay some bills; I also had a clear-out and sold some unwanted stuff on e-bay, but realised the only way I could make it work was to sell the flat that me and LF share, and go on the road with the proceeds. Which obviously she didn't think was a particularly great idea. Plan B was to go back to work for a while to try and save some cash, but with global oil prices dropping like a stone all new projects have been cancelled and most of my friends are sitting at home out of work. Then an old friend phoned and said he was running a job in China and was in desperate need of someone to talk to, did I fancy it? So here I am.
I may have made some worse decisions in my life, although I can't recall them; time will tell.