TGIF: 5:00 P.M. Bell!

A farmer in China’s Hebei province rides his 1,300-lb. pet pig. (Chen Xiaodong, August 31, 2018)

It’s Hot Out There!

A contestant takes part in a chile-pepper eating competition in Ningxiang in China’s central Hunan province. The winner of the contest ate 50 chile peppers in one minute. (Agence France-Presse,, July 9, 2018)

Hope. And Hopeless.


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Saturday Morning

She is making a pot of tea and I am clearing plates from the table. We both step around the room, around the dog, around the circular table, around each other, by instinct. I could navigate this space with my eyes closed, if called upon to do so. From down the corridor, the voices of my children, playing with the array of toys my mother keeps in her cupboards, can be heard, rising and falling, exclaiming and negotiating. Tea-making is a sacred, circumscribed ritual in this house. I would never presume to undertake it, would never encroach on this most delicate of tasks. There are several steps that must be followed, one leading mysteriously from the next: I can never quite remember the sequence, have always been too impatient to learn, unlike my sisters, who enact the same ritual in the same way in their own kitchens. The correct pot must be selected, as should the most suitable cosy. Warming must take place, for a prescribed amount of time, and this water must absolutely be discarded, with a quick, derisive flick into the sink. Only then may the tannin-dark pot be filled, first with tea leaves, measured out with a specially appointed pewter spoon, then boiling water. On goes the cosy—knitted or quilted, mostly embroidered—then steeping occurs. On the draining board, cups (bone china, always) and milk at the ready.

Maggie O’FarrellI Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (Feb 6, 2018)

Notes: Photo – Antique Passion. Related Posts: Maggie O’Farrell

Cute (very), but…

Cloned monkeys sit with a toy in an undated photo provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep was used to create two healthy monkeys for the first time.

Cloned monkeys sit with a toy in a photo provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep was used to create two healthy monkeys for the first time.

Source: Sun Qiang and Poo Muming, Chinese Academy of Sciences: Photos of the Day: Jan. 24.)






  • “Visitors ride camels in the Dunhuang’s Crescent Spring and Singing Sand Dune site, in northwest China’s Gansu province. (Zhang Xiaoliang/ Zuma Press:
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Inside my fires are freezing, my heart is pumping spurts of ice


A winter swimmer swims after breaking the ice on a frozen lake at a park in Shenyang, China. ( Sheng Li, Reuters).  Post title by Hélène Cixous, from Inside.

Let’s Go Swimming (In Suining)


More than 6,000 people pour into the swimming pool at the Dead Sea tourist resort to avoid summer heat in Suining, China.  See more photos and back story here: Chinese Tourists REALLY Love Their Swimming Pool At The ‘Daying Dead Sea’

Photo Source:

A Man. His Bike. A Few Birds.

birds-songbirds-song birds-bicycle-china

A man rides a bicycle while carrying finches on poles in Beijing. Songbirds are a popular and traditional pet in China, especially among older people.  (Mark Schiefelbein / AP)

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