Early spring recap

Finally!! It’s spring!! This is a key transition every year in China because, apart from marking the beginning of warmer temperatures, it usually also means less pollution. In winter the pollution is always the worst, I’m not sure why. Is it due to heating being on in the north? Is it because of some kind of weather effect that traps pollution in the winter? No idea, but that’s how it is. And to top things up, I felt that this winter was worse than the previous two. I don’t know if the air has been indeed worse (if so, it could be because China might be “forgetting” its environmental initiatives to favour industry production now that the economy is slowing) or if I just notice it more because I can’t take the baby outside as he cannot wear a mask until he is 2 years old. However C. also thinks the air has been worse this winter so it’s probably not just my imagination.

At the beginning of the year I had the idea of marking in the calendar the air quality for each day. This can be done easily using the colours for “good”, “moderate”, “unhealthy”, etc, that are used in air quality applications (a must-have app when you live in China, sadly). I started doing it on January 7 and until today, almost 3 months later, we’ve only had 7 half days of air considered good as per international standards (Chinese standards are different, less strict, as if pollution was not as dangerous for Chinese people). HALF days, which means that in 3 months we’ve only had 3.5 full days of safe air. That is a little over one day per month. Please give China a big round of applause. I really hope it gets better now that the winter is finally over (it felt eternal!!).


A couple of weekends ago we went to the 100 days party of our friends’ baby. He was born in mid December so he is 3.5 months younger than Baby A. but they already weigh the same! We even got a hand-me-down onesie that was too narrow for him and that Baby A. can wear!! I don’t know what’s in Chinese women’s breast milk to produce such big babies! My downstairs neighbour has a baby two days older than Baby A. and he weighs THREE MORE KILOS. That’s A LOT.

In the 100 days party there were some very cute sweets:


Another day we went to bury Nico’s ashes. It was about time. We buried them under a tree in a little park that should be safe from any construction works as there is a big high voltage tower in the middle. Nico’s neighbour for eternity is a friend’s dog who is also buried there.

Digging. Luckily it was just a small bag of ashes and not the whole body, because the ground was rock-hard.


Last Sunday it was a blue sky day and those days are not to be wasted as they are so scarce. I noticed our district is full of cherry trees. Are they new? I had not noticed them before. Maybe they were planted so Chinese people don’t feel the need to go to Japan on holiday, hehe.


Tomorrow is a holiday! It’s the Tomb Sweeping Festival, when people go to visit the graves of their dead relatives and ancestors. C. and his parents will go to their family’s village but I won’t because it’s at least a couple of hours by car and Baby A. is not too happy with long car rides. Besides, according to Chinese superstitions, babies can see spirits so they should not go to cemeteries!