This year has started well, with enormous strides being made in getting back in shape. I have been walking every day – at least  6000 steps.

The idea is to be healthy enough to be a cheapskate tourist later on in the year and wander around strange cities instead of paying for taxis, tuk-tuks or taking buses. 6000 may not sound a lot, but it is the minimum – and we have had some serious snow and frequent rain in the last couple of months.


I haven’t done any writing on here for quite a time. This isn’t because I haven’t been interested in writing. I have made numerous comments on other peoples’ blogs in the last year or two. I just didn’t feel like sitting down and writing any serious essays. I have also been busy with DIY. I have put a new floor in the back of the house and done quite a few other things round the place.  I have some plans to make some garden furniture. The materials are in place, I just need the right weather.


  I think , this lack of writing may change this year. I have had a chance to think about a lot of things I hadn’t written on previously, so these may feature here in the coming weeks.








2016 was a very difficult year in many ways. I got to see close up how the Muslims go about burying their dead, I found out my father in law has no idea who I am and I found out just where many people I think of as rational human beings stood on the issue of Brexit. 


A year of negatives? Not at all. I paid off my mortage, I learned how to feel confident painting and decorating, I found some new interests I want to explore and I ended the year quite content with the direction my life has been going, if somewhat eager now to make a few changes. 



The interests, inspired in part by the time I spent online working out how to do DIY have included looking for woodworking tools in local junk shops or newer ones in shops and markets in Manchuria.. I have particularly enjoyed the process of learning  about how to look after tools from the online postings of Wranglerstar. Now all I need is a huge spread with a couple of barns, a pile of timber, a carpenter’s bench and a load of subscribers willing to send me the tools for free. 


Generally, however, the year has been spent in London, running a business with my wife. We work from home, so we see a lot of each other. I like that. I particularly like not having to commute with a horde of strangers every day into the city and then spending the day finessing the inauthentic, ungrateful relationships which characterise the modern workplace these days. Instead, I get up when I like, help the customers we have ( not too many, as we never wanted an impersonal operation) , eat a decent lunch most days and allow myself the liberty of doing anything else I feel like.