Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The End of One Chapter, The Start of Another

A few pictures from the last 12 months
While looking back at old photographs on my computer I stumbled onto my blog, and with a heavy heart I realise that I should write one last post.  I am surprised the blog is still here in all honesty, I thought by now it would have packed its bags and left to reside in a more blog-friendly home.  But I feel one last post will at least bookend what was probably the most important part of my life.  The reason for doing this?  Well, I unfortunately understand now that I am far too incompetent (or too busy, or too of them)  to continue writing about my life, and I would be kidding myself into thinking I could continue this blog as it once was.  You see, I blame China!  When the government in all its wisdom decided to block Blogger (and it's still blocked today, I checked), it really was a wrench to the system.  I loved, genuinely loved, blogging about my time there, and with a friendly following of readers it was a joy to share the ups and downs of China-life.  Sometimes I felt blogging was more of a therapy to me than anything else.  Living in China is like living in a bubble, a ridiculous, marvellous, occasionally frightening, but joyous bubble.  So once that link to Blogger was gone I lost an important connection to the outside world.  Yes, I could have moved over to another blogging platform but I was too worried China would begin blocking all blogging websites (or perhaps I was just too lazy, one of them!).    Before you ask, I did try proxies (used to bypass the Great Firewall of China), but at the time my limited knowledge and drastically slow Internet connection rendered the Blogger site completely useless --  I only managed to sneak one or two posts while stuck behind the wall.

So it wasn't until I left China to live back in the UK that I could access Blogger again.  It was a joy to read the blogs I used to follow and I hoped I could continue where I left off writing about all the things that occurred while I was behind the wall.  But writing things in retrospect compared to writing about them presently is quite a challenge.  It certainly changed what I think about reading autobiographies -- I simply felt I couldn't remember enough to make it seem genuine.  The beauty of a blog is that you can record events that occur in practically real-time, especially with microblogs like Twitter and Weibo.  My original intention of the blog was to be a diary of my time in China, something to look back on and re-read in the future.  It doesn't take much to jog the memory, but having the highlights ready to access on the blog is a brilliant thing to me.  This resulted in me putting a halt to the thought of blogging about past-times in China, so instead I thought I could continue writing about my life in the UK, adjusting back to life, starting my course in Hypnotherapy, Kimi coming over to live here etc.  It sounded like a plan, but it never worked out.  I think the main reason is this:  living in the UK is 'normal' for me, there is not much that I think is of interest to report because practically everything that happens on a day-to-day basis is 'normal' (apart from the odd life-changing event that is).  In China it was easy to blog about my day-to-day life all the time because I felt like almost nothing was 'normal'!  Sometimes I would walk outside of my apartment and see something that I would want to take a picture of and write about the second I returned home.  I can't deny that the greatest things in life have happened to me since I returned to the UK, and I wish I could have recorded some of those moments at the time, but these things were never meant for Diary of a Laowai in China.  I am no longer a Laowai or in China anymore, so the blog never really got on well with the concept of living in England.  Or I was just too busy, or of them.

For one last time here is a brief update on the happenings in my life.  It has been a busy and hectic year, but things are happening which I have never been more excited about in my life: Kimi is a permanent resident of the UK (and deciding whether she wants to become British next year or not.  Only one problem: China doesn't allow dual citizenship); we also purchased our first house which we absolutely love; and last month we visited Wenzhou and stayed with Kimi's mum which was a perfect holiday.  Kimi's visa and buying a house were two quite life-changing things that certainly didn't come without their fair share of extreme stress, but something amazing is happening which tops everything else....We are having a baby!  We haven't really told too many people about it yet and even now seems strange writing about it, but Kimi is well within the throws of pregnancy, and we are hoping that early next year we will say hello to our new baby for the first time.

I feel as a new chapter of my life is about to start it is almost perfect timing to end the post on this note, and also to end the blog.  I hope I can continue to write something somewhere in the future, but for now I say thank you for reading and goodbye, or "zai jian" (my Chinese has NOT improved in the slightest).