A year of existence / Potential puppies / Same house but different

It’s been hard to find time to write here recently, so I’m going to have a brief flick through the recent headlines and look forward to the impending summer.

First thing, Milan Curtis Errington / Meishulei / Leilei has now been around for a whole year – nine months on the inside and three on the outside. It’s not something people generally celebrate, but maybe we can start a trend. He’s still growing, drinking milk, occasionally sleeping and waking up and crying, generally the standard baby behaviour, and we’re used to it enough to not be shattered any more. Recently he’s been going through a phase of trying to rub his eyes, and we’ve had to put gloves on him to stop him scratching his face. This is also normal, though I’m mystified as to what parents did in the days before baby gloves and dummies. Recently he looks like he’s getting ready to say something, but since both V and I didn’t speak until we were nearly 2 and bilingual babies take longer we’re not anticipating anything that soon.

Meanwhile sister-in-law has moved back into the family house, and her first project has been to get the dog pregnant. Bedlington Terrier puppies are worth over £200 each in China, so poor Xiaobei has been taken for a couple of meetings with her new “boyfriend”. He’s another Bedlington, but twice the size and living in a dog farm on the edge of Tongzhou – a place I’d describe as the 15-year-old-me’s worst nightmare. We went into a back room with a few sofas and a computer for the consummation. V, her sister and her fiancée hadn’t seen dogs in action before and found it pretty shocking, though I had warned them. Afterwards Xiaobei’s “boyfriend” had a wee on the sofa. It makes sense that nobody’s ever bothered to toilet train him.
So in two months, with any luck, puppies.

The final item is less interesting, but probably more important. Our tenancy is up in three months and we’ve got to decide what to do for the next year. I want to move back to the centre of course, but am having to get used to the fact that it’s not really a practical idea. To this end we’ve been looking at the other available flats on the estate. Today I and V had to followed her sister at a distance as she was taken to view a place, in order to find out who the landlady was and make a private deal with her without the agency taking their cut. Then they went back and found her, while I went home so we could avoid getting the foreigner price. It was too expensive in the end, but the cloak-and-dagger stuff was fun anyway.

Oh, and summer’s here! And it’s too hot! And now there’s a thunderstorm outside.

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