Currin Family

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A slideshow of our Qingdao holiday

It was a wonderful break in an unusual place, half of the city is like living in an old German village complete with very narrow cobbled streets and the other part is ultra modern, very clean and friendly.

Excuse the multitude of typing errors.

We Went to Dalian & Qingdao Slideshow: John’s trip from Anshan, Liaoning, China to 2 cities Qingdao and Dalian was created by TripAdvisor. See another China slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Arrive in Qingdao

Arrived in Qingdao and shared a taxi with our new found neighbour into town, checked into our hotel which was cheap but not very wonderful.
Up next morning and off to the market to see what was offering - Mei was hungry.

Inside they sell food outside jandals which do not fit my flat feet.

An umbrella repairman

This happy man sells remote controls, both new and used.

When the Germans invaded they built in the German style - this was a large 
home which,when the Japanese took over turned it into a girls school.
It is also part of our hotel.

 A very big house.

And in the background some of modern Qingdao

Best wishes from John

Friday, August 26, 2011

Leave Dalian and off to Qingdao

Arrived at Dalian Airport and found that our plane had been delayed so they arranged for another plane to stop over in Qingdao on its way to Chongqing. An Air West plane and they treated us very well, the flight is only 45 minutes but they served up a hot meal for us.
While waiting for our flight a young guy came up and asked where I was from (very common here), told him and I asked where he was from and it so happened that he lived very close to our apartment but he had been in Canada for 8 years and actually was a Canadian citizen abd he was of to Qingdao to visit his girlfriend. His family own a chain of bakeries in Anshan.

Mei enters Dalian Airport (Dalian Population just over 6 million)


We went for a holiday - Dalian

Left Anshan on Sunday by train and headed for Dalian. Could not book a seat and were told that we may have to stand for 3 hours on the journey but, Ok we said, we can do it.
Well, many students were returning to Universities in Dalian so the train was full and we were standing but people here are very kind to older people and we were soon offered a seat.

Waiting at Anshan Station

And our train arrives, not a fast one though - 


So off we go to Dalian.

Arrived in Dalian and have several hours to have a look around - decided to take a look at some of the coastal scenery. 


Mei poses

And John takes a look around

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fw: Builders in the sky!!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Warwick Grimmer <>
Date: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 04:34
Subject: Fw: Builders in the sky!!!
To: John Currin <>

Subject: Fw: Builders in the sky!!!





Workers build a footpath around the vertiginous slopes of Shifou Mountain in China


Thousands of metres up the vertiginous slopes of Shifou Mountain in Hunan Province , China , a team
of workers, operating with hardly any safety measures, are building a footpath


The workers are building a plank road on the side of the mountain that, once it is finished,
will stretch for 3km (9843 ft) and be China 's longest sightseeing footpath




48-year-old Yu Ji (above) is one of the workers and he has been working on high cliffs building such plank roads for more than 10 years. He comments: "Young people don't want this job, as it requires them to stay deep in the mountains for months or even years"


Yu Ji takes charge of the most dangerous part of the project -
drilling the holes to set up pipes to support the footpath






Building a plank road on Shifou Mountain is difficult because the
cliff stands vertical at 90 degrees, without any slope or alcoves














A finished section of the footpath





















Friday, August 19, 2011

MY MY, a beer festival with free beer and I just happen to be going there - Qingdao International Beer Festival 2011 to Begin Soon

Updated: July 27, 2011 | Clicks: 292
Qingdao Beer Festival 2011, Qingdao Carnival, Qingdao Festival, China Tour Packages,

The largest Asian beer festival, Qingdao International Beer Festival, is to begin on August 13, 2011 and will last till August 28. It is an international event combining tourism, culture, and sport, held in the coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province.

Qingdao International Beer Festival is also known as a carnival for natives and foreigners. The first festival began on June 23, 1991 and has been held annually ever since. The festival has been an important event held in the tourist season for the last 20 years, beginning on the second weekend of August each year, with a 16-day duration.

The theme of the festival is “Qingdao Cheers the World”, and the major activities of the festival this year are the opening ceremony, tasting beer, a carnival, art tours, a beer-drinking competition, an economic and trade show, and the closing ceremony. The opening ceremony will be held at Tiantai Stadium on Wendeng Road (文登路天泰体育场) and many domestic and international super-stars have been invited to perform at the ceremony. In the festival, visitors can taste beers from all over the world, including the top ten beer brands, including Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken, Beck`s, Corona, Kirin, Asahi and Tiger. The annual art parade will be performed by famous bands from Europe, Asia, America and Africa with passionate cachucha, samba, genuine aboriginal dance, and darobokkas. The carnival (which will begin on August 15 this year) in the Beer City is a merry experience both for adults and children. This year, the festival will have a special recreation area for children, and 11 recreational facilities for children will be provided, including the most popular entertainment among children: the windmill.

Qingdao Beer City
Qingdao Beer City night scene

Art Tour
The art parade in a former Qingdao International Beer Festival

Art Tour
The carnival pirate ship of a former Qingdao International Beer Festival

What’s more, the 2nd International Circus Festival will also begin on August 13, 2011, and the highlight is the performance of European Royal Circus, which consists of Moscow Circus and Kazakhstan National Circus, including dozens of acrobats and human performers, and many animal performers, such as elephants, black bears, horses, dogs and cats.

The ticket fare is 10 yuan per person before 3pm and 20 yuan per person after 3pm.

Note: Qingdao hotels will be short of the demand during the festival period, so travelers are advised to book hotels as far in advance as possible. China Highlights offers a great number of Qingdao Hotels for your selection.

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Holiday tomorrow to Qingdao and guess what is happening

What a coincidence - a holiday in the sun, by the beach and Asia's biggest Beer Festival is on and I did not know but now I do. Wonderful.
And rad what a


Qingdao International Beer Festival - August 13th-28th, 2011

Qingdao International Beer FestivalA festival in honor of the nectar of the gods, beer -- how great is that? Every summer, starting the second weekend of August, Qingdao hosts the largest beer festival in Asia with international breweries from all over the globe flocking to the sandy shores of China's Shandong Province. If you are a serious drinker or a casual weekend enthusiast, you'll see the best of China's beer drinking culture at this event. If karaoke is your thing, you can test your singing skills in front of huge crowds, and even buy a CD recording of your song if you so desire. 

Picture huge tables filled with beer-swilling, elated Chinese and beautiful women performing on stage as the sound of Gan Bei ! (bottoms up) rings out across the numerous beer tents. With music of all kinds featured at the numerous stage venues and beers from around the globe: Beck's from Germany, Kirin & Asahi from Japan, Carlsberg from Denmark, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from Holland, Tiger from Singapore, Budweiser from the states, and of course China's Tsingtao, just to name a few, it truly is an international event that should not be missed.

As a foreigner, you'll be swamped with offers of free beers to "GanBei." I've gone to the beer festival in the past and not had to buy a single beer. The Chinese are so generous and kind, they are happy to show foreigners a good time. I've seen only a couple of fights all the times I've been there, and that's pretty amazing considering the amount of drinking that's going on. How good is the Qingdao Beer Festival? I'm living in Southern China right now, and I'm taking a special trip up to Qingdao to make sure I'm there for the fourth year in a row. Take it from a professional drinker, you'll have a good time!
The event lasts for two weeks and begins with a grand opening ceremony, followed by beer tasting, evening entertainment, drinking competitions, and concluded with a themed final ceremony. Besides beer there's tons of food, both Chinese and Western, to gorge on when you get the munchies. And don’t forget beautiful Shilaoren beach is just a 10 minute walk away! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We are going to Qingdao for a short holiday.

I have wanted to visit Qingdao since I arrived here in China.
It has an interesting history, the Germans sailed in and built a walled city and faced their guns out to sea and felt very safe as China conceded the area to the Germans.
Later the Japanese also wanted the port city but could not get in because of the guns pointing out to sea so they came around the back and attacked from behind and the Germans were gone.It is famous for Tsingdao beer which was originally made by the Germans in the old brewery which is still standing and is now a museum.
There is a lot of European style architecture still there as well as a very modern city.
It was also where the sailing events were held during the Beijing Olympics.
The bay is now crossed by the longest sea bridge in the world.
Looking forward to a short holiday.

Have a look at some more info - click here or   click here for Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

London Update

A bit of  fun from Gerry in Christchurch, New Zealand

London Update



Rugby: Tasman repeat 2009 shock - Sport - NZ Herald News

Andrew Goodman scored 20 points against Auckland. Photo / Sarah Ivey


Andrew Goodman scored 20 points against Auckland. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Tasman 30 Auckland 28
Tasman have upset Auckland for the second time in three years with a 30-28 win at Trafalgar Park in Nelson tonight, denting Auckland's hopes of an appearance in the final.

Auckland had a chance to force a draw after scoring in the late stages but Gareth Anscombe missed a sideline conversion as Tasman picked up just their second win of the season.

Andrew Goodman scored 20 points for the Makos with a try, three penalties and three conversions as the home side held onto the victory after taking a 10 point lead into the final quarter.

Anscombe, who started on the bench, kicked a penalty to make it a one try game heading into the last 19 minutes and then set up the final try with a chip chased down by Hadleigh Parkes but it was all for nothing.

The two point loss leaves Auckland in fifth on the Premiership table, three points behind leaders Waikato. Auckland's final two games are against Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

Tasman remain in second to last on the Championship table on 11 points.

Tasman 30 (James Marshall, Mark Bright, Andrew Goodman tries; Goodman 3 pen, 3 con) Auckland 28 (Brent Ward, Teddy Stanaway, Hadleigh Parkes tries; Piers Francis pen, 2 con, Gareth Anscombe 2 pen).

Halftime: 17-17.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Loads of steel coming into the shopping centre site


While the weather is good again they are working very hard on the shopping site - 24 hrs a day and 7 days as well.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

[johnandmei] Some Old Farm Photos


Some Old Farm Photos

Posted by johnandmei

From Maurice Boyce in Sydney ( a former classmate from Spring Grove School in Nelson, New Zealand) - I must say that the Tutaki was pretty hard farming country, Maurice but really enjoyed the photos, particularly the haymaking, took me back a day or two actually.
Hello John & Mei,
Thank you again for all the interesting posts you send me. The Chinese aircraft carrier looks impressive, amazing what the "Can Do" spirit can produce and this certainly applies to modern China. The post on the "Long John" fast food concept in NZ is also interesting. Every time I go back to NZ I am both frustrated and disappointed by the quality  of casual food. I will never go to KFC or McDs and anything else just does not seem to exist. I think last time I stayed at a country motel there I ended up having a pizza as being least worst, and the lady that ran the place very kindly made me some (homemade) jam sandwiches for a cut lunch. (Only in NZ!)
I see NZ retained the Bledisloe Cup!
In a previous e-mail you asked me about our farm in the Murchison area. I have dug out a couple of old 35mms which I will attach. The farm was sold about 1968, abandoned and just used as a grazing run by a neighbour. It broke my heart, but the grim reality was that it would never pay its way and I would never have been able to be a farmer even if part of it had ever come my way.
Hope you are both keeping well, how is the rooftop garden going! We are OK, very difficult with some of Ruths problems, full time job +++. Always nice to hear from you.
Maurice Boyce

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Typhoon is over

It was not much of a typhoon but I had a couple of days off. Lots of heavy rain though.
Nearly turned the underground shopping centre being built across the road into a lake. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

We are having a bit of a typhoon and I do not have to go to work.

The typhoon that has been battering the coast is heading towards our town so the Local Government has closed all schools for two days.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mei and Qiao Qiao - among my tomatoes

The smaller varieties are producing madly, all very handy for the summer salads and barbecues.

Best wishes from John

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From my friend in Indonesia - flowers in The UAR.


How beautiful this would be to see  . . . . .
Picture of the day
The first park in Guinness World Record The Largest Number of Hanging Flower Baskets Al Ain, United Arab Emirates