OK, I have to admit that we are still spending most of the time in our apartment, just going out to shop, walk in the park, or get the paper and have a coffee as we did today. I didn’t feel up to going somewhere for a major walk and we are also aware from past experience that a long weekend at the beginning of the school holidays is not the time to visit London attractions such as museums and art galleries. They tend to be particularly busy and children are naturally pretty noisy!

Today was quite good for getting out. It was warm and quite sunny by midday after a foggy morning. Heavy showers and thunderstorms are still forecast for tomorrow, with a break during the day on Monday before more possible showers and thunderstorms late in the day.

beside the busy road
Before photo

Our apartment complex is part of a larger complex of row houses with gardens and lawns. We noticed that a number of the trees have been severely cut back. New leaves are starting to come through and we predict that the trees will be covered in green leaves before we leave. We plan to take more photos of the trees as the leaves get thicker.


As we walk around the local area, it isn’t exactly pretty. There is a lot of public transport – trams and buses, plus the East Croyden Railway station. Yet, whenever we go outside we can hear bird calls and there are often lovely scents from flowers and flowering trees.


There are some quite intersting old buildings in the downtown area, but also a lot of cheap and nasty sixties buildings that don’t even appear to be being used.


The trams run along a normal width road mixing with cars and buses. But it somehow all works out.


We’ve had an email from the supervisor of Matt’s house to say that he has a sore throat. I do hope he doesn’t get a cold, it’s hard for him to cope with a blocked nose and cough as he doesn’t have the strength to blow his nose and cough properly. She said he is still in good spirits and eating well thank goodness. At least we know he didn’t catch the cold from us. Like Stephen, Matt has had the flu vaccination, but what we really need is a vaccine for the common cold. Matt has seen a locum and they have a script for antibiotics in case he needs it.

Suzhou - 1
Suzhou canal bridge 9th May, 2018

This photo was taken when we had a free afternoon in Suzhou. We took the underground, then walked through to the canal. We ran into other members of our tour group who had done the same thing. Difference was, our plan was to take a taxi back to the hotel, which meant we could walk further into the park without having to worry about a hard slog getting back. One of the advantages of being in China is that taxis are cheap, at least from our perspective.

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