Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chinese New Year stay-cation

The Year of the Horse draws to a close - and it is time for the Goat to take center stage!! Yes, the Year of the Goat is here..or is it the Year of the Sheep?? Seems that Goat and Sheep are used quite interchangeably here...and all the posters for the New Year show an animal which looks like a cross between a mountain goat and a ram...which confused me even more. Although, 'Sheep' does sound better than 'Goat', doesn't it?? Take your pick - it's still the Chinese New Year, and time for celebrations!! This year, Manasi's school was off for a whopping 2 weeks - but still, the decision to remain in Suzhou was unchanged!!

Welcome to the Year of the Sheep!!

The Chinese New Year break also coincided with the start of another highly anticipated event - I'm talking, of course, about the ICC Cricket World Cup!! India is the defending champion, and slogans of "We won't give it back!" have been making the rounds!! Possibly even more anticipated than the actual World Cup final is the India-Pakistan clash - scheduled on the first Sunday of the break, well - we had to have a viewing party with all our friends!! For the all day game, we had decided on a pot-luck - with enough food for lunch and then an early dinner!! I was on snack-duty, so had the easiest part - and all my friends came through with a sumptuous spread!!

Bon app├ętit!

Emotions always run high during India-Pak games - both teams dig deep and come up with performances that far exceed expectations!! India has never lost a game to Pakistan in a World Cup... and Sunday's firecracker of a game kept the tradition intact!! India batting first, and Virat Kohli's brilliant century set the pace of things to come. Our bowling side is competent at best, and there were quite a few tense moments when the game could have gone either way - but India prevailed!! What a start to the World Cup!! Watching India win with all our friends made things even more fun!!

Rapt audience!

Go India!!!

After the high of Sunday's match, we had a week of relative quiet. Manasi came down with a bad throat infection - stared off with a high fever, and after a couple of nights of cold compresses and Ibuprofen, it was time for a visit to the doctor's office and much-needed antibiotics. Ajey was home too, and we had a simple routine going on - sleeping in, late breakfast, an even later lunch - lots of TV, caught up on some movies - minimum interaction with the outside world. Manasi and I barely left the house for the entire week - Ajey venturing out once a day to the gym and Sam's club. Really relaxing!!

The second week saw a lot of Manasi's friends return to Suzhou - and we were back on a round of play-dates - my house was filled with a lot of chattering girls many times!! Another World Cup match, another India victory, this time against S. Africa was the highlight of the weekend!! Ajey's vacation was coming to an end - he had to be back at work on Wednesday - but he managed to take care of a big project in the last 2 days. A little background - for a few years now, along with crochet, I have also been a big cross-stitcher, and have managed to finish quite a few frames. My work has been displayed all over the house, and it was Ajey's idea to put all of my frames together on one wall - more impact, he said, more appreciation!!

So we started - first task, get all the frames down and in one place. Next, we had to arrange them in pleasing fashion on the floor - this always takes time, as Ajey needs everything to be symmetrical, whereas I think quirky is charming. Next step - start drilling?!! Of course not - any self-respecting engineer worth his (or her!) salt will tell you that you don't just pick up a drill - you first need a template to transfer the positions of the frames to the wall, then you make careful markings, and then you drill!! For our template, Ajey came up with one of his ingenious ideas - he took down a window blind, marked it, then taped it to the wall, and transferred the markings - a process I was certain wouldn't work - but work it did, and within no time, he had all 10 of my frames up on the wall - and even if I do say it myself, it is a spectacular display!!

And all too soon, our Chinese New Year stay-cation was at an end!! Friday night was dinner with our friends - a last celebration before the kids go back to school on Monday. Friday also brought us some very good news - a little baby boy was born to V & A, more reason to celebrate! I hope you will all join me in congratulating the parents, and welcoming the newest addition to our family!! Can't hardly wait to see my newest nephew!! It has certainly been a great start to the New Year - a very happy Year of the Sheep to all of you!! Xin nian kuai le!!!

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