Bumper post of two weeks of Doing Things Differently

Whole load of food based ones in this bumper two week bundle of #DoDiffDaily’s, from Hong Kong and the UK.

octopus on a frill with a sign saying $15 - very cheap in Hong Konggolden balls bubbling in a brown oila box of sesame crackers, one open on top.

Firstly – octopus on a stick, fish balls and sesame cubic pastry. The latter is not only exactly what it says it is, its extremely tasty too! I also had a hot pot supper – where you have a bowl o bubbling stock in front of you and you cook your own food in it. Very delicious and highly amusing too when your chopstick skills let you down and you drop stuff into the soup.

a bubbling broth and chopsticks going in with food cooking

On the way out at the airport I wanted to vary my routine – I’d done all the usual things: sushi, Boots, charged computer and phone and still had 30 mins to kill… So I decided to treat myself to a glass of champagne. Very nice. And I’m worth it.

7 up slushy being formed in glassAnd once I was back we made homemade slush! The kids versions all worked far better than mine – in particular, Lucazade slush comes highly recommended. Check out this video to find out how to do it!)

Then there were a whole heap of activity based ones:

Firstly I’d always admired the narrow trams in Hong Kong and one day recently I got to go on one. Made me very happy.

Second was the big one – yes, villain hitting. This is a little known tradition that occurs in a specific location in Hong Kong. You pay someone to hit your villains for you – and they do so, with a slipper. Then they take the scraps that remain, feed them to a tiger before setting light to the lot (tiger and scraps). Then you are blessed and all the badness taken out of you before being left to go on your way. What’s not to like? I chose to ‘hit’ David Cameron, George Osborne, Philip Davis (who is my local MP as well as having despicable attitudes to disabled people) and Michael Gove. All politicians, all conservatives and all men. Also the people that I hold personally responsible for the views which are condemning education, disability and life as we know it in the UK to a much worse place than I have ever known in my lifetime. I would have love to have ‘hit’ everyone who reads the Daily Mail but sadly I didn’t have enough paper.

Although my hosts found it odd that I wished to do this (and even odder that I was happy to be seen attacking the leaders of my country so openly) they supported me in my interests. And it was great fun – very cathartic and I really did feel cleansed afterwards. Got to love a ritual…

it looks like a cot mobile but it is an ariel piece with people hanging in spaceThird was back in Bradford where we went to the Christmas lights switch on – and I’ve not done that since I was a kid! Luckily in Bradford it was a band, aerialists and fireworks rather than an outing to see would be celebs – so it was much more fun.

Fourth was a sad activity, and not one of my choosing. I managed to get my train ticket/pass stolen whilst on the train so my activity was speaking with the local police and I have my own personal police reference number: 378 13/11/13. Not so great, but everyone was very helpful and in the grand scheme of things, not such a disaster.

a certificate of attendance - of my course, but I get one tooA few work based #DoDiffs too:

In Hong Kong I managed to deliver a workshop from 9.30am – 6.30pm, with just an hour off for lunch. In fact I delivered three days of this length – exhausting but rewarding.

It meant I was extremely knackered, so one night I was too tired to sort shopping/work bag/clothes and so went to bed in only half the bed whilst the other remained a filing cabinet.

At least at the end of the course I got a certificate for attending my own course. Well, everyone else was getting one and I didn’t want to be left out…

Last two now. One was shopping based – I bought a phone charger my iphone to use in the car. The thing that was different? I bought one that was full price, proper, branded and real. I usually try and get a tech bargin and end up with something that lasts three days and then has a knob fall off. Not this time. Proper money for proper equipment.

And my final one was about acceptance.

Across the last couple of weeks, I’ve managed to do my shoulder in. It means that I have periodic pain from it, and really need to rest it up and not push myself. One day this week, I really accepted that I am in pain and so asked for help (well, demanded it really) off the kids. I just said I needed them to help me and that I couldn’t manage on my own. This was not an easy thing to say for me as I kind of pride myself on being independent and strong. The kids were great. They unpacked the car, made tea, even opened my wine. And my learning? That this asking for help thing isn’t so bad after all.

All my own photos (apart from the panda) and if you want to follow the blog along, do sign up at the bottom right of the screen (and if you want to find out more about me, check out my other site www.joverrent.com)

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