Nicholas Quirke was thinking of his mother, in fact all the mothers he knew back home in the UK who were celebrating Mothering Sunday on 22 March 2020. He was aware that with the need to self isolate and ‘Social Distancing’ it was not a good time to be indulging in festivities and he felt some compassion for the situation his friends and family in UK were now in. 2020 did seem to be a year of extraordinary turmoil for the world, yet having upturned his own life he found was feeling nothing but positivity about the journey he had embarked upon and seemed to continually ride some sort of wave ahead of events. He had experienced minor hardship during this crisis and was already feeling part of a society that was having to readjust to a new order, a new way of living, which completely aligned with his own personal journey. These thoughts were on his mind as he was faced with some minor decisions as part of the transformation he was undergoing from the traveller that set out on 12 January 2020 to the Beijing city dweller he was currently posturing as. Haircut, beard trim, an increasingly trimmer figure contributed to an optimistic outlook and today his gaze had turned to the diminished, and redundant Arctic wardrobe he had left Brighton with. He needed something more suited to spring and the country he was now in. With the temperature increasing on a daily basis they set off to the Joy City Mall to investigate what was on offer from Uniqlo. Peng was finding the Cultural revolution Maoist look that Nicholas had a fondness for a little tiresome and it was time to put a bit of colour back into his look. He found a yellow cagoule style top, a corresponding blue top as well as some appropriately lightweight strides, underwear and to mark the Year of The Rat some red socks, that in China indicated he was living through his Birth Year. It seemed to take some time and some obstructions for them to complete the purchases and hunger overwhelmed them and they made their way to the Vegan Restaurant, Godly, that Nicholas had been repelled from when he was first in the city. The staff seemed very unhappy to have a foreigner in their midst but Peng was persuasive and they were finally allowed in though he was tucked away in a corner. Regulations for dining in a public space demanded that people were not allowed at the same table or to sit opposite each other so they were sat at a diagonal to eat the delicious meal that had the textures, looks and taste of meat but were completely plant based. The Buddhist cuisine had completely mastered the art of transforming natural products into faux traditional meals. For some time he had been longing to have vegan Ice Cream or sorbet and Peng had been scouring the cities gelato’s for a place he could get something suitable but had been continually thwarted. Today’s he located a Hagen Das which offered a Mango sorbet and after calling ahead to make sure it was actually available and enduring the staffs confusion “Yes we do serve sorbet Ice Cream”, “No Milk?’, “Err I am not sure?’ “Oh yes, Our Sorbet Ice Cream is made without milk.”, they cycled to the store. Finally he was able to enjoy the taste of ice. Peng was extremely puzzled to receive a parcel of Books from a Buddhist organisation with pictures and chants for him to practice. he discovered his cousin had signed him up asa joke as he was now eating a Vegan diet which most Buddhists followed. Concerned that people in the Uk needed to know exactly the routine after coming in from outside he made a short video of the routine. Get In; take off shoes and leave them at the door, then remove outside layer,; Jacket, hats, trousers, wash hands, or even better, shower. Then you can relax. After this routine he tried on his new clothes before making a beetroot smoothie for supper and settling down to an evening of writing emails and contacting family, friends and a chat with Eileen. Peng had ordered a new Dyson which arrived and he proudly pieced it together and enjoyed the turbot power it produced, immediately setting out to clean the apartment. As the close of day approached he felt that once again the day had been productive and successful and he could retire with satisfaction.


  1. Noticed a replica mini Bank of China Tower (HK) when cycling along. Loving the photo of you, the Yang Guedze, cowering in the corner of the restaurant. Just Terrific!

  2. I like the sound of turbot power…. Or is there something a little fishy about it? Good to hear you are keeping well, Nick.

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