Storm Clouds

Nicholas Quirke was having to change his plans on 10 July 2020 as the forecast was rain rain and rain which was not the best weather to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Hangzhou has to offer so he kept his plans to a more localised shopping experience in the Qinghefang Street and Southern Song Imperial street at the foot of Wu Hill and boasted historic buildings and establishments dealing in Chinese Medicine, folk art, local food, including an overwhelmingly ‘Stinky tofu, and cultural relics. Colourful, bustling and despite the. Rain busy. For an area which had it roots in the Southern Song Dynasty and developed through the Ming and Qing it was sad to see much of the famed area completely closed as a result of the Virus and, as he passed a few closed doors with the powerful fumes of something possibly illegal emanating from them he was taken in his imagination to the days of the opium dens and he wondered about the state of minds that lay behind the shuttered doors. As he tried to capture the flavour of the antique alleys on his GoPro the selfie stick snapped Causing him a temporary halt in his activities. As the rain got harder he sought shelter in a series of temple buildings on Wu hill, eventually taking sanctuary from the relentless weather in a teahouse where he was not only served Longjing Tea with a flask of hot water to keep the tender tea leaves going, but monkey nuts, sunflower seeds and a bottle of insect repellent to keep the mosquitoes away. He was very very liberal with the bottle yet he was still savaged by the blood suckers who were clearly very hungry for his type O blood cells. It had not stopped him though from sitting almost 2 hours, while it poured , and writing his blog. Once it abated, he took in more of the local sights, his favourite being an authentic Chinese medicine hospital which had been practicing on the site for centuries and its fascinating remedy’s many in the form of funguses, the relic of a Ming Road, and the streets extraordinary architecture. Once he had been to the Drum Tower and before heading back to he hotel went in search of a nearby store, recommended by Peng , which sold FaFa cake, a local fluffy rice desert, which once he had discovered its location he bought a box with, Osmanthus flowers in its glazed sticky surface to give it flavour. Nicholas waited till he got back to the hotel before eating the desert Which he was very taken with. It had only been 10 Yuan and he wished he had bought a couple. However as the main feature of the evening was to go out and dine rather than experience another takeaway, not overindulging on cake was probably a very good idea. He was eating at the Lakeside Veggie, the mother restaurant of one he had visited in shanghai and once again he was treated to a really sublime meal of tofu and eggplant, a vegetable broth and dried Wonton in a sesame sauce. He finished the evening with a Mango sago in coconut milk which was delicious. He felt relaxed and content and he was particularly pleased that for once he wouldn’t be suiting up writing. Therefore, it was a desperate moment when he opened notes where he had spent 2 hours writing his blog to actually watch it somehow wipe itself out in front of his eyes. There was no getting it back and he faced sitting into the early hours of the morning to rewrite the work. It was not a happy mind that he finally took to sleep with him

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