Nicholas Quirke was out of action on 15 July 2020. He had been non stop on 10 days travelling in Southern China and he really needed a rest and some time to recuperate and he took a few days break from any exertion. Now that he was back in Beijing he needed to acclimatise to being on a fixed spot again. He still kept busy and was not doing nothing and the days were filled with writing, cooking, cleaning the apartment, laundry, watching TV, and movies including ‘Inheritance’ and the creepy ’Relic’. He had got a new selfie stick for his go pro delivered to the hotel in Suzhou but it was cumbersome and difficult to operate and he had to order a new one. Peng used the last of his plastic straws and from here on would be enjoying his smoothies with a metal straw. The days were full of mundane routine activity for him. There were highlights, including a Face Time chat with Cole and going out for dinner at Oli with Peng who followed up dinner by a visit to a nearby Buddhist restaurant which had some vegan deserts including a plum sauce with Osmanthus, pancakes with Nutella, and cake in the shape of a walnut. They were near the Lama Temple which was still closed and there was a lot of activity, including street fan dancing. He also made a trip to Xidan to buy cake and had tea in the Lafayette Mall. The extension to his stay in China was due to expire by the end of the month and he needed to get this resolved as get paperwork together and make an appointment with the Municipal Public Security bureau and By 18 July 2020 he was feeling more engaged and after starting the morning with an FB chat with Maureen, calling Kim to wish her Happy Birthday and a breakfast of Jian Bing they travelled to Tai Koo Li to the new Apple store where he watched a presentation, in Chinese, on how to use the I-Phone camera which was surprisingly informative. They walked around the mall area, tried a Waxberry sorbet then cycled to have lunch in a noodle bar where once again he was surprised by the range of noodles there were on offer. He was cycling round Beijing again and starting to get back into the swing of daily life. There was the promise that cinemas would open again on the 20th though Beijing was still on its Level 2 alert and unlike other cities in China did not have plans to open until the alert went down to 3. it was on this disappointed note that he took to his bed.


  1. Pleased you’ve had a break Nick. Important to change routines for a few days. I’ve done the same as, in addition to returning to the shop,lots of friends suddenly wanted to socialise in the last week or so and it interrupted my established routines. I gave myself up to it and saw Tan, Natalia, Pat, Stephen, Rachel, Kate, Alan and Hend, individually, for walks, cycle rides, picnics or lunch.I decided to make it a sort of holiday week so I’m back on the ‘work schedule’ mindset again and restricting socials to evenings and weekends now… otherwise I’ll start thinking I’ve retired! x

  2. To bring you out of rest and retirement for a gossip moment ….. Harvey spotted in Canonbury….I hear he has moved there.

  3. Glad you’ve managed to rest up although sounds like you still kept yourself busy! xx

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