Nicholas Quirke was still full of cold on 10 October 2020 but he was determined to make sure that he got things done and amongst the admin tasks he needed to complete were a monthly visit to the bank, a trip to the post office to send off a birthday card and a visit to the silversmith to clean his now blackened cross and chain. Work was being done on more windows in the block and the noise was unbearable again. It was a sunny day but the temperature had dropped dramatically while they had been away and he was going to need to wear more layers. He left early to complete his missions and it was good to back on a bike and cycling round Beijing. The bank was an easy task and was completed quickly. The Post Office proved more tiresome and he was horrified to find that he spent nearly 2 hours to send 1 card. Firstly he queued to get an envelope on which he wrote the ‘to and from’ addresses. He then queued again to get it sent. The person in front of him had problems and to his relief his wait was shortened. It was stamped and ready to go but to his horror the assistant realised that he had put the addresses the wrong way round the ‘From’ address on the left and the ‘To’ address on the right. This meant he had to go through the whole process again and it was straight to the back of the queue. The effort for the one card was too much and he began to understand why Peng hated the Post Office and wouldn’t go anymore. It did feel like a major achievement and once it was sent it was back on the bike and heading to the mall where he would find a silversmith. It was less problematical but it did take him a while to locate the stall. He was able to communicate his needs using Apple Translate and although it was another 20 minute wait while they got to work on making his cross all shiny again. He had completely missed Lunch and he decided to spend the rest of the day in his favourite tea house. Home, exercise on the treadmill, a film and sleep and his Monday was complete.


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