Nicholas Quirke was returning to life in Beijing as normal on 3 January 2021 and there was nothing more pedestrian to remind him that the new year was just like any other was going back to work. Though when work was in Beijing the similarity with life as its was told a completely different story. One of the major differences was leaving at 7.30 am in minus twelve degree weather conditions. It was a lot colder than the previous day, 2 January 2020, when still mourning the loss of his Beloved Moscot sunglasses, after checking his Chinese finances to see that he had enough finances to replace them, finding the style online and after some investigation locating a store in Tai Koo Li that stocked the brand, they set of for the smart, trendy mall. Thwey were definitely covered but not prepared for just how cold it was. Minus four degrees but it felt like 20. They had woken to a day of fasting and no concrete plans, though there was plenty of work to be done and decided to attempt to restore this treasure would distract them from thinking about food. It turned out to be a fruitless journey and when they were told that Moscot were stocked in Joy City, a mere 25 minute walk from them they were especially despondent. Hunger and weariness overtook them and even though they did some serious walking as exercise going home they once again slobbed about in front of the mini cinema screen. Their appetite for movies and stories seemed unparalleled and they consumed two satisfying drama’s as if they were the sustenance they had denied themselves for the day. ‘The Feast of the Seven Fishes’ belied its austere title and turned out to be a charming tale set at Christmas time, While the magnificent Tibetan tale ‘Balloon’, for all its charm ended on a heartbreaking note and left them with some deep questions to sleep on. Already into the 3rd day of the month and stepping into the classroom again with four pupils who were mischievous but with a bit of charm and he was pleased to see that with the promise of stars all they homework had been done. He was anxious though for the class to end as he was going to the cinema near his place of work in Chaoyangmen to see a new Chinese release, ‘A Little Red Flower’. Peng was lunching with his parents and cousins and to fill in the time this movie seemed to be perfect. It was a 20 minute walk away and he got some fresh air. The Miricle Cinema was in an impressive block and the entrance through a grand staircase had echoes of the the 1930’s Odeons he had been familiar with in his youth before they too were carved up in mini screens. The film was about terminal cancer patients and its echoes with his own life and the loss of his father at 17 made into and emotional and tearful journey. The locations were now familiar to him and the central image being the magical Qinghai lake he had travelled round it had an added attraction for him. The film had opened on Thursday and by the end of Sunday the film had already grossed nearly 800 million Yuan. The Chinese were clearly no different to the rest of the world when it came to sentiment and there really was not a dry eye in the house. At home Peng was delighted with the arrival of the decorations for the front door and once the signs of Christmas celebrating came to an end on the 6th preparations for the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox could begin. Banners would go up and the door gods would be put in place. The decorations came in a presentation box, including a game of Ludo which, they played and a model ox which, they assembled. Nicholas was still fasting and once again to take his mind off food and top see the weekend out they watched films. An animation called ‘Bigfoot Family’, which kind of says all that needs to be said about this simple tale of ecological warfare. Nicholas indulged in a third film that day before bed and watched the crazy, action packed ’Shadow in the Cloud’ from New Zealand. His thought though continued to drift to his experience of cancer and the long sad four years that it had taken his father to die. There were no support groups then, no therapy, the family just got on and lived with death. It was no surprise then that once he had shut his eyes his sleep was peopled with the departed.