Chores and Gales

Nicholas Quirke was feeling lazy on 27 January 2021 but it was Wednesday and it meant the time had come around already for his weekly clean of the flat. In his UK days he had never been one to insist people removed their shoes when they came into his home, or feel it was appropriate when he visited others, though he always abided by the rules of whoever’s house he was in and once he had removed his shoes would happily wander barefoot around his apartment. He was even resistant to wearing slippers when he first arrived at Peng’s. The electric mop which he used, once he had dusted and and vacuumed, demonstrated just how much dirt collected on the floors even when the floors were cleaned twice a week and from a hygienic view point he would never walk barefoot around his home again when he returned and it was probably time he asked people to take their shoes off when they visited. With time to spare in the afternoon he decided he would go to Joy City and find some black trousers to wear with his Tang Dynasty jacket on New Year. He made a stop at the tea rooms in Xixiyouyi Hotel before trying to source a decent pair of trousers.which he failed at miserably. However, he’d did manage to find another shirt in a sale at Muji before cycling home. The evening Movie, ‘Outside the Wire’ proved to be tense and entertaining but ultimately forgettable. He did not however forget to go to sleep. On 28 January 2021 there was a a severe Gale warning in Beijing which Peng assured him was a very unusual note of caution to be issued. Nicholas expected to see trees bending with the force but it seemed to be only a mild ripple and after a morning indoors ironing and preparing food he felt he really needed to get out into the air, gale force wind or not. He did not want to stray to far in the event of the promised hefty breeze affecting him and a trip to the local ‘fighting’ cinema seemed a good option. Though the wind did not blow fiercely in the manner he would expect of a gale warning, the minus 10 temperature passing through the air current was from Siberia and chillier than anything he was used to and by the time he arrived at the picture house he actually thought his ears and fingers would break off. The high octane Hong Kong adventure ‘Shock Wave 2’ ensured that he warmed up pretty quickly. It was an explosive film about terrorists bombs and a heroic bomb disposal officer turned bad and he loved every minute of it. When he arrived the gate there were a multitude of parcels and with the bag of Bok Choy he had bought, getting into the apartment block proved to be a problem. Fortunately one of the concierges spotted his plight and not only let him in but called the lift and pressed the 6th floor him. He did more work, set up the ‘Classin’ app for the online teaching he was going to be doing and settled down to watch ‘Rabid’ another ludicrous horror. He finished the night with a session in the massage chair and and episode of ‘Dr Who’. Thoughts of home drifted through his mind as sleep took him over.

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