Relic Hold Out

Nicholas Quirke was aware that his time was running out on 30 June 2021 and he wanted o make sure that he visited some of his favourite haunts before he left. As it was a Wednesday he had no lessons and because he had great affection for 1920 cafe, which was the first place he had been to on his arrival in Beijing he decided to attempt again to go to the Hugang Guildhall which was established in 1807 but was now supposedly the home of the Peking traditional Opera museum. It had been closed since he had been in Beijing and was probably now the only relic he had not explored in the city. China’s beloved revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen presided over a gathering of of the founding of Kuomintang in August 1912 in the guildhall, though he had a notion that he had seen a previous location in Guangzhou where a similar claim was made, and was another reason why he wished to see inside the hallowed halls. Before any of this happened he had to perform his usual midweek chores that seemed to have come around very quickly. As he dusted, hoovered and mopped he worked with Peng to arrange planes, trains and automobiles for his next trip where he again hoped to see some really awesome scenery. He prepared another lunch and when it was over he set of on the short journey to Caishikou. He was disappointed that the museum’s doors were still closed and he feared that the opportunity to see its treasures would never come. The cafe was directly opposite and instead of an educational discovery a never ending pot of tea was his sole entertainment for the afternoon. He had always been slightly dismissive of the cafe culture in Brighton and the numbers who sat in in these bars eking out their drinks as they studied their laptops but now he had lived as he did in Beijing discovering the teas and tea houses of the city he could appreciate their use and he postulated an existence along the same lines on his return. The afternoon of blogging passed and he eventually made tracks back to the apartment observing the sight of dozens of orange clad workers sitting on the side walk next to a multitude of lorries. It was hard to imagine what their purpose there was as there was no building site and he suspected that it could be linked with the anniversary the next day. He had no lesson with Dylan as the summer holiday had started and he could relax and just watch a movie. By 8pm a threatened storm began to rage and for nearly 4 hours the skies over Xicheng district were rent asunder by the longest and probably mist dramatic electrical storm he had ever witnessed. Capturing the sheet and forked lighting and the torrential rain did interrupt his film viewing but it did not hamper his enjoyment. He could not imagine how the perfect charmer ‘Little Nicholas’ passed him by in on its release in 2009 as it was everything he loved in a movie. It was funny, it was French and an utter flight of fancy. The characters were perfectly drawn, it was shot with the splendour of Technicolor, the jokes set up and executed with style and was told from the innocent perspective of childhood. It was a confection that was a simple joy to watch and made him very happy and just what he needed to take his mind off his impending separation from China and to help him sleep.

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