The beautiful rain of Sydney

A rainy day in Sydney is very much alive with colour and sound and beautiful clouds. There is the sound of rain and of wind, trees twisting in the wind, lightning arcing across the sky, the loud colours of living plants highlighted in the glistening wet. Not to mention the scent of damp earth, and eucalytpus. How can anyone not love all that?

Enjoying the cool in Canberra

I was particularly looking forward to two things: 1) my mum’s cooking, and 2) the colder weather. I also caught up with a few friends and worked on my book. Over 400 people have now completed my survey – people from over 60 passport countries, who have lived in over 130 different countries/territories.

Photos from my living room on days of varying AQI levels.

The consequences of smog

After ten years living in the thick air of Beijing, I still remember not only what smog looks like, but what it FEELS like. There are physical consequences to breathing smog (which I suspect has affected my health more than I care to know), but there is also an emotional impact to living in a darkened world.

Back into the swing of Beijing

China welcomed me back with the smell of pollution, as always, and just one day in I could feel the changes in my sinuses and my breathing. Also, I kept wanting to say the Khmer word for thank you. I have never defaulted to Khmer before!

Blossoms in the garden.

Spring fling in Beijing

After 9 years the weather in China still surprises me. At least I’m no longer surprised being surprised. My first few years I was constantly shocked by how quickly the weather changed. The temperature, but also the light.

Comparing AQI for Oct, Nov and January.

A graphic illustration

While I’ve already written about the bad air in Beijing lately, I compared the air quality I recorded in Oct/Nov ’12 with January’s air. I am thankful for my air purifier, but horrified by how this must be affecting an entire generation of Chinese.


So I’m sitting on my grandparents’ couch, using my Mum’s laptop, borrowing the wireless network from a hearby house that we are picking up here… ;) Just thought I’d pop online and say that I’m not dead. The plane got me safely home and yes, I’m talking my head off at everyone! Best thing is…