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Kids making chapatis on Happy Stacking Day
Kids making chapatis on Happy Stacking Day

Happy to be home after an intense 3 weeks barely moving outside a 200m diameter (from the hotel to the ping fang to the market).
Won't miss: the difficulty communicating with people in the village, even with a translator, as it never feels like a natural conversation.
Will miss: the very present vegetable growth in every spare pocket of soil. Those that go for walks, shopping etc in their pyjamas. The generosity and good nature of everyone we met there from the woman who offered us her ping fang house to work in, to the organic farmers who let us make a mess of their raised beds (allowing us to hack away happily at the weeds as a simple way for us to feel useful).
Happy Stacking Day was great, tiring, fun. Having stalls on the market was a good plan as people were enticed by the laptops and smell of cooking so once we were set up, the stalls were swamped till lunch and nap time. I hadn't realised how grey/brown the village was until the kids in their animal masks and flags paraded the streets spreading a bit of colour and family fun. Alistair's non-political/non-religious speech lightly explained why we were wandering around the village, looking like tourists, but not acting like them and this was followed by dancing, which never fails to get everyone going. It was a happy day followed by drinking, eating, singing and laughing with the dancing ladies (who have added Strip the Willow to their repertoire).

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Found some chef's dream of cooking it English Style in the hotel bar. There was everything from margarine to custard powder and an obvious trip to Ikea. After weeks of noodles and boney fish, it was a weird pleasure to have toast and honey, a cup of tea, and bacon and scrambled eggs. I showed the hotel staff how to make it all and it was a funny strange thing to do in this really remote place. It was nice to try and find all the ingredients in the local shops and cook for everyone but I guess I would have been horrified to come here and find Full English on the menu.

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All the specimens a bit rancid, but still a joy to be in a museum
All the specimens a bit rancid, but still a joy to be in a museum

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park-a-moor, thinking space of the north in 2007
park-a-moor, thinking space of the north in 2007

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A few maps with cute details
A few maps with cute details

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