Monday 21 September 2020

I'd like a Golden Week

 Every year, China (and Japan - maybe others too) have a Golden Week. In China, this is a 7-8 day public holiday that was created in 2000. It turns out that there were three of them during the year: one before the Chinese New Year in Jan/Feb, one at the beginning of May and another at the beginning of October. It seems like the May one has been dropped and it just a one-day public holiday.

Three or four days of paid holiday are given, and the surrounding weekends are re-arranged so that workers in Chinese companies always have seven or eight continuous days of holiday. These national holidays were first started by the government for the PRC's National Day in 1999 and are primarily intended to help expand the domestic tourism market and improve the national standard of living, as well as allowing people to make long-distance family visits. The Golden Weeks are consequently periods of greatly heightened travel activity.
What a great idea!

Instead of itsy-bitsy public holidays and long weekends, how good would it be if everyone took a week off.

Of course, we have the experience now from the five weeks of Level 5 lockdown where email and phones went quiet.

For work, we interact with China and we know to make our plans to fit in with Chinese New Year, when the country almost closes down for a month, and then again like with this Golden Week.

What I most enjoyed about the lockdown was that I could take a break and not be in an anxious sweat during this time about answering emails and getting back to people. This is what I absolutely hate about being away even for a day - I just can't keep up and then I'm behind. Being away for a few days has nme feverish on return. But, if everyone is on holiday and everyone else knows that the business is closed for a week, well, no emails, and no during and post-holiday stress.

The only downside to the Golden Week, which has created some controversy, is potential for overcrowding at much-visited locations. The other downside is that you get two main holiday periods for everyone instead of shorter breaks throughout the year.

Personally, I'd like a balance with one Golden Week and then a smattering of public holidays to achieve a fine balance.

Monday 14 September 2020

Medical Magic

For the past two-and-a-half weeks, I have been staying with my mom as she begins her post-hip replacement recovery. Rusty and I are now back at our home but we'll be with my mom daily to assist with household stuff, cooking and taking Rosy out for runs.

This past Tuesday we went to see her doc for her 'week 2' check up and he is delighted with her healing and progress. The wound is healing beautifully with not a sign of any inflammation. She was allowed to remove the bandage and he promoted her to using one crutch, from two. 

On Thursday she went for her first physio session and has homework to do regularly each day for the next few weeks. A lot of her focus when walking, using the one crutch, is to walk evenly, without the penguin waddle that goes hand-in-hand with pre-operative hip issues. She is doing good.

My mom had her left hip resurfaced (similar to replacement but not the same) 15 years ago. Her recovery and progress after this op is far faster even though she was 15 years younger then. The technology has advanced in how they execute the operation, like by using robotic 'extensions' - manipulated by the surgeon - instead of hands, to do the operation. It really is quite magical.

Her doggy Rosy has been going with me to adult dog classes for the past two weeks. She is a good girl, and a clever girl, but she can be a hooligan on a lead when out for walks. She enjoys the stimulation of learning and has been a star. We're working on lead walking and also stay. This excitable doggy is doing so very well. Now that mom is up and about more, she'll join us at tomorrow morning's class.

On Friday we babysat my mom's neighbour's dog Bella, a white, fluffy maltese poodle.

Bella loves my mom and Rosy and is often over to play. I took Bella out with 'the big dogs' to Kopjeskraal Country lodge for an evening outing. This tiny doggy just loves running and chasing after Rosy. 

All too often, little dogs like Bella are not treated as dogs - more like lap warmers - and thought is not given to taking them walking or out on trails. And yet they are dogs and as fluffy and white as they may be, they love running off-road on trails and through the bush. Bella loves coming to play here and going out with the big dogs to the farm is her favourite thing. 

Three amigos. Rosy (black), Rusty (brown-and-white) and Bella (white)