Category Archives: Summertime

Summertime 2020

This year has been different indeed – for everyone in the world! It’s been a time of tension, of stress, of getting back to spending time with family, and to reliving our summers of the past – time spent with family going camping, or just spending time with each other.

While we can look at 2020 and think negatively of it, we can also remember the good times we had, the quiet times of just enjoying the quiet, and embracing time spent alone, perhaps thinking of a new future or new journey you’re on. Today was one of those days for me – some time alone by the Hamilton waterfront, enjoying a coffee and watching the waves crash, the sun shining down on me – it was very hard to find anything wrong with the world today.

Whatever you think of, try to remember the times that brought some extra joy to you this year. It’s definitely one to go down in the history books! Not all history has to be remembered as bad though.

Exercising – it hurts!

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t hurt.  Just when I haven’t done it in a long time!  Exercising and losing weight.  Both have been a never ending battle for me all my life.  I walk a lot!  And I eat a lot – which is why I walk a lot haha!!

Walking machine?  Like a treadmill – I think!!  It’s a great workout for the legs and cardio too!


Here in China, they take exercising to a whole new level, and I have hopped on that bandwagon!  They get up very early every day, and they get out to walk and do exercises at these machines.  They do Tai Chi (I think…) in the parks, and they dance in the evenings.  I don’t do the dancing, although before I leave I want to see if they will let me join in !  But I have been exercising!!


I don’t quite understand what this machine does, but I use it once a week.


There are exercise areas all over the city – and I am very lucky to have several spots near my home so that I really have no excuse not to be exercising.  I do still come up with excuses (it’s human nature to do that isn’t it?), but since the weather has cooled down lately, I have been getting out every day and using these machines.  Plus I walk at least 30 minutes every day around the area, usually in the evening.   And it has been working, because I have lost weight – my clothes are definitely looser and I feel better.


The twisting machine – my favourite!!!




For the arms – and yes it works!!  My arms feel much stronger!

Sun coats and sun umbrellas

Summer in Northeast China – I had thought, incorrectly, that being so far North that the summers would not be too hot and definitely hot humid.  I was VERY wrong!!


Last August when I arrived, the heat and humidity were shocking.  I just thought maybe it was a fluke.  Nope. This summer, the heat and humidity started in early June.  I live in an apartment with no fridge and no fan (which I have wanted to buy but have had no luck in finding!). At least with a fridge, I could stick my head in for a few minutes to cool down but no such luck!  It is even unusual to find a shopping  centre with air conditioning to escape to.

When I lived in Canada, I would notice Asian women walking around with umbrellas in the summer. I always thought that was very strange and could not understand why they do that.  Now that I have been living here for a year, I understand.  They want to protect themselves from the heat and humidity.  They also want to make sure they do not get tanned and are protecting their skin.  The women who see me walking around without an umbrella or a hat on (yeah yeah I know – I should wear a hat – I just hate hats) will come up to me and gesture to my head, and my skin.  Some have even pointed at the freckles I have on my chest from too much sun in the past.  They appear very concerned for my well-being (or perhaps they are pointing at me and talking about me to each other – which is of course very possible!).  I have not succumbed to buying a hat or using an umbrella (I have started using sunscreen though!), although the umbrellas they use to protect them from the sun are beautiful!!

Suncoats are something new for me to see.  I had seen people wearing them and had asked one of my Chinese friends about them – and they are thin coats with UV protection in them.  I am not even sure how that works – but when looking at them at a store, they had an English label confirming that it had UV protection.  They are popular with the younger generation.  I still find it quite odd that when the temperatures are in the mid- to upper-30s (as they have been the past two or three weeks every single day), there are so many people covered from head to toe!!  Yes wearing hats is a sensible thing to do.  I understand the umbrellas.  But being completely covered up and clearly sweating profusely doesn’t sound like much fun to me!  I am a menopausal woman – hot flashes and ridiculously high temperatures are enough to make me want to walk around naked outside!!  I could not imagine wearing so many clothes during a heat wave.

This is just another Chinese thing that I find very interesting!!