Thursday, February 3, 2011


Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit and we tried to make it special in the library:

There are so many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year and I'm never quite sure how many I, as a Westerner, should try to partake my mind there's a fine line between being a good sport by joining in the fun and coming across as a sort of pathetic wannabe.

I do know that it's a time of families coming together and that a house must be well cleaned, getting rid of the old dust and making room for the new. Parades, a dragon, firecrackers, feasting, the color red, lucky money.........we're on the fringes, having a Chinese daughter-in-law and a handsome Eurasian grandson, who seems to be well aware of his heritage, even at age 3. Not too long ago, he expressed wanting to draw a Chinese picture, not an English one. His first word was Chinese and his next word was English. Even at that tender age, he was bilingual.

These lanterns, while I suspect they were made in China, aren't the traditional Asian lanterns. I collected them over the years, all shapes and sizes and dreamed of using them for summer evening garden parties. The one time that I did, I neglected to consider the phases of the moon and that night the full moon upstaged my little lanterns. That was in the days before LED lights, so I used real candles which made a fireman friend turn pale at the thought. I gathered our collection together and donated it when we moved to the Manor and twice now I've returned from errands to the sight of them adorning the large lounge and it has gladdened my heart to see them being used.

This treasured lantern I kept for ourselves. Our son and his wife brought it back from their visit to Hong Kong and I wouldn't part with it for the world.

I think I'll wear my Asian shirt today, never being sure if the characters on it are Chinese or Japanese or a combination of the two. Those I've asked have thought there was "peace" on my shoulder and someone thought they could make out "motorcycle" of my left hip. The Manor is serving Chinese food for dinner, our noon meal.

4 years ago, Chris and Frances were wed. I've never felt happier. I tried to send Frances and her several siblings and their families a New Year e-card this morning; I tried twice and I don't think either one went through, so let me send good wishes to all of them here and now.



  1. What a lovely post, Jane! And a very Happy Chinese New Year! I'm still laughing at your Asian shirt translations.

  2. Inviting, exciting, and familial! Thanks, Jane!

    Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!


  3. from Frances' niece:

    Hi Jane,

    Thank you for sharing your lovely post, and for thinking of us! I'll make sure to forward this along to the Poons.

    Happy new year to you and Bob!


    p.s. I think you should write a book some day ;)

  4. Gung ho fat choi to you and Mr Bob !
    I love those lanterns anf understand only too well the dilemma about how far to take participation !
    We don't have chance to celebrate much this year, as we're in Devon with helping with Gran. Usually we like to go eat Chinese food with our son and Chinese daughter-in-law - now we, too, have a handsome grandson who will soon be bilingual to judge by his burblings so far !
    (Must remeber his red 'packet' when I get back to Leighton Buzzard !).

  5. A jolly good posting. Happy new year to you and the mister.

  6. Wonderful... I remember lanterns!!!