From September 2009 to November 2011 I blogged for Expat Telegraph, under the name Chelsea Girl in China. I was Expat Telegraph’s first blogger and wrote over 1,272 posts. Here are some of the most popular (based on comments, social media reaction and what my mother said).


This is my first ever post describing my Chinese medical two years earlier. In October I reflect on the Picnic Police, the men with whistles who ensure people don’t stray onto the grass in parks. My report of how a Shanghai production of M. Butterfly, a modern take on Madam Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, is closed down by police gains wide attention.

Shanghai’s Picnic Police

‘Hundreds of goods for alien tastes’ is one example of the bad Chinglish slogans I come across copywriting. In December I tell you how I jumped out of a plane in Tokyo.


China’s protracted Christmas period is discussed in February. Is it really reasonable to leave Yuletide decorations up the whole year? March sees a selection of photographs from the Hong Kong rugby sevens tournament featuring men in tutus and full body suits.

April’s most popular post is also rugby themed. The female university students from Shangrao started a long journey to becoming a sevens team with the first lesson being that they had to take their high heeled shoes off.

In July the etiquette of swimming in Chinese pools rouses a response. The novelty of Chinglish t-shirt slogans gives us a laugh in August. We marvel at the Chinese habit of standing on lavatory seats when squatter loos are not available. In September we meet the cats destined for dinner plates.


I receive incredible Chinese hospitality in Anhui, on a visit to my ayi’s family. The gift of skin whitening cream given to me on Women’s Day prompts this post in March. The ‘gnat claps’ are cause for concern in June. I interview two Communist Party members on the 90th anniversary of the world’s biggest political party.

’10 things stupid people need to know about China’ gets people hot under the collar in August. The moment everyone dreads- sitting next to a puker on a long-haul flight… that’s the eco-eat lottery. Newbie fatigue strikes when the new intake arrives in Shanghai. The baffling Shanghai exit strategies I’ve witnessed over the years are picked over in September.

Shanghai has a hold on us

I announce that I’m leaving Shanghai to return to England. The packing up process begins and people around the world start coming out in support of the 1940s trunk I buy which the Chinese call junk. I give my first impressions of being back in England.


The most up-to-date examples are on the Home page.

BBC News, The Olympics missile base with sun deck, pool and bar,

May 2, 2012

BBC News, London’s Chinese new year: internet calls and house parties, January 23, 2012

BBC News, Is the classic Christmas choirboy endangered?, December 22, 2011

Evening Standard, Art for Humanity’s Sake, September 24, 2007 (including Emma Thompson interview)

 Evening Standard, Art for Humanity’s Sake, September 24, 2007

Daily Telegraph, Another Round, October 4, 2010

 Daily Telegraph, Another Round, October 4, 2010

Expat Telegraph, Tease With Everything, June 14, 2010

 Expat Telegraph, Tease with Everything, June 14, 2010

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