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Somewhere in Yunnan, China

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Somewhere in Yunnan, China

The Giants Republic 2024

The newlyweds with their baby

After party

Niece Jin Lu Jie married two weeks before and gave a BBQ party for all those who helped during the wedding.

With the babysitter
Preparing the BBQ
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It is a good tradition at the Giants Republic to first do some hard work. In this case bringing hollow blocks and bricks for the next project to the roof of the building.
Noodles 1
Stretching the noodles
Noodles 2

Then it was time for lunch with homemade noodles.

Go here for a video clip of the proces.

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Back on the BBQ menu were the slow cooked ribs again. This time of the year the pigs are a bit too skinny and they turned out very though.

Old and new friends

Duo drive
Turns out that if you are small enough you can be a passenger om the three-wheeler (In the background the mulberry tree)
Eternal drum
Melody getting into the rhythm

Old friend Melody came over from Qingdao with a friend and two kids to join us for a day at the Giants Republic. Good opportunity to dust off the tree-wheeler and the pizza oven. While having fun with the three-wheeler they found lots of mulberries on the ground and made juice out of that.

Making mulberry juice with a garlic press
Pizza and mulberry juice for dinner
Pizza cutting
The mad waitress chopping pizza
Extra stretch
Extra stretch quattro formaggi pizza

The final touch and more

Floor 3
Xu Ying applying the final touch of painting the floor
Meanwhile this parcel arrived. What's in it will become clear in future episodes


Floor 1
The first layer of impregnating primer
Floor 2
The first layer of collor

Below the Giants Republic is an underground river and the ground floor floors are therefor always damp. In one of the rooms we had a vinyl floor cover but the dampness got trapped under that and it became a breeding ground for black mold.

Black mold is not healthy so we ripped out the vinyl.

Now we try with a special floor paint including an impregnation layer.

We ordered light brown paint but dark olive green paint arrived so we used that instead.

The halfway state of the blue

And some slightly more creative painting; the two panels that, once combined, should form the first of my "Milky way" paintings.

The yellow background
Passion fruit 1
Passion flower and fruit


Right on time the passionflower started blooming at easter and quickly produced fruit. The flower in the small picture below first grew inside the pizza hut but then came out again through a gap between the boards.

Passion fruit 2
Passion flower


Pig shed windmill shadow
The shadow of the windmills on the pig shed wall
View with windmills
The view from the upstairs bedroom

It is spring and colour is returning to the landscape.

During winter the only colour was from the two strings of windmills crossing the courtyard.

These strings have now been up for one year and the colour is bleaching out of them. The wire is getting rusty and now already several times the strings broke and had to be repaired. Clearly this is something that cannot continue forever.


Spring 1
Xu Ying doing spring cleaning in the garden
Spring 2
Slowly we are becoming ivy league

Spring has come and the plants in the garden show it.

We went to the Giants Republic on Chinese New year’s eve with the intention of going from there straight to the traditional family banquet that evening but it turned out to be so cold that we called it quits and went home at lunch time. It was 4 degrees.

A week late we went again and winter was over, it was ten degrees warmer and spring had stared and we could do some spring cleaning in reasonable comfort.

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The pergola is not an evergreen but turned green again. The grape now has grown all the way to the south/sunny side of the pizza hut and started much earlier than before now it gets some more sun. The ivy produced new leaves among the old ones.

Preferred kitchen

Pig leg
Carving up one more pig leg

Especially during the winter season the pig shed kitchen with the woodstove has become our preferred kitchen.

Cooking gravy at the woodstove


Sausage 1
The newly made sausages drying on the balcony

A new experiment is to make sausages. These sausages were made at home and dried overnight at the balcony.

Sausage 2
The sausages in the drum BBQ

The next day they were cooked and smoked in the drum BBQ. First try nearly successful. The only thing was seriously over cooking the sausages.

Burn out the old

The gas BBQ repair work
The gas BBQ with one old and two new flame spreaders

The flame spreaders of the old gas BBQ rusted through and disintegrated during the New Year’s BBQ thus replacements were needed.

Hammer in the new

the gas BBQ
With an angle cutter and a big clamp and a lot of hammering replacements were made

New flame spreaders were made of some recycled metal. In this case the metal cladding of the old door of the third pig shed.

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