Growing up I had a certain fondness for giant pandas. Others may use the words infatuation or obsession, and point to the bin bags full of stuffed toys and other paraphernalia in the loft at my parents’ house as evidence, but it was really just a passing phase of a mere 15 years or so….

Chinese Parklife

Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing, Saturday morning, 8am. Jetlag has us up and about early, and in plenty of time to witness an extraordinary aspect of Chinese culture: Parklife. The large park is packed with Beijingers. Individuals, small groups, large groups; young people, old people; some in tatty old tracksuits, some immaculately turned-out and made-up….