In the clouds – Shanghai

There are certain things that I need in life to feed me…or I’d like to have more often. One of those things is (cloud) views. There’s nothing quite like the power of isolation within vast open spaces confronted by a limitless skyline…it stops me – immediately – making me smile contentedly. And if you happen to see through my eyes on Instagram you know I’m pretty obsessed with the sky…largely brought on since returning to the UK at the end of 2012 and being blown away by its crisp clarity. Um where’s the smog? And how are you so blue? Frozen. By. Beauty. Cloud dreaming.

When I last lived in Shanghai, in my French Concession apartment (I once wrote a storm report laced with filmic raw energy that I’d forgotten about – I got lost in the sound and view that night and apparently “word girl” really did prevail when writing that blog post too, worth a read for sure) I had stunning views (on a clear non-polluted day) across the South of the city. Every morning it reminded me of how lucky I was to be where I was in the world, appreciating my experiences…my adventures even more. On Christmas Day in 2011, it was all about views from the Grand Hyatt piano bar with a whiskey accompaniment (my greatly missed Grandpa’s favourite Islay-Bowmore) in hand whilst watching the sunset. Smiles.

Tonight, I was sent a link (thanks Mr Man!) to a series of photographs taken by the professional crane operator Wei Gensheng, who is currently working on the Shanghai Tower – I can’t wait to see the views from that completed in 2015, although it will no doubt cost a small fortune to have the chance. Whilst working on the tower, he decided to take some pictures from his perspective, his point of view, his eyes at 2,000 feet (610 metres) above the city…on the edge of the clouds, above the fog of the pollution that’s literally killing the city at the moment. These photos have gone somewhat viral through the web world, and even got him to come second in the Shanghai City Photography Competition.

Hello Shanghai.

For some reason tonight I’m wanting a mountain top with the soundtrack of the sea (if that’s even possible), my hair in double plaits wearing huge knit thigh socks, covered in blankets like my second skin, whilst watching the sunrise…a New Year’s Eve Eve feeling? Who knows…but it is something – “cloud dreaming” – on my 2014 list to experience and feed on more and more…it is definitely time to make up for my “grounded” 2013.

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