Monday, March 19, 2012

Hot hot hot

Just a few of the stunning exhibits at the Hong Kong Flower Show

At last, the sun has got his hat on! Unfortunately today I am indoors as I am meant to be revising for a Cantonese assessment this afternoon. Instead, I've been distracting and diverting all morning. I've cleaned the bathrooms and rearranged the freezer, then cleared a wardrobe so our visitors will have space. I've been to the bin 3 times with old magazines and general clutter. But alas I have not revised.
At the weekend, we built up the bed for Callum and the travel cot for Jamie and rearranged some furniture so it all fits in. On Sunday we tried out the bus from Kowloon to Stanley. Boy does that take a long time! We thought it might be easier than changing at Admiralty for when the kids are here, but the long bus journey would not be much fun for Callum after the first fifteen minutes.Once we got there, we had a lovely walk along the prom in the sunshine, a dim sum lunch then a visit to the market... just for look.We came home with a painting and a remote controlled helicopter... The helicopter is deemed unbreakable; we'll see about that! It flew into my precious orchids, then attacked a white wall which then needed a scrub to get the black marks off. I'm seriously worried for all the chandeliers in here! Les needs a lot more practise before the boys get here!But the painting is lovely.
Yesterday I went to the Hong Kong Flower Show which was stunning. On Wednesday I am meeting my young friend Shannon to give her a small engagement gift and to catch up as we haven't seen each other in ages. Then on Thursday, I am going to a gallery exhibition for lunch and to meet the artist Rachel Hovnanian. The installations look to be very stark, white plaster, but of course I'll know more once I've been there and seen it, so more on that later. Then it will soon be Friday and David Jen Callum and Jamie will be here! At last! And as I said at the top, it is glorious weather. Hoorah!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mid march

So, what have I been up to this week? Monday: NIA then lunch with Pat, Chris and Katrina before coming home to finish off the dreaded ironing. Tuesday, study group at Helena May for a presentation on Chinese snuff bottles and then one on Chinese gardens, followed by a quick hop over to Pacific Place for Book Group.As always a fantastic discussion, this was on Hemingway; everyone had done some research, so the discussion was well informed and interesting. Just what is needed for a really good Book Group! The debut of Miss Aria Lily Hernandez was warmly welcomed! She was a little star and slept quietly throughout, despite all the eager "aunties" waiting for a cuddle! Then off to far flung Siu Hong for the interview programme at Lingnan Uni.
Wednesday was fantastic! Study group had arranged a private tour of HSBC archives to look at the George Chinnery paintings we had learned about last term. A wonderful afternoon, so rich in colour ..and culture! I tell you, you won't recognise me on my return to Scotia's shores, I am SOOO cultured, me!
On Thursday, I went to the theatre with a friend whilst Les had a boys night out with work colleagues; I felt (vaguely) guilty that he was already tucked up and fast asleep by the time I got home.
Friday kinda disappeared; I remember vacuuming and dusting, but that was so boring, I forgot it immediately.
Saturday saw us acting as tour guides for 2 of Les' work colleagues. We took them to Tai O, the stilt village then onwards for dinner at an Oz restaurant on Knutsford Steps. I had kangaroo and fairly hopped home after.
Today, Sunday, we revisited Les' idea of hell on earth, Ikea, for yet more bedding and cot sheets.....just in case.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Off to the Races and other pursuits

The beautiful souvenir race night ticket and my badge for the Members Enclosure for our Race Night.

And what a night it was! When I said in the last post I thought we would get something to eat and a wee drink, how wrong I was! We had a full on buffet dinner and free flowing wine. It was amazing. Our table was right by the window, we could see the finishing line below us. The track was floodlit and the horses gleamed. I loved the spectacle of it all. However, the betting was a different story. Mine were all donkeys and the ones that didn't fall, throw off their rider or actually collapse on the track are probably still running....
We had a great night even though I won nothing and Les won only a few dollars.
On Thursday morning I had signed up for a 3 hour walk and after the late night and free flowing wine, I felt like staying in bed. I'm glad I went, it was a flat walk so easy on my old knees and for most of it we were on a new promenade right by the waters edge.The weather was dry and not hot, so perfect for walking. At the end of the walk, we went through the Science Park and saw this amazing giant egg shaped structure which on closer inspection turns out be an auditorium. Cool!

At the weekend, we went to a Damien Hirst exhibition. The "Spot" exhibition was being shown simultaneously in eleven galleries worldwide: 4 in USA, 2 in London, then Paris, Rome, Geneva, Athens and here in Hong Kong. Altogether Hirst painted over 300 spot paintings in 25 years. All different. All spotty. Les was completely underwhelmed, even when I tried to point out how no two spots were the same colour and in every painting every spot was precisely the same size, even though from painting to painting the spot sizes varied from one millimetre to about half a metre across. I can tell, I'm boring you now, too, aren't I!
After that,we went away to the huge furniture warehouse at Ap Lei Chau because as a loyal customer, I had a dividend of $1,200 to spend. However there was just one get it, I had to spend ANOTHER £1,200. We looked and looked and finally came to the conclusion that we simply didn't need anything! So instead we went to a different store where we knew they had free biscuits and had a wee snack before coming back again. It sounds daft to go all that way for nothing ( it takes about an hour) but we didn't have pressing plans and the bus journey away over the island and back is always interesting.
On Sunday, I took Les to the Chi Lin Nunnery as he hadn't been before. I like that place more every time I go there. I've been in May, July, November and now March and the colours in the gardens are different every time. Also, because they change the route you must follow every time, I come across things from a different angle so they always look different.We met some people we knew as we were making our way back to the station, it's always amazing when that happens as it is such a big, busy city.We had a cheap Chinese lunch of noodles in hot and spicy soup with some dim sum as well and it cost about £5 for the two of us. For a change, we took the bus all the way back instead of the underground train. It took a long time, over an hour, but sitting upstairs in the front seat gives great views of all the local areas we pass through. As a bonus, Les gets a nap.The last part of the journey was on another bus, this time the wee 16 seater green and yellow minibus which is like a toy in comparison, but great fun!
I looked on the Hong Kong Observatory site earlier and the Spring forecast, March to May,is for normal to above normal temperatures and normal to below normal rainfall, so that is good news for our first visitors. 18 days and counting! I've bought the coolest cutlery set for Callum, it is in a box and has tiny chopsticks as well as a fork and spoon!