Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Just havering about dates
This post has lots of dates in it. It begins with birth dates. It continues with social dates. Next it deals with camels, (don't they eat dates?) follows with a recipe which uses dates and ends up with yet more social dates.
On August 15th, Callum was three. It was the second of his birthdays we've celebrated from Hong Kong via skype. Today, 29th, it's Jamie's first birthday, so we skyped and Callum greeted us by calling, "Happy Birthday!" in the way one would usually say "Happy New Year!" Cute.
On September 3rd, it's Les turn. It's the birthday he almost didn't have, so we will be doing something a bit different (for us). Every evening, we see a garish ferry boat sailing around the harbour outside our window, so we decided to investigate and now we are going to really be tourists in Hong Kong as we join the Bauhinia for the Symphony of Lights dinner cruise for Les birthday.
Our lunch date on Sunday was lovely, although it was a bit surreal to be eating roast beef and Yorkshire pudding outside,in temperatures in the 30s. There were15 of us on the roof terrace of a restaurant with a fanastic view over a yacht club and out to sea, past the very islands where I was so seasick on the June boat trip. Memory is selective, because during the lunch I eagerly signed us up for another boat trip, this time a private "junk" to cruise around the inshore (they promised me; inshore) islands and then moor for swimming and picnic. Now that I have taught myself to swim (or at least not to sink) I may even go in for a wee dip. Did I tell you that? Yes, after 58 years on this earth, I can get across the pool and halfway back without my feet touching the floor. However, I can't seem to get myself horizontal; my legs work away, but like a duck they paddle frantically underwater.
Mahjong is going well, I even won a game on Tuesday.I had a run of good luck, four quick Pungs and a pair of honour tiles to finish. Nice one. Everyone gave me 3 chips.As I can't work out the scoring yet, I've no idea why, but I took it graciously and stuck it in my wee drawer like a real pro.Something to do with my wind. Hmm.
Today I went to the Art museum to mug up on my Chinese art study group topic. I'll be looking at sculptures of camels in the Tang dynasty. They were used to transport emperors, silk and spices, to carry musicians during processions and had an important function as funerary ornaments.That's about as much as I already know and I have found very little more on which to base a 14 page paper and a half hour talk. Depressing, especially as I've found loads on Tang horses, which was what I wanted to do originally.Oh well, I suppose I do relish a challenge!
I haven't been back to poetry club yet, I'm struggling with a halfbaked idea to write a villanelle with a Cantonese line and it's translation as the repeater. It's not going well, but I live in hope.
One of the very first girls I met here, at Foon Ying ( a welcome to HK group; foon ying means welcome in Cantonese) writes a food blog. This week, she gave a recipe for chocolate truffles with no sugar, no fat, no gluten.... I made them today and they are delicious.Perfect for Les diet. It's amazing to think something that tastes so rich and decadent is harmless!Except to the teeth, I suppose, as they have dried figs and dates in them.Anyway, they are so rich, one (okay, two) is enough.
Tomorrow I 'm away out to Tung Chung to meet up with Elaine and see new wee baby Amy. Then on Friday I'm meeting a friend who has just come back after a summer in the UK. Next week the clubs start back in earnest, Corona on Monday and Book Group on Tuesday.
That's all so far.
See you back here next week? It's a date!