Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Hong Kong Phooey

Well, it's been a month since my last blog. And after saying I was never going to blog again, three things have happened:

* I feel guilty because so many people tell me they miss it
* I just saw the film Julie/Julia
* I'm in the most incredible place right now

So while the world from my window is as misty as ever, it's not Crowman I see going into the village shop for fags and beer or even Celebrity Farmer for a loaf of bread or Mr Grigg for a Ginster's pasty. Outside my window, on the 23rd floor, I can see lots of human ants scuttling around below.

A sea of Chinese faces on the underground, all of them different. In the land of the very short people, Mr Grigg, at 6ft tall, is king.

We are in Hong Kong on our way to Australia and New Zealand to see family, friends and go to a wedding. It's also a bit of a personal quest - Australia is the place to which my mother and father nearly emigrated in the 1960s, I nearly emigrated in the 1980s and it's the place where my dear uncle actually did emigrate in the 1960s on a £10 ticket. It's through Facebook I've rediscovered my cousin, with whom we will be staying in Adelaide. Hi Deana!

I know Australia is a hot old place but to me it will always be the land of adventure. It's where my grandfather and his friend set sail not long after the turn of the 20th century and then ended up fighting for the ANZACS in Gallipoli in 1915. Grandfather survived that battle, and The Somme and the war, but came back a hardened socialist in a rural landscape where cap-doffing by the peasants to the aristocracy was second nature.

He was a dab-hand with horses, could crack a bull whip even before Indiana Jones was invented and had a thoroughly independent, stubborn streak. He was my hero, even though the man I remember from my childhood was a little old wizened thing, with a deerstalker hat on his head and a roll-up hanging from his bottom lip.

In the 1920s, his younger brother left for Australia and never came back, settling on a farm in New South Wales. He left his sweetheart behind and neither of them ever married. I hope to find his farm or at least the remnants of it.

In the meantime, Mr Grigg and I are enjoying the breathtaking skyscrapers and lights of Hong Kong, the markets, the street food and the hustle and bustle. It's where my nephew took a teaching job when he couldn't find work after uni because there wasn't much call for zoologists. He went to a nightclub and zap, he ended up meeting his future wife. They now have the most beautiful son and my nephew is doing what he's always wanted to do from the age of about three. He writes about dinosaurs.

However, I digress. Whether I will blog again when I get back is another matter, but I do so miss it. Since my last confession (I mean blog), the publicans have had endless parties to get rid of the beer before leaving, with everyone in our street being damned for their demise - too many private events behind closed doors, apparently.

Mr Sheepwash has erected his shed and the Logginses have been entertaining 'poolside' at their temporary but very comfortable home on a caravan park. Nobby has had a knee operation and Mr St John's Birkenstock shoe box was outside his house for three weeks after the recycling men bottled out of tackling the village's rubbish because of deep snow.

The oil thief got off due to lack of evidence despite CCTV footage and numerous barrels decorating his patio like flower pots, MDF Man and Super Mario have been called in to transform the Sheepwash playroom and the nymph is still wearing the poncho.

The most interesting bit of news is something I can't possibly put on the blog, although I was quite clearly told I could. As soon as this information was imparted to me, I had to Google the subject matter. I realised it's something I could sell internationally. However, the person who let me in on the secret me was a little squiffy at the time so I couldn't possibly comment.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from The World From My Window Down Under.


If my mother is reading this, I apologise for the last photo but the clasp on my new necklace has just broken. Meanwhile, Mr Grigg has found the previews of the naughty channel on the hotel television so that, I'm afraid, is about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Great stuff! Pleased to hear you are having such an exciting time. Your grandfather sounds a fine man. Good luck with the farm finding. You must tell us about that - and show us some pictures... Please.

  2. Please do start writing your blog again, Maddie. Whenever I said your blog could be a national column in a weekly magazine, I was never kidding. When I said that the events in your village were more interesting than Emmerdale, I meant it.
    My heart skipped a beat when I saw the skyline of Hongkong. I have been there a few times. There is no place like it.

    I hope you keep posting pictures and stories of your travels.

  3. Big smile from me when I came in from work and turned on the laptop to find a message that you'd blogged - hooray! Glad to hear that you're having a good time way over there - Gung Hay Fat Choy, by the way - save that for the appropriate day.
    Good luck with the nostaligia/family history tour in Australia. It sounds like a worthy endeavour - in memory of your grandfather.

  4. Hurrah from me too. Lovely to see you back in blogland. I loved the pictures of Hong Kong. Have a great trip. Most of my rellys did the £10 ticket thing and escaped to Oz in the 1960s. Good luck with finding the farm.


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