Christmas

Posts filed under Christmas

Merry Christmas (2010)

Filed in Dogs of our Lives, General, The Empress of China 中國皇后號 (2011), WorkTags: ,

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, spending time with family and friends.

For us, it wasn't a merry Christmas, having lost Beethoven only less than three weeks ago. Having just lost someone special, the joyfulness of the season only accentuates the sorrow. Between Beethoven and a busy rehearsal schedule for the new The Empress of China play, there were no decorations at home, no Christmas tree, and strangely no gifts either. (Sadly, my sister in Australia is mourning the recent loss of two of their 'kids'; one to kidney failure, the other to insect sting complications. I feel for her.)

But it wasn't a total loss. For the first time in a month, I had two and a half days free to spend with my family and we made the most of it. Today, we even took nine of our kids up the (smallish) mountain beside our village here in Clear Water Bay which we haven't done in three or four years. One or two of the kids will be in arthritic discomfort tomorrow, but with pain relief and exercise management, they'll be fine. They loved the walk and that's what counts.

Beethoven's departure reminded us that the kids' time with us is a limited luxury, something that needs to be treasured. His departure also reminded us that we need to take more photos and movies, and that's what we did today; at least until the camera battery ran out of juice!

For most people here in Hong Kong, tomorrow is a public holiday. For me however, it's back to work. With only three weeks until our play goes live at City Hall in Central, we have to make the most of the time we have, to be the best we can.

Once again, Merry Christmas everyone.

Have yourself a merry coffee Christmas

Filed in Food & DrinkTags: , ,

Christmas began early for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a parcel from a friend in Canada. Actually, TVB called me to pick it up from the entrance office because the parcel was too big to put into my company locker. Inside the parcel, I found a pair of much-needed safety goggles; thank you; but that wasn't enough. The parcel also contained an insulated very-nice-to-hold coffee mug similar to the ones you'll see at Starbucks but made by a Canadian coffee chain. I've been using the cup a lot recently because the weather here in Hong Kong has become seriously chilly and my coffee cools far too quickly. If that wasn't enough, there were also a few packets and a can of high grade coffee. Unfortunately, I don't own a coffee grinder so grinding the coffee was something to ponder about.

A week ago, a friend from Australia came to Hong Kong to visit his family here. He's actually the same fellow; and his wife too; that gave me the Breville espresso maker. Before leaving Australia, he asked me what I'd like from Australia and I told him; cheese. We have cheese here in Hong Kong but it's too expensive for me. In fact, basically any quality food imported from overseas is too expensive for me. When I go to City Super (one of the best local stores for good imported food), I generally content myself by just walking around and looking at the great food but rarely buying anything. Just a quick example. In Australia, we can buy really tasty whole legs of ham for between HK$100 and $200. Here in Hong Kong, forget it. A decent leg of lam costs hundreds of dollars. It's simply not reasonable to consider buying a leg of lam here. Come to think of it, a leg of lam is one of the things my parents brought me when they visited us in June this year. That was a very yummy month.

Well my friend came over and when I visited him at his home here, I disbelievingly watched as he and his wife showed me what they'd brought over for me. First on the list was a new Breville coffee grinder! There go my coffee grinding problems. Next, there were two 1kg packets of freshly roasted coffee from Australia, a few more packets of coffee of other brands, several packets of various flavours of cheese and what seemed to be a gazillion other things.

It was turning out to be a very coffee Christmas, something I have no problems with.

A coffee Christmas

Some of the Christmas coffee goodies I've received this year. In the front, there are also two plain-wrapped packets of coffee beans that I purchased in Bali earlier this year. Now that I have a grinder, I'll actually be able to drink it.

It's certainly going to be a while before I need to buy more coffee at Starbucks.

A few nights ago, my wife and I went to a small gathering of mobloggers here in Hong Kong. We did the 'silent Santa' thing and I found myself with . . . . . wait for it . . . . . a USB-powered coffee cup warmer!!! OK, now things are getting creepy.

Suffice to say, I've been drinking nothing but coffee for the last couple of weeks. Probably not too healthy; everything in moderation is the golden rule; but in this cold weather, coffee will have to do for the time being.

So long, and thanks for all the coffee (sounds like a line from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a TV series which probably only the older among you will be familiar with).

A Scottish Christmas

Filed in TravelTags: , , ,

With only eight days remaining before Christmas, I thought I'd better write this now before it's too late.

My wife and I are going to visit friends in Dundee, Scotland for Christmas. We'll be in Dundee from December 26 to 30, and then in London from December 30 to January 1, 2006. Yep. We'll be in London for the new year.

I think it'll be great. Our only concern is what to do in Dundee when the sun's down. According to AccuWeather, sunrise in Dundee is currently around 8.45am and the sun sets again before 4pm. That's a lot of dark time and you can only drink so much coffee in one day.

In any case, I wondered if anybody reading my blog from London or Scotland would like to meet up. It will be my first trip to Scotland and England and I might not be going again for a long time. I'm thinking that meeting in a coffee shop would be nice. If anyone would like to meet up, please leave a comment and we'll discuss it.

8 days remaining. Well, actually more if you add on our plane and bus time, but you get the idea. I hope it snows.

(Got to go. My am730 column is way overdue and I'm still not sure what to write about.)