Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Hong Kong half-term

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After 10 weeks of trying to get ourselves sorted half-term seemed to come around very quickly…
We decided to stay put and not be tempted by a tropical destination a short flight away. As Ed said it would be nice to just chill in our new apartment and explore Hong Kong…

He seemed to forget we now have two kids and when one is sleeping the other one tends to be awake. (The hours between 9pm and 5am are the only times when this is not the case although that’s not always guaranteed!)

So we began our relaxing break, Sophie (extra alert now she discovered crawling) shifting her wake up time to somewhere between 4.50-5.30am with Archie following closely behind with a 6am start.

By 8am in the morning bored with all toys at home they are beating down the door eager to go out.

And so starts our activity whirlwind (I love my kids energy really…)

Lunches with friends whilst kids play (Why, even with friends to play with do the adults still never manage to finish a sentence??)

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Sampan Boat Trips in Aberdeen Harbour to get us to lunch on The Jumbo Floating Restaurant

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Nothing like a large Dragon to excite a three year old…

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Possibly the prettiest pad Thai, not bad for a cheap Thai noodle dish

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The Angry Birds’aholics… Lunch in Sai Kung with the Watermans

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Exploring the cheap and cheerful and very strange shops in Kennedy Town via tram. Driver gave me a strange look as I boarded the first the first one, turns out you board at the back & pay when you get off… Got it totally the wrong way round. Damn those Gweilo Tourists…

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Archie and I had a good giggle as he spotted a load of tigers willies in a jar in one dusty old shop

Did a bit of International food shopping in the beautiful but eye wateringly expensive Citysuper… Even the milk produced up the road from us was ten dollars more expensive… Needless to say we got a bit of antipasti from the Deli and some much loved Bonchi rice snacks and got out sharpish…

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Best part was the supermarket car park in full view of Victoria Harbour and its spectacular skyscrapers, a view I don’t ever think I will tire of. Certainly beats Harrow NCP! Although pollution was pretty bad that day…

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Weirdly there was a cruise liner in the car park, at least that’s where I thought it was (maybe a floating restaurant?) as we got closer we realised we were parked so high that the massive cruise liner was docked in the harbour alongside us. Very amusing parking car next to people on boat in their bikinis by pool and some having breakfast before disembarking for a day exploring HK

Obligatory Theme Park day out (I love them… told Ed I didn’t want to hear any huffing or puffing if he came with us) Ocean Park with Archie’s friend Jensen, loving the extremely chilled out pandas, so jealous they looked very happy

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Turned out to be a fab day out and with Season Passes brought I guess we will be going back…
Got the shock of our lives, heard someone shouting Ed’s name (assumed it was more of his students we had bumped into a few) and there was Jim (Hawkins, Harrow UK headmaster) with Zoe and their little girl
They were very excited to hear our news and we had a good catch up, made me feel a little homesick, very weird to suddenly see faces from your old life in your new life… It’s a very small world…
Old Hong Kong… Chinese version of Alton Towers but with lots more fish and Dolphin Shows

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Not going to make it to Hong Kong Disneyland this half term but as its
only 20mins from home I reckon we won’t make it to Christmas Hols before being badgered into it!
Oh, and finally in the hols they opened the long awaited park in school grounds… Archie calls it ‘my park’ kids living onsite unfortunately going to have to share it once term time back on…

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In the pink for Princess Eliza

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The dress code was very specific ‘for my fourth birthday I want everyone to wear pink’ we were told by Eliza in a tone that suggested, if you’re not wearing pink you’re not getting in…

For Archie’s little friend (The Waterman family moved to Harrow HK at the same time we did) we enjoyed such a lovely, relaxed (not normally a word associated with toddler birthdays) party. Balloon games on the pitch to start (no kids around as it’s half term, got the place to ourselves!)

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We had a realisation seeing them enjoying the birthday tea together that we have only got to half-term and these littlies are already firm friends

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Hand-made paper flower garlands & shimmering pink butterfly cakes, upside down pin the spots on the ladybird and plenty of party games meant a birthday party that even the adults enjoyed.
Hopefully Princess Eliza loved every minute…

Even the dogs are wealthy…

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Another brilliant example of Hong Kong extravagance… On a trip to the Science Museum yesterday with 20 Harrow kids in tow we pulled up to the traffic lights and a plush chauffeur driven car with cream leather seats pulled up alongside us and it’s sole passenger, a very well groomed dog!

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The museum had sufficient dinosaurs and diggy things to keep a toddler happy… Mummy was rubbish at driving a crane, hadn’t quite realised how skilled it is, worked up quite a sweat pulling and pushing at levers, no matter A was impressed by my efforts…

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Rose Bellini’s with friends at Sevva last night, another of HK stunning roof top bars, surely one of the most impressive and beautiful restaurants in town

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Dinner at the uber cool Blue Butcher in Hollywood Rd think ‘artisanal meat market’ Wagyu Steak, Spanish Ham & Eggs and by chance a private dining room with fab if a bit scary chandeliers…

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We all drank just enough to ensure full participation in an 80’s themed karaoke cab ride back to the Gold Coast… But why oh why did the kids feel the need to wake at 5.30 this morning…….

Ice skating in 30 degrees

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After being housebound with a very poorly Sophie she finally got rid of the fever and we all went ice skating!

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Daddy decided to stay off the ice… We have all heard the story of Ed being reprimanded by the police for reckless roller blading in Hyde Park…
Mummy took to the ice with Archie for his first time in ice skates. Thank god for the penguin Archie’s little wobbly legs made it tricky for me to look graceful, Torvill and Dean we were not!
But towards the end he was actually managing to keep his feet facing forward rather than the Bambi impression when he first got on the ice.

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Both of us can’t wait to go again, Archie very proud of himself and even took his new ice skating socks to bed with him!

Just chuck it in and hope for the best…

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Can anyone tell me how to separate rice noodles without spraying them all over the kitchen!

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Chucked the lot in the pan put the lid on and hoped for the best!

Saw one of the funniest things whilst visiting friends in Discovery Bay (or otherwise known as Delivery Bay, basically Crouch End on Sea) at the weekend

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Cars aren’t allowed in this expat enclave so golf carts sell for a premium (£180,000! Second hand!) only a few licences are given out… Just when I thought this crazy place where monthly rents can easily be £10k+ couldn’t be anymore extravagant I see über expensive golf carts, some blinged up and some with car seats!
Saying that Disco Bay or DB is a great place with kids and our friends live right on the beach (you can just make out Disneyland in the distance!)

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Lots of yummy mummy bars and restaurants, a fast boat from the beach to Central on HK Island so that daddies can get to work in style and some great boob jobs and fab trout pouts…

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I wouldn’t mind it… but then I married a teacher 😉

4 day weekend, Mid-Autumn Festival

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We are just ending a long weekend of festivities here, lantern lighting & mooncake eating seems to be the most popular thing to do so we thought we would get stuck in too.
The kids have lanterns in their bedrooms (Sophie a lotus flower, Archie a fish) and some old Harrovians came to visit bringing us a box of ‘the best mooncake in town’

Archie came home from school on Fri excited about a weekend where all you seem to do is eat cake, so I let him unwrap one of the beautifully packaged mooncakes and give it a go…

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How yummy they look… Unfortunately we thought they tasted terrible!
They are made from heavy dough (ducks on pond better beware!) filled with some sort of lotus bean paste which is grey and surprise surprise they had stuck a couple of hard boiled egg yolks in for good measure??

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As you can see the smile has quickly been wiped off Archie’s face.
Luckily for him I had also found some sushi shaped festival candy which I thought was fab, he wasn’t too impressed by that either.

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His palate was tested again yesterday when we drove over to Sai Kung to the East of Kowloon (beautiful area full of sailing, islands and fish restaurants)

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Where we tried to get him to pick his lunch out of a tank of live fish, crustaceans and very phallic razor clams.
He kept asking daddy why the prawns weren’t screaming when he was pulling their heads and tails off to eat them, oh dear…
In the end I had to give him a Crunchy bar that had been in my handbag for months, anyone would have thought I had presented him with a Macdonalds, he was so delighted to be eating something familiar.
Unfortunately most of our other plans for the weekend were scrapped cause Sophie’s first tooth is breaking through and she’s in agony. She’s still trying to smile through it though.

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