In advance of Halloween tomorrow the big D and I spent a happy hour carving our pumpkin. As you can see it’s a spectacular specimen! Super scary!!!
I was very careful to scrape out as much if the flesh as possible, so I think tomorrow’s job will be making a pumpkin pie!
We went hunting for sloes this afternoon, but to no avail. You could say it was pretty slow going! However, I did get to walk the red carpet, so not all was lost.
The big m was making spicy apple chutney this afternoon so we went to pick some apples from the garden. We seem to have grown monster fruit…. Look at the size of this one it’s almost as big as my head!
Home again. And we’ve had a busy few days.
First day back we went to Lyme Regis for the IOA’s (institute of archaeology) 15 year reunion. We missed the main event being in HK but managed to catch the tail end of it. It was nice to meet some of the big M & D’s old classmates, who were all bemoaning how old they’d got).
On Wednesday Uncle Eddy, who was over for the reunion, came to stay. I like him. He’s fun! On Thursday the Big M went to London so I spent the day with Big Ed (his uni nickname) and the Big D. We went for lunch on Ham Hill and I got to have a run around. Hooray!
The journey home could have been a nightmare, but ended up ok. We had to get up really early and missed breakfast, which was sad as I was looking forward to my customary croissant and cheese. We caught a taxi to the airport and watched the sunrise over Hong Kong.
The first flight was busy being a commuter flight to Beijing but we were seated in the bulkhead row so had enough space.
Once at Beijing we had a small issue in that my pushchair failed to arrive. We waited for AGES. It was ironic as we didn’t use it the entire trip. Eventually we gave up as we had our connection to make. There was a slight misunderstanding between us and the official airport lady at the gate who thought we were on an earlier flight than we were so we managed to be fast tracked through the airport on false pretenses bypassing massive queues… Ssshhh don’t tell anyone! I then spent a happy hour at the play area (the same one as the week before) before boarding our next plane.
The big M was not amused as they did not give us the bulkhead seats nor did they give me my own seat so the three of us were hemmed into two seats next to other people (poor them!). However, after a lot of huffing and puffing and sweet talking to the man next to her she managed to procure us our own row. This was perfect as unlike on the bulkhead aisle we were able to lift the arm rests and I could stretch out and sleep, which is exactly what I did for a few hours.
After 11 hours we arrived at Heathrow and again the pushchair was conspicuously missing at the gate. A very unhelpful woman was exceedingly unhelpful about what to do but a nice man (coincidentally the guy that checked us in the week before) helped and we eventually tracked the pushchair to the hold. So all was fine.
We then jumped in the car (which was luckily still where we left it) zoomed home and I was back in my own bed fast asleep by 9pm. Travelling. Simples!
Today was a day of many ups and downs. First we went down a few floors to breakfast and then back up again to get ready to go out. Once we left the hotel we walked to the upper deck entrance of the Star Ferry and then disembarked onto the raised walkway to Peddar Street. We walked a few blocks and came to the longest covered escalator system in the world. We, of course, travelled up it 800m in distance and 135m in elevation.
It took us through the mid levels towards the top of the peak. Once at the top, there was really only one direction to go: down. So we chose to wander through the HK botanical and zoological gardens where we saw orangutans, chimps, lemers, birds amongst other creatures.
The exit to the park took us right past the entrance to the Peak tram so with a snap change of plan we decided to jump aboard (managing to circumnavigate the 2 hour or so long queue by the big M giving it her best pathetic pregnant look – to give her her due if worked!). So we chugged our way back up to the top of the peak had a spot of lunch and caught the train down again.
Once back at the hotel we went up to the pool for a swim and then down to the club room for drinks and nibbles.
The biggest down of the day, however, was packing up to go home tomorrow. We’re leaving at the crack of dawn so no yummy breakfast and no morning swim. All very sad indeed. But I’ve had an amazing time and learnt loads. I’ve even mastered some Chinese!
Today we adventured our way to Stanley, a small beachside town on the south side of Hong Kong island by bus. On our way to the bus station we passed a tanggu (literally meaning ‘ceremonial hall drum’) competition. The troop (? Not sure that’s the right word) we saw were amazing!
After a titchy disagreement about the location of the terminus we boarded a very pleasant air conditioned, double decker (no. 6X) which took us the scenic route round the island via Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay, both popular beaches. I had a great time looking out of the windows at the passing scenery and even added the word ‘view’ to my vocabulary.
Once at Stanley Village we disembarked and made our way bayside to the string of restaurants lining the front. We chose one with a free outside table in the shade. The food was delish. I had penne pasta in a cream and cheese sauce. Not very Chinese admittedly but the menu was pretty much western food.
After lunch we went shopping round Stanley market and made some great purchases for gifts including a titchy Chinese silk baby grow for my new God-brother and for my as yet unborn bro.
This man wrote my name in Chinese on a plaque for me to put up in my bedroom.
On the way back to the bus stop we happened upon another super playground so spent a happy half hour or so running amok amongst the slides.
We then jumped on the express bus (no. 260) back to Central which took us through the Aberdeen tunnel rather than over the top of the peak. We were back in time to grab a quick shower and go to cocktails at The Club Intercontinental for some snackettes before a bedtime dip in the pools.
Last day tomorrow 😢. It’s gone so quickly.
After another excellent night of sleeping (let’s hope I haven’t jinxed tonight) we ate brekkie in the club lounge surrounded by besuited delegates from the Hicap conference (I fitted right in!!!) and followed it up by a quick swim in the pools. We then made our way across Victoria Harbour via the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island.
Once at Central we caught a ding-ding (tram) for the bargain price of 40p for 2 adults to Times Square. I really enjoyed sitting on the top deck watching the world go by
And spying on the people sitting next to me
We followed it up with our third mode of transport for the day – a quick trip on the MTR in order to take the funicular railway up The Peak to the highest observation point in Hong Kong.
The view from the top was spectacular and we could see our hotel on the other side of the harbour in Kowloon. If we had a telescope I reckon we could see our room!
Again I caused quite a stir with people wanting to take my photo. Seriously considering staying here and joining a modelling agency! They all particularly liked me posing by this statue on the viewing platform.
In the shopping centre at the top of the peak there was a live, VR game of pacman and loads of promotional bits and pieces dotted around. As you can see I had buckets of fun playing with it all. Sadly I was too little to play the actual game – lucky for you ghosts!
I think we’re set for another busy one tomorrow as we’re venturing to Stanley and the beach – a first for the big M and D!
See you then x
Woke up quite late this morning as a result of having a relatively late night. We were in the pool until 8.30pm watching the Victoria Harbour light show – way past my normal bedtime (ssshhhh don’t tell anyone).
After a hearty breakfast we made our way via the MRT (tube) using our Octopus card (same as an Oyster card) to the end of the orange line. This is where you catch a cable car to take you to the Big Buddha statue near the Po Lin monastery at Ngong Ping. We were in a crystal car, which is a carriage with a glass bottom for 360 degree views – super high and scary! I loved it!!
When we arrived at the top there was a picture of Tai O fishing village (we’re probably going there later in the week). You can stand in the picture and take a photo so it looks like you are there. I think I made a great model as people kept hugging me and taking my photo – I should have charged them!
We then climbed the 258 steps up to the big Buddha which was cast from bronze and erected in 1986.
At the top I was treated to an ice cream. I think I ended up wearing most of it! Again people kept snapping my photo. I felt like quite the celebrity!
Tomorrow we’re going to explore Hong Kong island. I’m most looking forward to the star ferry.