38 Years Ago…

18 Mar 2012 – a Bundle of Joy arrived!

Happy Happy Bday to my first-born, Linn who has brought so much joys in life’s journey and still continuing to do so. Born the day after St Patrick’s Day in Dublin/Ireland and moved to Norway when she was only 4 months. Then another move to the USA when she was 11yrs. Not easy to have to deal with these moves but she has graciously made the best of both worlds and has developed into the amazing person as she is meant to be.

Thank you to a wonderful & beautiful (in everyways) daughter who has made a proud mother, mother-in-law and grandmother of me. Today a mother of 5 lovely children (3 girls & 2 boys) and my hat off to her!

A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy, the smile that accepts a lover before words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first-born babe, and assures it of a mother’s love – Thomas C. Haliburton

Started the day with visiting niece PatLynn and grandniece Beth@Mt Elizabeth Hospital. Both mother and baby are well and of course Beth is as cute as a button. Thanks for lunch SueLynn in good company of Ivy. Apologies, had to rush to get to the parade in time.

Only a handful of the IGAS/Irish Graduates Association of SIN members were present and the IGAS banner was missing. Appreciations to CH for the good company, support and for taking pix (pix credits of Carmel, Min & I goes to CH). Thank goodness it was not raining during the parade but it poured down buckets after most have found their ways to the pubs! Cleared again during the Irish dance performance to a lovely cool evening.

Begorra! even the Irish community in SIN is having a parade today for Linn 🙂

Another Irish joke to complete the celebrations…

 An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport.

‘I’ve come to meet my brother,” said the Irishman. “He’s due to fly in from America in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in forty years’.

‘Will you be able to recognize him?’ asked the American.

‘I’m sure I won’t,’ said the Irishman, ‘after all, he’s been away for a long time’.

‘I wonder if he’ll recognize you?’ said the American.

‘Of course he will,’ said the Irishman. ‘Sure, an’ I haven’t been away at all’

🙂 🙂 🙂

St Patrick’s Day 2012

17 Mar 2012 – Happy Bdays to niece PatLynn & her new born!

Congratulations to PatLynn & David for the birth of their baby daughter born today. Also congrats to Lucas for his baby sister. Welcome to the world on St Patrick’s Day, grand niece, Beth! Now if this not well-timed, what is… LOL!!

Sat: this year’s Paddys Day’s reception was Thu night and the parade is not until tomorrow! It would have been nice to celebrate on the day itself! Difficult to really get in the mood when not in Ireland! Last year was traveling up the Sarawak River during Paddy’s Day. So it must be 2010’s parade last attended!


What is Paddy’s Day without an Irish joke? Tkx Denise for sharing this. Enjoy! Appreciations to the Irish for teaching me their sense of humour! 🙂

Two Irish friends leave the pub. One says to other, ‘I can’t be bothered to walk all the way home.’

I know, me too but we’ve no money for a cab and we’ve missed the last bus home.

‘We could steal a bus from the depot,’ replies his mate.

They arrive at the bus depot and one goes in to get a bus while the other keeps a look-out.

After shuffling around for ages, the lookout shouts, ‘What are you doing? Have you not found one yet?’

I can’t find a No. 91

‘Oh Jaysus Christ, ye thick sod, take the No. 14 and we’ll walk from the Roundabout.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Fri: accompanied por-por (bro Les’s mother-in-law in her 90s+) to her annual temple visit@Waterloo St. This year she is in a wheel chair and Miela (family help for nearly 20yrs) wheel her all the way up to the offerings. No point for her to struggle with her walking stick in the crowd. Good to be able to visit a handicapped friendly temple!

As por-por was doing her worships to the deities, was actually content to ride on her dedications to be grateful for all the blessings in life. We seem to take our blessings for granted and forget to be gracious and grateful for them. Today was not one of those taking for granted day! Chicken rice and roast pork lunch nearby the temple.

Joyful Noise**about a mother who takes over as a small-town’s church choir’s newly appointed head after the sudden passing of their director. The late director’s widowed wife who is a major donor to the church choir believes she should be in charge.

Two strong-headed women are forced to put their differences aside in order to save their church choir that is being threatened to be shut down due to budget cuts. Typical Hollywood story line but wanted more so to hear Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah sing.

What a contrast from a Chinese temple to Southern USA Gospel singing 🙂

Nature is the true revelation of the Deity to man. The nearest green field is the inspired page from which you may read all that it is needful for you to know – Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

A Simple Life…

15 Mar 2012 – but why do we insist on making it complicated?

Wed: Ellie’s 7th Bday. Where has all the time gone? Was then preparing for the AT Thru-Hike while waiting for her birth. As everything was meant to be, was there for Linn, Jeff & Katy after Ellie was born and took off on the hike 30 May.

A Simple Life*** based on a true story of a man and his devoted servant Ah Tao who has spent 60yrs wholeheartedly serving many generations of the Leung family. When Ah Tao suffers a stroke, she quits her job and moves to a nursing home. Her current master, Roger, not only helps her move into a nursing home, but takes time to caring for her after all that she has done for him and his family. If only there are more Rogers, this world would be a better place!

Have mentioned my preference to watch HKG movies not dubbed and this has not changed. But being in SIN there is no choice! Glad to have seen this refreshing movie! For a change, a movie with no intrigues, knifing, manipulations, motives and all that games people play in soap operas… just a simple life as titled!

Tourist guiding two 80+ USA ladies. Diane is a friend of Katie who crossed my path in the 1980s, Long Beach, CA/USA The two ladies just completed 18days cruise in China & SE Asia, passing SIN for a couple of days. Was impressed that they were willing to walk from the YWCA/Orchard Rd to Kopitiam for tea, then to Raffles Hotel to take pix. Safe journeys to them.

Thu: early St Patrick’s Day reception at the Irish Ambassador’s home. This year’s Guest of Honour is Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin, T.D. What more one ask for where top fresh quality of Irish beef, mutton, salmon, black & white pudding, ham, sausages, bacon, my favourite bread pudding, etc etc and Galway Bay oysters flown in less than 24hrs ago. As for drinks, needless to say there was a free flow of Guinness and whatever your heart desire!

Beannachtaí Pháidrige do mo chairde go léir. Pionta Guinness, le do thoil 🙂

Thank you Ambassador & Mrs Hayes for a lovely and delicious evening.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated – Confucius

A Separation****

13 Mar 2012 – Movies movies!

The Lady*** is a true story about an extraordinary couple and family who sacrifice their happiness at great human cost for a higher cause. This is about Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile militant regime, their love endures until the very end.

Formally Burma, now officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar where she is originally from and where her callings are to free her people from the regime, a very admirable and noble cause. But Michelle Yeoh did not do justice to Aung San Suu Kyi’s character. From what I have read, The real Lady has quite a dynamic personality,

جدایی نادر از سیمین‎ Jodái-e Náder az Simin/A Separation**** received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. Nader and Simin who prefers to leave Iran to provide better opportunities for their only daughter, Termeh. However, Nader refuses to go because he thinks she must stay in Iran and take care of his ailing Alzheimer’s father…

Good movie. Interesting to see that even in another culture and society, the problems and issues in relationships and basic human decency are the not much different from anywhere! Well directed and good acting.

But sad when politics get in the way of the arts… Iran cancels ceremony to honour A Separation director. Authorities deny permit for event which Asghar Farhadi, who directed the Oscar-winning Iranian film…


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies – Groucho Marx


12 Mar 2012 – were British Colonies!

7-8 Mar: random pix at Sai Kung and en route to the airport from the hotel with a reminder that Drug Driving may be your Journey to Death! Wonder if alcohol is also considered a drug since it is legally on sale?? Let’s hope that the bus driver and the pilot are not driving or flying under any influence alcohol or drugs…

The few days with friends were limited as the purpose of this trip was to hike the 100km thru’ hike. For the benefit to those who are not familiar about this trail:

The MacLehose Trail/麥理浩徑 opened 26 Oct 1979, is a hiking trail starting Pak Tam Chung/Sai Kung, in the east to Tuen Mun in the west. 100 kilometres long, marked by distance posts at 500m intervals along the path. It is named after Crawford Murray MacLehose, the longest-serving HKG governor (1971-1982) who established the Country Parks and was himself an enthusiastic hiker. This Scotsman did what he thought was best for HKG at that time and he did much good for HKG too!

From some FB comments, his name managed to provoke interesting discussions from opium war to British imperialism and anti-colonist, including suggestions to changing these British names! Amazing to see how a name can bring about such emotions. We cannot change history but can at least try to learn from it.

I am Chinese of race, speaks and understands minimum and do not read or write it. Lived nearly 40yrs in Europe & USA. Living in the present, ie NOW and trying as best as I know how to prevent bad karma for the future generations. History has Past, Future is a Mystery, just enjoy the Present to the fullest and give some respect and appreciations to Mother Nature ie do not abuse or misuse!

Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power – Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British Prime Minister)

Good quote even though he was a Brit, but would have been better if words is added besides conduct… 🙂

MacLehose Trail/Day 5

11 Mar 2012 – Sections 2 & 1

Tue 6 Mar:  0630hrs bus & cab to Pak Tam Au M049. Hiking thru’ urban jungle on ups and downs hard concrete. Rather welcoming after days of wet, slippery muddy paths! Passing the empty village of Chek Keng, mysteriously beautiful in the mist. Stopping to make use of an avant garde designed toilet M043. Passed by two tents and a sleeping body in a sleeping bag outside the tent!

No views from the two pavilions M023 & M025, unlike the last hike with Harry, exposed and sunny! Pleasant along Tai Long and Sai Wan enjoying a bowl of dau-fu-fa/soya bean curd with a Swiss fellow hiker. Continuing to Long Ke Wan, lovely picnic and camping area M020, by a drug rehab centre. Uphill towards the main dam.

The final Section 1 M020 is along the Highland Reservoir, a hard 10km on surface road taking us 2hrs. Must be tired and not focus. Fell on my face but thank goodness on soft grounds topped with dead leaf. Can understand why Harry wanted to take the cab last year thru’ this section to start our hike from Section 2. Was quite done with this section after a quick shot.

Ran (no joke) for the bus which brought us to Sai Kung and from there another bus to the MTR. Noticed that other passengers did not sit next to us 🙂

Tue 5 Mar Day 5: 0630hrs from LMHV. On Trail 0645hrs. Bus 1700hrs
24.5km/15.3mi. Sections 2 & 1. M048-M001

To get throught the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping – Chinese Proverb

MacLehose Trail/Days 3 & 4

10 Mar 2012 – Sections 6, 5 and parts of 4

Sun 4 Mar: 0600hrs MTR to Sham Shui Po and cab back to Tai Po Rd. Ascended from Lion Rock Country Park M115 and this location was infested by monkeys. Graceful Grace took the lead and we were safely back on to the no-monkey-trail! Taking a short break in a wooden shelter.

Another misty day like yesterday with no view@Beacon Hill. Nearly mid-point + high point! a cafe serving noodles and a pix of Chow Yuen Fatt@Shatin Pass M101. A bowl of hot noodle hits the spot and continuing uphill to the mid-point M100.

Ups & downs muddy and slippery paths whole afternoon. Concentrating on every step. Planning to do 23km today, but hiking in these conditions and in the dark is too risky. Instead of hiking to Kei Ling Ha M069, decided to hike down from the deserted Mau Ping Village M085 to Pak Kong. Got a cab HK$70 to Lady MacLehose Holiday Village LMHV/HK$20 per night for senior and HK$21 dinner with 5 dishes. A wise and good decision 🙂

Sun 4 Mar Day 3: 0600 from Tsim Sha Tsui . Trail 0700hrs. Cab 1700hrs
15km/9.3mi. Sections 6, 5 and parts of 4 M115-M085

Do not stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles – Arabic Proverb

Sections 4 & 3

Mon 5 Mar:  0630hrs bus & cab to Pak Kong, hiked up back to the deserted Mau Ping Village M085. Continued to Ma On Shan 702m/2,303ft and down hard surface road to Kei Ling Ha where toilets and a welcoming vending machine are located. Muddy, misty, slippery and time-consuming hike.

More ups and downs in the mist, Kai Kung Shan 399m 1,309ft, Lui Ta Shek 379m 1,243ft, Ngau Yee Shek Shan. Due to time and conditions, did not stop or take pix as again did not wish to hike in the dark. Wanted to get in to a warm dinner and hot shower back at LMHV!

Even with all the climbing, today’s hike was yet another limited view day, but better misty than too hot. It was one of those days having to concentrate and focusing on every step. Well like everything in life, the ups and downs have to be experienced and that too shall pass 🙂

Mon 5 Mar Day 4:  0630hrs from LMHV.  Trail 0700hrs. Cab 1800hrs.
15km/9.3mi. Sections 4 & 3 M085-M045

The brain has muscles for thinking as the legs have muscles for walking – Julien Offroy de La Mettire