Thursday, July 15, 2010

My working week

I spent last weekend mostly working, apart from having yum cha with Cath and David N on Sunday. I caught up with Cath when I was in Hong Kong early last year, and we’ve stayed in touch since then. We were all young twenty-somethings together in college at the University of New South Wales at the start of the 1970s, and now we are at the other end of our careers.

Monday morning I got “back on the horse” after my disastrous run two weeks ago, when I got heat stroke in Kuching in a 7K race. I walked up the hill to Bowen Road (shown here), where I used to run the 8K course frequently in the 1980s. I ran only a couple of kilometres, but it was enough to put some distance between me and my fears.

Had dinner at David N’s on Monday. Others there were a British dentist who has written three books on the history of the Macau Grand Prix, and his partner, a diamond valuer. David has offered me use of his villa in Croatia. Two problems: I’ll need a car, and I no longer drive; and it doesn’t have internet, so I wouldn’t be able to base myself there for anything more than a quick visit. I want to find a way around these problems, as it looks gorgeous and it’s a very generous offer.

On today’s early morning repeat visit to Bowen Road I got talking with the editor of an Asian finance magazine. Lara and I, and her young pup Gypsy, ran together for about 2.5K.

I’ve been working quite a bit from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club’s Main Bar, where there is reliable internet access. As I was leaving today to meet Carol for lunch, I saw Marty M, who I now know through my Melbourne pal Jenny. He had also been for a run this past week.

Carol and I had originally planned to go to China Tee Club, where in about 1988 get-togethers of what became the HK Women in Publishing Society used to be held. (Carol has been hugely important in getting “Imprint”, a publication showcasing the writing of WIPS members, into print each year.) China Tee was closed for a private function, so we went instead to Post 1997 in Lan Kwai Fong. In 1985, when this was still “1997”, I went there for dinner on my own during a business trip to Hong Kong. I decided that night I would try and return to Hong Kong to live. That decision changed my life.

I missed out on going to Cath’s book group tonight. The assigned book was Hilary Spurling’s “Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China”. I’m about halfway through it and I’ll take it with me to read on the train to Guangzhou (formerly Canton) tomorrow morning. I had to finish a job tonight, and technology was uncooperative so I was running late. I really wanted to go!

Instead, after I finished work, I had dinner in the main lounge here at The Helena May. (I’m staying in the annex, but I also use the main building for better internet access.) The place is so different from when I lived here. To its credit, it has totally reinvented itself as a very different restaurant venue in Central.

I haven’t had time for sightseeing this past week, but I managed to get to the Chilean artist Margarita Dittman’s exhibition on Hollywood Road. Fabulous. She’s only about 30 years old, but makes very complex, satisfying photographs.

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