Monthly Archives: October 2013

Grandma G

Mama 52 years to the day

you gave birth to me the

gift of  life and on this day

you let go

no more pain

You felt the love

family far and near

accompanied you the last days

wordless communication

loud and clear

Grandma G is loved

Mum passed away on my birthday

Mum passed away quickly, painlessly and peacefully at 12.55 am GMT Saturday 26 Oct 2013, she was 84.

I am glad the doctor did not clear me to fly on Monday the 21st so both I and my brother were there for the last moment.  I sang her Cantonese opera her favourite and we had all grown up listening to it on vinyl spinning round the record player.  I only know a few lines and sing out of tune but it seemed the only thing to soothe her when agitated, confused or in pain.  I would repeat the lines over and over again but Mum didn’t seem to mind.

Most of all I am grateful for the two weeks with Mum in hospital.  Though we did not communicate with words we felt the bond of unconditional love that only exists between mother and child.

I can’t cope

Too much it is all too much.  Mum is dying, doctors have prepared us, it is highly unlikely she will pull through …  From a possible 2 week stay it has suddenly turned into an ‘end of life plan’ discussion and a family conference on whether to stop medical treatment and make her comfortable.  Well we all know what that means …

Should I fight her corner as she is clearly not ready or is it more merciful to let her go …

Could I be really selfish and flee the country back to that simple happy new life I worked so hard at creating in HK and leave my siblings to it?  Or stay till the bitter end which will be extremely painful and distressing?

Should I for once in my life put myself and my needs first??  Is doing that selfish???

I’m putting off the phone call to my parents to delay my return yet again because I know it may well mean I am going to lose my livelihood and only source of income?  I am on my own and the poorest out of all my family basically because I loved and trusted the wrong man.  I am not being a victim, it is the truth but I am taking responsibility for the fact that it was my choice to marry him and now I now it was the wrong one as he wasn’t who I thought.  He betrayed me in the worse way possible by not being there when I needed him the most and kicking me when I was down.


Sorry for prolonged absence; unfortunately recently I have been spending more time in Accidents and Emergency at the University College London Hospital on Euston Road than at home.  First my broken ankle then last weekend Mum had a bad fall and as she is both frail and suffers from osteoporosis has spectacularly fractured five lower ribs on the right side.  She’ll be in hospital for at least two weeks.  Even worse is the day after Dad was also rushed into A&E with multiple infections and is now in Acute Admissions in the same hospital.

Draining physically and emotionally; I seem to be putting in 12 hour shifts like the nursing staff and particularly today I could feel my left ankle screaming and protesting.  I may very well take the day off tomorrow to rest the foot and catch up with my beauty sleep.

I have to be fit and hit the ground running when back in Hong Kong; I’ll allow myself one day to recover from jet lag and then it is back to the grindstone.

It’ll be weird being in the Pearl of the Orient again, the climate and culture and pace of life will take a little while to adjust back to but hopefully a lot quicker than when I landed in April.


something i’m working on

“…I’m in no Hurry. I’m on my way to a Hospice..”

Kindness saved my life. You don’t have to be a hero like Mandela or Mother Teresa to make a difference you just need to show kindness however minute in your corner of the world, even a smile.

Kindness Blog

taxi drivers tale of kindness photo

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or…

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Settling for crumbs

I spent an obscene amount of time figuring out why my marriage failed, the what ifs we all torture ourselves with, because let’s face it rejection sucks.  Those immortal words ‘I don’t love you anymore’ resound still; they are the words you never want to hear, ever.  I have been on both sides, the rejecter and the rejectee.   In all the three long term relationships it is only my ex, the last serious lover who ended it.  Karma?  We can all come up with justifications but nevertheless hurt was inflicted, intentional or not; certainly I know the rejection caused a lot of pain to my first boyfriend.  But I thought it would cause him even more if I went through with the wedding unsure if I really loved him, enough to want to spend the rest of my life. 

Now I have progressed to thinking about why I put up with the emotional abuse.  The tragedy and irony are I would still be in this soul destroying marriage if the abuser hadn’t got bored and pulled the plug.  In other words why did I settle for crumbs when I could have had the whole cake and ate it and the most delicious of cakes at that.

I am not a stupid person.  I am not a genius but I can think for myself and I do have opinions and am articulate.  I am a professional who has always been in education and I love that moment when you are explaining something to a kid and the penny drops and he gets it.  I am a feisty person, if I know I am right and you are taking the mickey I will fight you and get what I am entitled.  I am a very fair person, I believe in justice and I will even fight for others, strangers, for their rights.

So how was it that I ended up a doormat, a silent and depressed one lacking self confidence and esteem?  To shut me up is virtually mission impossible but he managed so you can imagine how awful the putdowns and constant criticism in private in public were.  The drip drip drip effect is very powerful especially over a long period of time and because the doses are so minute but frequent you are not even aware.  It’s a form of brainwashing.  Why did I allow it?  After all I wasn’t held hostage and chained or locked in a room.  Love.  What I thought was love but was only crumbs thrown my way now and again so that that light bulb moment would not happen.  No road to Damascus epiphany for me.

I was grateful for the crumbs, it was better than nothing.  Freud would be proud.  Yes let’s talk about my childhood and my mum and dad and siblings, because that is where this settling for crumbs started.

I am the baby of the family, you’ d think I’d get all the attention, be spoilt rotten, no chance.  All that was given to the sister above me who was a sickly child with asthma and they were terrified of her falling ill and forking out for doctor’s bills.  It didn’t help either that my birth heralded the poorest time of their lives and I’m talking about sharing a bowl of rice between all the kids and Mum going without kind.  And I’m not exaggerating.

Bless my cotton socks I was a perfectly healthy, robust, contented baby; I never cried or demanded anything so they basically forgot about me.  I assume they fed me now and again and did the necessary.  Apparently when I was old enough to walk they tied me to a post in front of the ancestral home so I wouldn’t wander off and drown in the stream and they could get on with the business of putting food on the table.  That is how I got the nickname. ‘Little Crocodile’.  Every time someone passed by I lifted my little head, that was the highlight of my day.

Perhaps that is why I didn’t expect much and was prepared to put up with a lot of shit during my marriage.  I’d never been showered with love, made to feel special and finally there was a man who was willing to marry me and start a family, my own happy family which I have always craved.  It all seems to make sense now but none of this was conscious at the time.

I swore I would marry by the time I was 30 and I did.  I fell in love with K at first sight and knew this is the man I’m going to marry and I did.  Tall dark handsome over-rated.  What you really need is a man who will go the distance, who will stick by you not just once through cancer but twice and as many times as it takes.  Now if I ever have a relationship, and that is a big if, all I want is a a good man and one who will treat me well and think I’m the best thing since sliced bread.  One who accepts me warts and all, honest and faithful.  I can share everything but not my man.

I’m learning not to settle for crumbs because I deserve better.  We all do.  Don’t accept second best out of fear: loneliness, rejection, abandonment, old age, not being able to cope, make it on your own,

Chinese Teenager Dies Saving Three Children

Kindness Blog

By the time he returned to the water to rescue the third child, a local man, Wan Sun, 31, had rushed to help.

Sun said: ‘He handed me the 11-year-old and I dragged her to the shore, but when I looked for the young man I could not see him. He must have slipped in deeper water.

‘When we pulled him from the water he was dead, there was no chance to save his life.

‘He gave his life for the children, he was a hero.’

Paying tribute to their son, Cheng’s parents, said he had gone to the popular spot to relax after getting stressed over his recent exams.

Father Ling Wu said: ‘It was typical of him. He would not think about putting others before himself.

‘I am proud of him but also devastated.’

Source: daily Mail

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GTA5: Kitsch is a Funny Thing

Thought provoking



Kitsch is a funny thing. We get to make fun of something (and therefore not be “one of those people”) and at the same time we get to be an inside participator (and, therefore, be “one of those people”).  It’s a have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too kind of thing.  Cool. maybe…

The image of women in the media today is in an unrivaled state of kitsch.  Not just Mad Men, not just the subway ads for the silly TV shows such as Eastbound and Down.  But it is the hugely grossing Grand Theft Auto 5 – making 1 billion in the first three days of its release this past week – that is the kitsch king. Many voices have lamented the sexism and misogyny in that game but that actually misses the point. It’s the kitsch. It’s the kitsch aspect that serves to permanently and thoroughly sideline women.

These images harken to a world…

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Men Friends

Couldnt have put it better myself

qlb4's way out of a quiet crisis

This is an old one that I’ve tidied up. As ever, please forgive the lack of technique. I tend to deal more in the raw thoughts and emotions. Enjoy.

Men friends
by QLB4 copyright 2013

When a woman’s closest
Friends are men
Society will frown
Men and women can’t be friends
Without them getting down

Other women
And other men
Just can’t seem to get it
Maybe they’re just jealous
And so can’t understand

It’s a sad reflection of the majority
That they can’t think
Of anything else to do
In mixed company
Except screw

For f**k’s sake
True friends are chosen from the pool
For qualities that give us ease
Trust and respect
And shared interest and silliness
For honesty
And suspended judgement

They do exciting things
And talk about ideas
They listen and they argue
And take the bleeding piss
And most of all they laugh with us

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