Monthly Archives: November 2013

So it has come to this

My daughter told my ex that Grandma G had passed away and that the funeral went well.  He said he was glad to hear that.  He did not contact me directly to send condolences nor did he ask M to pass them on, despite the fact that this was his mother in law for 16 years and we been going out for two years before marriage.  What would it hurt him to just be decent?  But to do so would show he still cared but won’t admit it or that he blatantly doesn’t.  Either way he has re-affirmed my image of him as a cold person who is devoid of all emotion. 

I was tempted to send him a sarcastic e-mail thanking him for sending his condolences but then that would show I cared whether he did or not.  I don’t really but it does reafirm what I thought of him and I am so thankful that he did me a favour by ending the marriage.  Sometimes things can really turn out to be a blessing in disguise.



Why is it so hard to communicate

words uttered fail to reach

the other’s ears

a compliment turns into a dig

a positive twisted

Why are we slow to listen

yet quick to judge

such impatience

at each other’s throats

not giving the benefit of the doubt


Why do you not get what I mean

have I not made it clear enough

why the ambiguities misunderstanding

even when I humbly apologise

you lack grace to accept


Why is it so hard to communicate

Time To Step Up To The Plate

Yep rise above the broken mobile, fridge, bank account, betrayal …

The Bottom of a Bottle

So whether I fear it or not, whether the anxiety builds or I keep it under control, the time is here….

Victoria left for Gambia at 1.30am this morning, leaving me with the kids for the next 10 days.

I have to be honest and say that after the last few weeks, the thought if making a real mess of things is not helping. Although the anti depressants have began to kick in, each day that passes I feel a little more normal, but I’m still worried about messing up.

But so far the first day has gone okay, the kids woke and went to school without any problems. I collected Eve from school, they both came back home, played nicely together before I made tea, so far so good.

Eve did have some tears earlier, she didn’t realise she just couldn’t FaceTime Mummy at any time she liked, but…

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Shinier still

Finally sorted out a mobile with a brand new number and put an ad up on the supermarket board.  Got a number for the maintenance department for the fridge.  Water meter deposit paid and now I have an official address attached to my name.  Proof of address together with an identity card is all important in HK, nothing can happen without them, no library card, no broadband, no voter registration, zilch.

I have slipped back into life here like a hand into a glove which is a relief.  It really feels like coming home, having your own space helps enormously.  However I have yet to adjust to the manic pace but it doesn’t matter because the cashier or vegetable stall holder just multitask until I have dug my purse out. 

Despite all the unexpected obstacles back home I am proud that after the initial panic and tantrum that I have managed to troubleshoot.  It is just hassle and inconvenience but not insurmountable and not the end of the world.  Once upon a time I would never have believed I could have solved a multitude of problems all by myself.  It is reassuring to know you can get by alone because however well meaning others are they can’t always be available or help.  We truly are our own best friends, we know ourselves best and what is good for us.

Sorry this post is all over the place, exhausted after a whole day running around trouble shooting.

Less than shiny life looking bit shinier

Discovered in fact the fridge has died despite the light being still on; having spent the last two days obsessively disinfecting it with Milton’s sterilising liquid and investing in fridge fresheners only to find that even at max neither the fridge neither freezer compartment are cold.  Hence the rotten food and fruit flies …  It did seem weird how the food in the freezer could deteriorate to that extent after only a couple of months away.  I blame the jet lag and my troubled state of mind.  Now I can get it fixed or request a new one as it is only 6 months old, yippee, cos I am missing my cup of tea with milk. 

Another chink of light in the otherwise dark world of Mama G’s is that I suddenly remember I have a mobile I bought from China and I only need to buy a sim card from China Mobile for $50 which is like £4 and do pay as you go!!!  Then I can contact my parents, put a number on the supermarket ad and have a contact number for the fridge repair man!  What did we ever do without computers and mobiles??

Lastly if all my other parents haven’t abandoned me to my penniless state I may just, fingers crossed be able to make ends meet by tightening my belt.  Well I do need to go on a serious diet after over-indulging in London.  I now resemble a watermelon, short and round which isn’t my best look.

After the crisis I may even turn my mind to unpacking, sorting the flat and giving it a good clean. One good piece of news, the ancient television now works, somebody must have tweaked the outdoor aerial so I can catch up on current affairs, yeah and become braindead on Cantonese soap operas, trust me they are even worse than the British ones.  The acting is appalling, all you need is a pretty face and be young.  Acting skills optional and would be an advantage.  Ugly wrinklies like me need not apply.

Mama G is feeling a bit more upbeat and less desperate now, no need to jump off the building just yet: the rent will be paid, the fridge fixed and parents will be loyal.  Mmm watch this space …


The two you

There is the you in my memories

frozen in time as if you’d died young

Then there is the current you

going about your daily business

miles apart we were then and now

the beloved turned into a stranger

the lover obliterated forgotten

There is the you in my memories

and the current you without me


The less than shiny life

The shiny new life awaiting in Hk has turned out to be less than shiny.  Started off well enough with a smooth flight, taxi home and a kind driver which helped me with the luggage down the dreaded concrete steps for a handsome tip.  A warm welcome from the three dogs especially the black puppy who has grown a lot in the last two and a half months.

So far so good until I opened the fridge and freezer to find an infestation of fruitflies and their larvae and the most pungent of smells that I almost puked.  Welcome home.  On top of that my local sim card ran out of credit and the number no longer exist and to add insult to injury it is stuck solid in the tiny slot so I’ll have to fork out for a new one, which will be a large expenditure.  But that’s how people communicate in HK and I’ll need it to contact my parents.

The most devastating of all is to find on the next morning after recovering from jet lag that the family with three kids that I had taught had found a new tutor, despite having promised to wait. Nevertheless I can continue to teach the younger two and will be given less hours than before.  The optician who had given me my first break doesn’t need my services at all as his daughter has already taken her exam and is back with the tutorial centre.  That’s Hong Kong, people are very pragmatic, feelings and friendship don’t come into the equation, just what counts what them.  I guess I was naive to expect anything else except now I am in a panic about how I am going to make ends meet. 

I am gutted that I have to start from scratch having worked so hard to get enough pupils to know I can cover the rent and have a little left for food.  The rent is the tricky bit since it is a fixed lump sum with a deadline whilst I can always eat less and not eat out and if I put my mind to it the food bill doesn’t have to cost the earth.  It is cooler now so today I have begun to walk to the train station where the nearest shopping centre where my local is, that will save me $11 return daily and it is good exercise.

I am trying very hard not to panic and get myself into a state; the mantra is I have survived on very little, I can do it again.  Still very scary.  As soon as I have sorted out a new mobile I will stick an ad up on the posh supermarket’s noticeboard and see if any of the other former parents still need me to tutor.  Fingers crossed.

On the plus side it is nice to return to a cooler but warm and less humid HK and feel that I’m home.  I was dreading feeling alien here and needing time to get used to it but it was unfounded.  It was nice to see familiar faces especially the ones at the cafe and to know they were happy to see me.  I forgot how lovely and spacious my flat was and how fond I am of the dogs.  The feeling is mutual as I have started feeding them twice a day not forgetting the large bowl of water.  They sleep outside my front door which is comforting and sweet, at least the security still works whilst the fridge and mobile don’t. 

Nothing much has changed round here.  It is Sunday and the landlord Mr Leung is here regular as clockwork indulging in his love of DIY and the Filipinos are partying into the night.  It is good to know that there are some constants in this world.

Lots to sort out once business opens as usual tomorrow.  Fridge may very well have to be taken away for repairs thank goodness the guarantee is still valid.

Elvis is leaving the building

Finally third time lucky Elvis is finally leaving the building in the form of a booked taxi to Heathrow this evening.  I have already checked in online and hopefully this unusually cold weather and threatening snow will not cause any delays.  Come hell or high water I am getting on that flight back to the shiny new life awaiting me patiently in the Pearl of the Orient.

Just to rub it in I have checked the weather in HK when I land on Friday late afternoon and it is mostly sunny and at a user friendly temperature of 21 degrees C.  Not too hot, not too cold and I escape the misery of the coldest winter for 100 years that has been bandied about for some time by the ever cheerful weather forecasters.  It may not crying wolf this time as it was sleeting briefly yesterday and I could feel that unforgiving chill factor and the cold seeping into my every pore.

For the last couple of days I have been packing and repacking and weighing the checked in luggage to be just under 20kg as I am not sure how reliable the ancient scales are.  I don’t want to risk paying for extortionate excess baggage.  Have also been culling from the hand luggage and had hoped I could get away with a cabin suitcase, a big leather satchel type and a laptop bag.  But that may be pushing it as it clearly states in Cathay Pacific’s free baggage allowance that only one cabin size case and one other item like a handbag or laptop, the operative word being or.  So I will have to err on the side of caution and obey the strict rules and abandon the laptop bag.  The chosen one, the satchel is brand new and genuine leather and will assist in my new professional image as teacher supremo.  Well, that’s the plan.  Who knows, as I have discovered to my cost the last 3 months in London, plans are for fools; just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water …

I return to HK with some trepidation and worry if I will be able to slot back into the manic pace and conservative culture quickly and easily or would I have gone back to square one like when I first landed back in April?  I had only just acclimatised to the hot humid climate and the way of life and then I was summoned back and all the rest is history.  I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.  No doubt my plants have died and my clothes may have gone mouldy as the dehumidifying gadgets have run their course …

Ah well at least the dogs will be glad to see me, I’ll be back to feed them day and night and buy them treats.  Well they are security and they are very dedicated and work as a team and there is nothing as a free lunch, not even from canines.

Today I want to go and lay some flowers on Mum’s grave and say goodbye and have a little chat with her about what is going on with me and how I miss her and love her.


I see you

in the rising sun

glow of the moon

i hear you

in children’s laughter

roar of the sea

i taste you

in chinese medicine soup

white rabbit sweets

i smell you

in fallen rose petals

newly steamed rice

I feel you

sunlight on my face

in the reflection of my soul



Truth yours or mine

Truth yours or mine

trouble with lies

doubt creeps in

when telling the

truth cry wolf

comes to mind


Truth yours or mine

open to interpretation
evidence black and white
stacks against you

I don’t want to believe
give anything to be wrong

Truth yours or mine

absolute does it exist
real fake true or false
multiple choice
mask on off show time

let’s put on the game face

Truth yours or mine

partners in crime

or real love

proven in time

soul sold for a dime

to wine and dine

Truth yours or mine

do you know


easier to swallow

beg steal or borrow

no worries tomorrow

Truth yours or mine

never assume
trust no one not me not you

web of lies

impossible to untangle

i forget


yours or mine

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