Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tall men are great

Two men both around 6ft tall, have volunteered to 'escort' me through a rather busy area tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I'm cold, the inside heating is non existant and there is no insulation. The walls are cement and the floors are wooden. There are lots and lots of windows.

So this evening I did something for the first time, I made myself a cup of hot chocolate. Up till this point I have always stood by the following statements.

I don't now nor have I ever liked milk*
I don't drink hot drinks.
I don't like the smell of warm milk

So obviously I've never drunk a hot chocolate, but when I was in the UK last summer I did notice that my niece was drinking things that looked more like dessert than a drink, they had cream and flakes and marshmallows in, but I was still not tempted. Till tonight.

But tonight I was cold and I spotted a packet of mini marshmallows. And I had some rather posh hot chocolate powder left over from Christmas. So now I've got something to wrap my hands around, and do you know what, its actually rather nice! Great just what I needed, a new vice!

*The ONE exception to that was a Tootsies** butterscotch milkshake with extra butterscotch - yummm
** Can't find the link at the moment, but I will!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A bundle of bloggers

So next week I'm heading off to Thailand for some R&R followed by a work 'thing', all paid for by the new boss.
I'll be seeing my good friend Madame Chiang and also keeping an eye out for the 2 dodgy expats from Singapore.

Not the best of starts to a Sunday

I lay in bed for too long this morning, my mind wandering into areas which were not helpful or productive. In fact I wandered into the area of 'what difference am I making in my world?" and the answer was none. From this I very quickly travelled down through the stages of sadness, futility and despair.
I moved into the 'when would be the best time to just disappear', my affairs are not really in order so it would be a hassle for those left to sort out admin if I left just now, but if I hang around for a few more weeks then my Baby Girl will be here and there is no way I'd want her to have to deal with the aftermath. So then if I plan for my demise after she has gone back to the UK, that would make more sense. But then again that could leave her with feelings of guilt that she left me when I so very much wanted to stay. ~sigh~ I can't do that too her.
So it looks like I'll stay around for a bit longer, unless I can find a cause worth dying for. If I could swap my health for my sister then I'd do it in an instant. I just don't seem to have a cause worth living for at the moment.

And then I got up, had a long hot shower, washed my hair, got dressed, had some breakfast and those thoughts moved just a little bit further to the back of my mind.
Note to self: Sometimes I think too much.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The one in the middle

A few days ago I received an email from my elder sibling, it was addressed to my younger sib, his wife and myself, in it she told us some very upsetting news about her health. She wanted to make sure that we all knew at the same time. The sort of news that is hard to hear, the sort of news that is very hard to reply to. But (of course) I did, I replied with the 'so sorry to hear this', 'let me know if I can help' and 'I love you' lines and followed it up with a phone call to her today. We chatted for a long time about everything in her life, decisions she is having to make about her daughters future and what medical tests were going to be taken over the next week. She also said that neither my brother or his wife had replied to her email, and the she was "cut to the quick" that they didn't make even the smallest effort on hearing her news. We talked a while longer about different situations and family members and ended up saying goodbye reasonably happily.

Then I called my brother, we chatted for a while about this and that. Holidays, diving and moving home, just general news. Then I asked if he'd read his sisters email, he said that yes he had, but didn't know what to reply. I offered a few suggestions, to which he mumbled that yes he probably should. Then said he was just too busy to get online much these days. At this point I reminded him that thanks to Facebook news feed I knew how often he snatched a moment during his day to do a movie quiz, post some photos or send some pokes around and that he should spend 2 minutes sending a message of care to his sister.

Seriously I wonder how it is that I'm the only one in my family that takes the time and effort to make contact with anyone, is it that everyone else is married and therefore doesn't care about their blood family anymore? My siblings are 12 years apart in age and have very little in common with each other, and both of them seem to be happy to let each other drift away - yet I am so close to both of them and adore them with all my heart. And sometimes it really makes me sad that they don't share that love with each other - especially as they only live 2 hours drive from one another.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Baby Girl

My baby girl is leaving the UK for a few months, coming to visit me and we will be taking a little trip together around Asia.
I've spent the last few hours putting together some plans for our travels, we're both very excited and looking forward to being together again. But oh I wish she would hurry up and confirm her flight date leaving the UK, I know that if I book anything before she does then it will have to be changed.

On a scale of 1 to 10, having her with me will put me at about an 11.

As you can see from the photo, I taught her how to bake at a very early age, so it will be grand to have someone to play with in the kitchen.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Going home to Hong Kong

This weekend I was in a city I made home, this weekend I was somewhere that was familiar, vibrant and exciting and even better I got to share the fantastic place with some great new friends.

It's really brought home to me how the new place I live is not yet somewhere I am confident in. There is the safety factor in Hong Kong, that at any time* I can make the decision to go home and walk only a few yards before finding a taxi which will take me safely and easily home.

There is the 'in the know' factor, that I can spin out a dozen places I'd LIKE to go and drink and eat in, depending on my mood and the tone of the evening.

I had a fantastic time this weekend, my friends have all said that they saw a different side to me, the exuberant confident woman that few have seen up till now during social situations.

But, and this is the biggest thing for me to remember, I do NOT regret leaving Hong Kong. It's a wonderful city, a place where I grew into a different person, a city I happily will return to many many more times in the future but now its time to move on.

On Saturday morning I woke up slowly, I flexed my ankles, my calves, taking an inventory of my body as I remembered the dancing in my knee high boots for 7 hours. Stretching out my toes and torso feeling all those wonderful muscles which moved me so gracefully** across the dance floor, on the bar, on the tables and in the street. My eyes opened - the first thing I saw was a very obviously not mine item of clothing strewn across the back of a chair. A very obviously item of clothing that belongs to a flirty Frenchman.

And then, after just a few seconds I remembered that at some point in the evening I had changed into his shirt*** because I was feeling too hot in the top I was wearing - on the dance floor. ~sigh~

Yes, much fun was had this weekend in Hong Kong. Hope yours was fun too.

* Say 4:22am perhaps


*** very discreetly no doubt ~ahem~

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hurrah Hurrah

I'm leaving the apartment at 8:00am and heading off to Hong Kong tomorrow, hip hip hurrah.
It's going to be quite odd because I'm travelling with a few new friends - showing them the high lights of my favourite city in the world. Far too much alcohol will be consumed and a bundle of laughs all wrapped up in some brand new memories.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Oh its been a long time since I was tagged - but here goes thanks to DGNY

I have to write 7 things I approve of.

Tactileness: Sometimes the only thing that makes a bad day bearable is warm arms wrapped around you.

Lush: Especially the jasmine scented lines, slipping into a deep bath filled with soft bubbles and gorgeous scent is a real treat.

Books: Curling up with a good book, one of my all time favourite past times.

Kitchens: In my dreams one day my kitchen will be the heart of the home, for now its somewhere that I can nurture friends and loved ones AND have heaps of fun!

Sci-fi: From Blakes 7 to Battlestar Gallactica and everything in between, I love Sci-fi!

Curly Wurlys (& many more types of chocolate): But it has to be British Cadburys.

Something soft, silky and utterly sexy which sometimes only you know about just makes a difference under those sensible work clothes. And if someone else knows, then all then even better.

So - who to tag, well here we go

Favourite lines from recent emails

"You may have had sun but I had the Irish to party with."

"You just put a lovely big smile on my face and you are 1000s of miles away. Now that's something special"

"Oh my god oh my god oh my god! XXXXXXXXXX?! WAHHHHH! I literally can't believe you just casually dropped that into the conversation! Crikey me, I think I'm going to have to go and have a lie down before I even think about trying to reply to your email. I'm so excited!!!"

3 very different people replying to 3 very different emails, but oh I love them. ~sigh~

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Expectations of honesty

Peter and I had briefly dated back in London, his sister was a really good friend of mine and she did all she could to warn me off him - saying he was a total player and ran around misbehaving - but he wooed me, sent me V Day cards with poems hand written inside, was so tactile that I was never short of hugs and kisses, sent me plants (he knew I liked them more than flowers*) he persuaded me for quite a while until he caught me - then after a whirl wind romance for 4 months, we lots of great weekend away, we broke up. But I was ok about it, I had gone into the whole thing with my eyes open and was fully briefed by his sister. It all ended well enough that I was able to spend special celebrations with my friend and her family without any awkwardness. We did truly remain friends - as much for his sisters sake as our own.
Years later we had lost touch, I'd moved to Hong Kong and Peter had got married, had a 2 year old daughter and another baby due in 3 more months. This I only knew because his sister and I exchanged occasional emails.

I took a phone call one Thursday, it was Peter, calling from Heathrow airport - he and his wife and child were travelling to Australia - to live for a year - they both worked for an airline so were on standby tickets and had just been told they would have a flight via Hong Kong - was I going to be free for breakfast on Saturday morning? They would have 12 hours to pass at the airport and did I fancy coming to meet up?
I said yes, I went out to the airport and had breakfast with them, they had arrived late the night before and Peter's wife was 6 months pregnant, with a toddler and exhausted.
She went back to the hotel room for another nap after breakfast and Peter and I took the toddler to the playpark area. Peter told me that as far as his wife knew, I was just a friend of his and his sisters - it was in fact his sister who had mentioned me being in Hong Kong. I laughed and said that was fine by me, in fact I did think of myself as 'just a friend' rather than anything else towards him - and that was that. A few hours passed and we said goodbye - he headed back to the hotel to gather up all their luggage and head back to the check in desk. I walked away thinking how nicely things had worked out for them.

4 hours later I got a phone call from Peter. He said that there hadn't been enough standby tickets for the 3 of them, so he had sent his wife and toddler on to Australia and he would take the flight the next day. Could he crash at my place on the Saturday night. he'd been to HK before so he was happy doing his own thing.

He's a friend right? So I said yes but that I had a date lined up so he could crash at my place but that if he wanted to go out and about he'd be on his own - he was happy enough with that plan - after all he wanted to explore what HK had to offer to a single looking guy. (this should have been my warning flag #1) I gave him my address and he dropped off his bags, gave him a spare key and made up the spare room and was showered and ready for a night out long before my date showed up.
We went our separate ways, I had a fun night out with my date and Peter no doubt had a good night in Wanchai. I never heard him come in, but it was after me and that was about 3am, so I didn't rush to wake him too early. But when it got to about 10am and he hadn't surfaced I woke him as I knew he'd have to get out to the airport to get his next flight. He told me he'd phoned in** and there wasn't a flight for him then either so was it ok if he stayed another day.
He checked his messages to find one from his wife, she'd been diverted to another airport due to bad weather so had had to hire a car and drive herself and child and luggage (in the terrible weather) to the town where they had a rented house waiting for them - 7 hours drive away. This sounded awful for the poor woman, but Peter seemed in no hurry to join her. In fact he lounged around the apartment for ages before announcing that he was going to head out into Wanchai on Sunday afternoon. Apparently he'd been talking to some guys on Saturday night who told him all about the situation that is HK on a Sunday afternoon - a huge amount of young Filipino/Thai/Indonesian maids use their one day off a week to hang out at bars in the hopes of having some fun with their friends, and if they could pick up some paying western men for the afternoon then all the better. Anyone that's lived in HK for even a month knows that these part time prostitutes have a terrible life with their employers and this is their one ticket out of the drudgery they face week in and week out. The majority of the drinking and the pay for play goes on before 7pm as most of these ladies have to be back at their employers homes for curfew.

So off Peter went to Wanchai, I had invited him to join me at a brunch I was having with friends, but he wasn't interested. I got home about 3pm and was reading the sunday papers on the sofa when I heard his key in the door, I also heard giggling of the female kind.
He walked into my apartment with a bar girl he'd picked up. He brought a whore into my home to screw her. He was surprised to see me, but just said that he'd just come back for an hour or so and they would be gone again. I stood there for a second dumbfounded.
And then very calmly I told him that under no circumstances would he be setting one more foot into my home. He was to leave now and take his guest with him. I then walked into his room, grabbed his bag and handed it to him and told him that he was no longer welcome in my home.
He tried to argue the matter with me but I ignored him and asked the woman to leave - as she stood at the door putting her boots back on*** I asked her if she cared that he was a married man with children. I was of course wasting my breath - she just shrugged at me and said she didn't care - it was just money, not love so it was ok.
They left.
As they did my phone rang, it was my brother, he knew Peter quite well as they'd met on many occasions over the years and being the upright honest bloke that he is, he was just as disgusted with him as I was. When I said to my sib "why is this upsetting me so much" he came out with a very wise answer which I've never forgotten "Because if things had turned out differently between you and Peter, it could have been you that he was messing around on - and you have expectations of honesty from men that you care about" We talked for a while and he calmed me down, then I went to make myself some supper.
Then the doorbell rang, Peter was back. It had only been about 20 mins since he'd left so I pressume he just dropped her back in Wanchai then came home. He wasn't drunk - not that that is an excuse to screw around on your wife and children. I opened the door to him and he begged me to let him stay.
I've never spoken to anyone with such disgust in my voice as I did that evening, I told him that he could literally sleep here and that was that. I didn't want to speak to him or see him. He came in and went to hug me - I said the words that to someone like me who is the most tactile person I know I thought I'd never say - I said "don't touch me, you are vile" .
At this point he finally realised my white cold anger, my disgust at his behaviour, the sorrow I felt for his wife, the pain I felt due to his actions. He begged me literally on his knees not to tell his wife or his sister. I told him to get away from me. And he did. He sat and watched the TV for a few hours then went online and booked and paid for a flight out of Hong Kong.

The next day I took the morning off work, I didn't trust him in my apartment alone. He left at about 10am and he and I have never spoken or seen each other since.

And even after that rude awakeing, I still have expectations of honesty from men that I care about.

* not that I don't like getting flowers - I really do!
** later he admitted that he hadn't even bothered calling the airline.
*** Yes he'd had the consideration to get the whore to take her shoes off!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2nd time around

Last week I tried out my first attempt at a new dessert.

Today I tweaked it a little more

3/4 cup of caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons of Cointreau
6 tablespoons of orange juice
Small amount of chocolate

Beat together the cheese and sugar until thick and pale.
Add Cointreau and orange juice, beat again.
Fill small martini glasses (makes 6) & chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Grate chocolate on top and serve with a small spoon

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Perfect Bath

LTT illuminated bathtub

Updated for 2008

I thought I'd do my version of the perfect bath. Please note this is just how I do it and should not be considered definitive in anyway ~grin~


Make sure there is enough hot water for your needs, in my case this involves putting on the water heater a full 15 mins ahead of water running time.
Have 1 large soft fluffy warm towel, 1 smaller soft fluffy towel, 1 large fluffy robe and 1 decent sized soft foot mat.
Bathroom warm.
Soft lighting, perhaps a few candles or just the light over the sink.
Music set up to play for at least 60 mins
Choice of Lush bath time products - current favorite are Turbo Bar and Fairy Jasmine
A book - my current bath time reading is Little Birds
Moisturiser bar - Fever.
Dusting powder - Silky Underwear


Set water to run, what works best for me is running only the hot water for exactly 20 minutes, the hot actually runs out after 15 mins and is then topped up with cool water for the last 5.

Turn off water, light candles, turn on music, turn off all phones then drop in one Fairy Jasmine.

Tie long hair up softly on the top of your head, undress and step into a beautiful soft jasmine scented bath - with sparkles.

Turn on the hot tap (which by now has fully reheated) and crumble one half of a Turbo Bar under the water, let the bubbles grow and cover the surface of the bath and the water level rise just enough so that you can submerge your body up to the neck and enjoy the sensation of the delicious water.

Lay there for as long as you need to.

Reach for a book if you wish or just let your mind relax.

After perhaps a long while as the water begins to slightly cool, wash body carefully, making sure that all corners are taken care of.

Pull out the plug, letting the water drain away.

Turn on shower head and rinse any remanding soap or bubbles from your body.

Reach for large warm towel and wrap it around your body, step out of bath on to floor mat - then dry body, again making sure that all areas are carefully attended to.

Moisturise body thoroughly with the Fever bar and a dash of Silky Underwear

Wrap in fluffy robe and retire to the bedroom, leaving a gentle scent of jasmine behind you.

Night ..............

4 times by midnight

At 4 different times today I've had the wonderful flush of being filled with joy and happiness. Honestly who could ask for anything more.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The mess

Even though I only turned my TV on for 20 mins in the last 12 hours I've been unable to escape the madness that has happened in the Spears household.

A friend just sent me this YouTube link - seriously have the snap happy idiots (I hesitate to call them journalists) got a clue? It's Princess Diana all over again, who is going to have to die next as a result of their actions?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gift in the spring time, pays off in the winter

Last night I had a perfectly gorgeously warm snugly sleep. And its all thanks to Seven Seas.

Last year he gave me something that I thought was very thoughtful, last night I used it for the first time in my new apartment and it was perfect.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


A few days ago I caught a documentary on TV about a group of people who suffer from Prosopagnosia. I half watched it* then thought no more about it till this morning.

This morning I lay in bed thinking about where 2007 has taken me and about the new people in my life and it suddenly dawned on me that I have a problem. I couldn't remember what any of my new friends look like.

I don't have Prosopagnosia = Face blindness, as described here

But what I do have is an inability to visualise faces when they are not in front of me, I recognise people when I meet them, I recognise them in photos, I'm good with names and I usually remember who is who. BUT if I try to visualise someone's face I can't do it.

This morning I tested myself.

My parents, my siblings, lovers and colleagues from my past - they are all just shapes.

I can tell you that my brother is about 5ft 8 - because this is a fact that I've been told, that he is a lot slimmer than he used to be - because we've had conversations about weight loss and he has dark brown hair but as to what his face looks like - I can't say. As I type this I glance over my desk to a photograph of the 2 of us together and I smile at my darling brother.

I know which of my past lovers had facial hair, long, short or shaved heads, which were tall enough to envelope me in their arms and which were not. But without looking at past photos I struggle to visualise their faces - apart from 2.

1) He gave me a pencil line drawing he'd had done of himself, the picture was framed and hung on my wall for over 2 years. I can 'see' that drawing when I think of him.

2) The man who for 5 years held my heart in his grasp while he toyed and played with me. I can 'see' his face in a certain photo taken at my birthday party.

Then I started to try and remember the people I have worked with over the last few years, the people who I have spent hours and hours with. I know what colour hair they have, the styles they wear and their height. But again I can't 'see' their faces.

So I thought about my new colleagues and friends, again I can see their hair colour, styles and height, but can't see their faces - its as if they are just visible out of the corner of my eye, yet when I turn and look straight at them there is nothing there.

But the scariest moment of all came when I tried to visualise my own face. Yes I know I've got green eyes, I've got freckles and long curly hair. But I can't see my own face. I jumped out of bed and ran to the mirror.

So I've spent the first half of the first day of 2008 looking up different information** on the web, whilst its scary actually facing (ho ho) up to this its also a bit of a relief to realise I'm not the only person who struggles from this sort of thing. I'm lucky that I know who people are when I see them and this doesn't affect my day to day life.

What I do find interesting is that I've lived my whole life without realising I had this 'thing' going on, I wonder if I've always been this way? I wonder if this is the reason I have surrounded myself with photos of loved ones. I wonder if I can tell people in the real world.

*I was preparing dinner for 12 at the time.
** One point was that people with this 'thing' often don't bother wearing make up - after all why bother when its something we don't pay much attention too. Thats me!