Wednesday 30 March 2011

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Walking tall, playing games, stranger danger and BIRTHDAY!

Joshy took his first few unaided steps last Wednesday, just before he turned 11 months. Then Felix walked too on the Friday - their 11 month birthday. Ever since then, it's non-stop, Josh especially wants to walk ALL the time (why crawl?!) and they are progressing so much every day. Today when I came home from work (and got clambered on) Josh was already walking from sofa to bookshelf to window sill, instead of cruising around. I'm very impressed.

They have also started playing games - Felix loves peekaboo, I say "Where's Felix?" and he lifts up the muslin or towel or whatever over his head, then he drops it down again so I say "Peekaboo!" He does it again and again....very sweet! He also played a little game this morning - I rolled the ball to him, he picked it up and put it in the cup he was holding, shook it around for a bit, then took the ball out and gave it to me. Repeat again and again......

Josh has had a few issues recently with people other than me, Ross or Vergenia. Especially if there are a few people around, he gets very upset if we try to give him to someone else to hold, even if it's someone that he knows really well and has played with a thousand times. It's odd. Felix is having his own Mummy issues (although really he's totally Daddy's boy) because if I carry Josh, Felix wants in on the action so he grabs at my legs and screams until I pick him up too. They're almost 10kg each now, so it's quite a load!

The boys' birthday is coming up soon, on Easter Monday, so Ross suggested that we should have an Easter themed party, so Cath and I went crazy in the cake decorating section of City Super last night. We're going to go all Easter on their asses. Bunnies and chicks aplenty.

Tuesday 22 March 2011



The boys at the park

Post lasik

My eyes this morning, about 15 hours after the lasik op.

Monday 21 March 2011

The view from Ross's office this morning, through cloud


Couldn't have done it without help from Vergenia, teletubbies and dummies

Friday 18 March 2011

Race Course Fire Memorial

For a while now we have been trying to reach this. There was a terrible fire at the Happy Valley Race Course in 1918, which killed over 500 people. Although the pictures are sadly missing, this page does quote The Hongkong Daily Press, from Wednesday 27th February 1918. The tone of the article is astonishing, it's a reminder of how differently the English language was used not so long ago. E.g....

There was a terrible crush, everyone struggled to save himself, Children were swept hither and thither, and I fear that several of them must have been trampled to death. The sheds had three storey’s. People who were on the top storey managed to force their way through the roof, and were seen crawling on top of it in hundreds endeavouring to escape. Pandemonium prevailed, and cries of “save life!” were heard in all directions. Those in the lower sheds were entombed in the debris, but a few managed to crawl out to safety.

The fire was got under at about 6p.m. The charred human remains were carted away by coolies of the Sanitary Board for burial. It is impossible to say how many were burned to death – probably this will never be known – but I think I am right when I state that the deaths number fully five hundred.

The victims of the fire were buried in the So Kun Po cemetery (So Kun Po is the name of the valley we live in, but there's no cemetery here any more) and in 1920 the authorities built the memorial, which now looks totally overgrown and neglected.

The memorial is up on the hill behind the Hong Kong Stadium, and there are a couple of paths to it - one of them leads from the paved area right outside the stadium (it's a flight of stairs at the far left, as you look at the stadium, but it's currently blocked off as they are renovating the steps) and the other is a path which leads off Eastern Hospital Road in between the car park and the Tung Wah hospital.

There are some photos of the memorial on Flickr. (thanks to fung1981)

馬場先難友紀念碑 Race Course Fire Memorial

I also found out last night, while researching the memorial and the valley in general, that a squatter camp was build on the side of the valley, known as Wesley Village. There's a bit more about it on Gwulo, a fantastic site about old Hong Kong, complete with excellent photographs. Maybe I'll write more about that later.

Update - almost 11 months old

The boys' development just doesn't stop! They are getting around all over the place now, both crawling really well all over the new, improved, expanded baby zone. All of Mummy and Daddy's AV equipment and other valuable items (eg remote controls) have moved to a height of three feet or more.

The fave game at the moment is to take all the plastic balls from the second shelf of the bookcase, and move them up to the third shelf, which they can't really reach. Then they screech until the balls fall back down's joyful.

Felix can balance really well on his own, but has not taken any steps yet. I try to encourage him by moving back so he can't grab onto me, and has to take a step to reach me...unfortunately he just takes a deep breath and falls forward, totally confident that I will catch him (which I do of course)

We took them to Wise Kids in Causeway Bay yesterday, which was quite good fun. There's no class, just 1 1/2 hour sessions in their padded playroom, for HK$120 per child. There are lots of toys around - Felix loved playing the Tolo toy trumpet, not least because when he made a sound everyone turned to look and clap (he's quite the performer that one). They also loved a wooden climbing frame with a little tunnel. The tunnel had holes in the sides, and they were mesmerized by me appearing somewhere, then somewhere else, then somewhere else, then sticking my finger through the hole etc ad nauseam. There was another little (Chinese) boy there called Oliver who was with his granny. I think he was about 5. His granny was totally engrossed in her Nintendo DS so she didn't play with him or talk to him at all. Luckily, the staff there are lovely and they played with him lots, so he was soon giggling away.

The photos are rather blurry unfortunately. That might have something to do with the fact that my phone is frequently used as a teething aid.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

The boys get a present from the UK

Thank you Granny, Granddad and Auntie Sam! these are perfect, just what we need for our little trip to Phuket.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Felix at a trial playgroup

We took Felix to My Kiddy Gym in the China Taiping Building in Causeway Bay, just opposite our building. We had a good time - Felix enjoyed it, although he tried hard to look unimpressed. It was a well structured class, with a good fast pace so they didn't get bored on anything, and the babies did lots of things that they wouldn't be able to do at home, like balance on beams, crawl inside a huge dome, bounce on an inflatable air track...Also the staff were friendly and interested, and were obviously watching how Felix got on, and reacting appropriately. It was good! Better than Rolly Pollies I think.

He enjoyed it even though he was a bit too tired really.

Monday 7 March 2011

Wednesday 2 March 2011

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Water water nowhere

Two water mains have burst today, one turned Wong nai Chung road into a river, and the other has crippled wan chai. So once again we have no water. The streets are paved with stressed looking chefs and hotel bell boys pushing trolleys loaded with precariously balanced, open topped water barrels. Right now I am at the gym, and outside is a big blue water dept tanker, doling out water to the good citizens of cwb

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