Tuesday 16 August 2011

Some awesome toys that the boys are LOVING at the moment

The boys are now 15 1/2 months old, and they have spent the last decade (maybe it just feels like that, it was probably a few weeks) opening doors, trapping their fingers in doors, headbutting coffee tables and trying to pull the TV off the shelf. But FINALLY they have got very interested in a few toys - and what's more they were mostly pretty cheap, what more could you want?! I definitely didn't have enough primary coloured plastic in my life, but the boys are doing their best to remedy that.

I think they are a little bit behind some of our friends' kids, who are trying to say a few words, and following instructions quite well, but Josh and Felix are seriously fit and strong! they run around all day and love piggyback rides.

One thing I love they love is a very cute toy farm that I got from the Early Learning Centre on sale (yes!) They're really into HappyLand stuff, now they have Goosefeather Farm, the double decker bus, and a little fire station. I've also got them a few more books recently. It's funny to see which ones they like - Dear Zoo and Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? are still faves, but the stupidly expensive Noisy Noisy Parp and the Night Garden are popular too because they make sounds. Also Josh really likes one with a whirly wheel at the end, which I thought was a bit crap. Oh well, each to their own.

We went for a little walk yesterday along the harbourfront, east from Victoria Park. There's a reason it's off the beaten tourist track! On the road opposite our house (Yun Ping Road) there's Cartier, Chanel, Tod's, Van Cleef and Arpels, Miu Miu, Gucci and all manner of other, equally useful high-end designer shops. Most of the time I am at work, at home, or at other people's houses for playdates. So walking along the harbour front was interesting (and hot - I got a bit burnt in half an hour). We saw a tiny little boat, just 5 feet long maybe, which was being propelled by an old lady standing at the back, waggling the thing that looks like a punting pole backwards and forwards, which mysteriously makes the boat move. Anyway, she was ferriyng another old lady, holding her umbrella, from one of the bigger boats in the Typhoon Shelter over to the shore. I never would have guessed that there are several sets of stone steps up from the harbour so you can climb onto the path which is next to the highway.

There's a confetti of "Poisonous rodent bait has been laid in this area" notices along the path and fence, but I figured that such bright sunlight would probably drive the rats away. The path is weird, it's like a parallel universe to the bright lights of Hysan Avenue, just a couple of blocks away. I would say it's run down, but there's not much there to run down. There are strange little shacks, which seem to be suspended out over the water, miraculously hanging there. There are all sorts of discarded bits and pieces in the water, mostly old tyres and ropes. And a little way along towards Tai Hang there's a little kiosk-y thing that is the only structure that looks inhabited, called something like "Causeway Bay Water Selling Hut". Bizarre. A little further along, in the shade of a bridge, several groups of old men were playing cards. I think our unexpected appearance made their day - silence fell as the gweipo, the Filippina and two blond babies approached. Towards the end of the path, before it turned into a pavement leading into Tin Hau, was a large fenced off area, marked as Government property. On the sprawling tree just inside the fence sat about a hundred fat grey pigeons, all sunning themselves before the warmth faded.

Anyway, on the way home through Tin Hau we passed lots of those little everything shops, which often have a few toys. I spent about HK$100 buying the boys some little ink stamps, some Thomas the Tank Engine stickers, a TtTE jigsaw puzzle, and a bouncy ball which lights up and flashes. I don't think I need to tell you which was the favourite! Also we went to Wellcome, the skankiest supermarket in the world which is always inexplicably filled with Western models - seems an unlikely place to buy toys, but Annie told me she got some plastic fruit and veg there that sticks together with velcro, and you can "cut" it open with the knife provided. I also got an equally cheapo thing that is a set of stacking cups that make a kind of tower which you then throw plastic rings over, a la Westwell Village Fete circa 1985. Both of those have proved pretty popular.

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