Tuesday 27 September 2011


I am lucky enough to have true, loyal friends, lovely (if ma fan) children, an awesome husband, a place to live in one of the world's greatest cities....doesn't sound enormously problematic does it? And yet...

I am still feeling rather empty. Maybe it's the Prozac, maybe it's the twin thing, maybe it's making such a momentous life change so far from home. Maybe it's the way that the concept of "home" has become a lot more relative than it used to be.

What do you say when people ask where you are from? When we arrived in Hong Kong, we used to tell people that we were from London, because that's what most people expect, and of course everyone knows London. Naturally about 50% of the people who asked us thought we were America, Australian or even German, but that's another story.

Now it's harder. Travelling in Asia from Hong Kong, saying "we're from Hong Kong" often prompts a double take - no one expects to hear that from a pair of peely wally gweilos. "London" is usually the easiest response, at least it's easier than "Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, about 30 miles north east of London" which is where we last lived.

What does home mean? These days I often reply that I grew up in the South of England, I guess that's enough. What do people want to know when they ask where you're from? I suppose they want to find some common ground (most people here have a relative who has studied / is studying in London) or maybe they just want a point of reference to try and help them to pigeon hole you.  So perhaps I should just say I'm...hang on, English? British? from the UK? or even from UK, as Chinglish would have it? Then everyone would know that I like to eat crisps with my lunch, and say "lots" instead of "heaps" and have a tendency to drink too much gin occasionally.

Thomas, Felix and Josh at Kiddy Village

I freakin' love Kiddy Village. It's in Taikoo, so it's a little way away - about half an hour by MTR. It just opened in June or July 2011 so it's all sparkling clean. They have a good area for little kids (including a playhouse - the boys like to open and close the wall, rather than just the door) as well as a fairly large soft play area. There's a trampoline, a couple of slides that swoosh down into a big deep ball pit, a room full of balloons, and loads of obstacles and swinging things and little cars to ride in. The boys love it too, and it's only $70, which is a bargain compared to Wise Kids' $120, especially when you are taking two kids....So that's our destination of choice these days, I just wish I had found out about it earlier in the summer.

We're still going to My Kiddy Gym in Causeway Bay. We didn't go one week, as we were in Phuket, but going again today actually reminded me of how good it makes me feel, as well as the boys. They are generally (touch wood) well behaved, happy and co-operative, and I am always so enormously proud of them. Even if there's something they don't want to do, they are usually ok about it, as long as they're not forced, they're relatively quiet while they wait. We have heard quite a few complaints about Mr Reggie unfortunately - lots of mums (and helpers, judging from what Vergenia has heard in Tagalog) feel that it is not appropriate for him to discipline children. Firstly, it's not a school, it's supposed to be fun. Secondly, they are often only 12-18 months old! they just don't understand. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, I don't think it's ok for someone to discipline your kids unless you know what they are doing and agree with their approach. Most of the time the carers at Kiddy Gym are helpers, not parents, who may not have the confidence to object to the disciplining....that's why I always go with V and the boys, I want to be there if it all kicks off!

Monday 26 September 2011

Saturday 17 September 2011

Wednesday 7 September 2011

T minus 24 hours!

Off to Phuket tomorrow night with Brooke Nath and Aiden. Can't wait, I think we are all in dire need of a break. Vergenia and Doreen are coming so there might actually be the opportunity for a break!
We're going to the Outrigger - I did the choosing and booking which always makes me nervous...if the place is rubbish I'll feel it's my fault.
Anyway, packing has commenced!