Thursday, 29 March 2012
Nearly finished! My Assistant insisted I was photographed 'working' !
From the Peak
Note the Straw Fans on the ceiling!
Here I sit at the table of judgement, so to speak, for the very last time! In 38, under 16
boy's time, I will be a free woman, longing for rest, recuperation, and a cup of strong
Scottish tea ! I cannot tell you how good it feels to be on the very last leg. I even treated
myself to a pineapple ice cream from the little garage shop near the SKH Church, as a
celebration of the end in sight.
I suppered with two married adjudicators from Iowa US last night, and we sat around the
table at the Indian Restaurant looking as if we had been steam rollered, and then swept up
and dropped inside the nearest waste paper bin.
I cannot even begin to explain how near dropping point I am. Even some of the vibrant
young American chaps who have seemed from the first, like bouncing puppies, looked
washed out and delicate. This time it was not from an superfluity of alcohol !
The weather is lovely, sunny and about 22 degrees without too much humidity, so a fitting
climate to remember Hong Kong by. Even if it is one of only about 3 such perfect days in 5
Finished ! Finished ! Finished !
Over 2400 scripts later, a sore thumb and first finger muscle, but I got there. The relief is awesome, in the true sense of the word, not in the teenage meaning of anything approaching OK !
I feel both elated and numb, all at the same time. Actually I was picked up at around 4.40pm, having finished in good time, and after picking up one other adjudicator at her venue, we then proceeded, due to bad communication on whose part I know not, to wait in the car for one and a half hours for the two delightful ladies judging chamber ensembles, and who had repeatedly told their assistant they would finish very late, and the transport needed to be altered accordingly. The message never got through ? so sitting for all that time, shattered and sleepy, rather took the edge off the euphoria!
Still, after a little food and a drink with some other Mafeking Relieved adjudicators, the feeling of freedom came back with a Hong Kong 'rush' !
My last day I decided to take up the offer of the free trip which the Association pay for, so I boarded a Grayline bus for a Deluxe Hong Kong Tour. Actually, the reason I did it was that there were two places I wanted to see, and on a tour I only need to sit on a coach. Not think. Not move until told. Not Queue !
We first went up the Peak on the historic Tram, and as the weather was beautifully sunny and clear, it was a good day to do this trip. The whole of Hong Kong can be seen, and the amazing almost vertical tram line, feels as if one is being pulled up Everest by a strong cable, looking straight up to the sky I hoped and prayed the cable would hold. Of course it did, and so we reached the top, the souvenir shops, the cafes, where I had my lovely freshly 'smoothied' lychee and grapefruit drink, and the all important view. Gorgeous it was, although I expect everything is through rose tinted specs for me today!
We then went on to Aberdeen (!). Now all through tbhis visit we were hearing about the history of Hong Kong and the British colonialists. I have to tell you, almost every old colonial name for places and building and roads is most definitely Scottish!!
NB Aberdeen, the first place the British landed, and named it after their base!
etc etc etc
and almost all the girl's school uniforms from the lowliest state school to the most expensive private schools have a tarten as their skirt/pinafore/tie. I think many of the colonialists must have been intrepid Celts!
Over £700,000 for a tiny apartment in these areas of HK, the property prices are unbelievable! The views are lovely, and far removed from the city centre, but boy one would have to earn a mint to afford to live here. We had a ride on a Sampan around the harbour to see the fishing sampans and house sampans which still exist, albeit few nowadays. These may soon be gone, as the MTR are building a station to Aberdeen and the fear is that much of the sea from the Typhoon Shelter to the shore will be reclaimed for many more apartment buildings, towering ever higher up the mountainside.
I had a wonderful lunch, over looking the sea. The tour ended at Stanley, and I opted to leave there and find my own way back, so I wandered in the sunshine and breeze to the oldest colonial building in the area which is now a maritime museum. Here there was a lovely restaurant where I treated my self to a hard earned lunch, and sat like a gentlewoman of 1900 on a balcony with the raffia fans still in place for cooling, being served by discreet and quiet waiters in very smart outfits.
Crab cakes, Lemongrass Curry, Fresh Fruits Pannacotta and a fine Coffee.
Now I am really finished.
I fly tomorrow and land in blighty 11 hours thereafter.
A few days in the South to recover from jetlag over the weekend, then home, in two hops of a well travelled bunny, by Tuesday..................................................
The Old and the New