Even in the context of our pretty crazy schedule this weekend was busy. But productive. Shivs and girls have been in the UK for a week looking at schools and staying with Noodle. I arrived Saturday morning – late due to an enormous storm in HK that delayed all the flights – and was further delayed in baggage claim and again in the Avis office due to the Bank Holiday weekend. They are always busy over the holidays. Shame they don’t resource appropriately. Not surprised.
Hired a Renault Megane – not bad, pretty car but nothing like as good a drive as the Focus I had last month which, despite the ordinary looks of the revised model, still drives a dream.
Headed off to Wiltshire, shopped for a lawnmower – and wow has technology moved on since we had a 14” Suffolk Punch when I was a kid. That one was evil: you could adjust the speed and it would run away with you or over you if you weren’t careful.. the new ones have these namby pamby safety devices which mean if you let it go it stops. And you can’t adjust the speed. And it revs lower so it is a little quieter. I smell Euro influence here. Not happy. At least the french said “Non!”. I may have used different words, but the message would have been broadly similar.
Post mower purchase we headed to Devon and a decent dinner with the Autumn Haze menagerie and 9 hours kip after a decent scotch. Next day was furniture shopping day – not generally my forte it has to be said – but all went well with suites and carpets sourced. I celebrated by fitting a recharged battery to the Midget and taking her out with Brixton Boy for a pootle in the countryside. Wonderful – we found some super Devon lanes with grass in the middle of the road – the car ran faultlessly with the only blackspot being a closed Keepers Cottage so we were denied a beer en route.
Somehow we also found time to check out Willow House, which is now vacant and ready for our tenant on Wednesday which, coincidentally, is the day we move into the farmhouse…
Monday was equally busy, with another trip in the MG – couldn’t resist – and then a journey back to Wiltshire, via the shopping hell of Street factory outlet centre. Tip: never go there on a Bank Holiday Monday. Better tip: never go there. OK, having said that I did get a couple of things.. but HK$2,000 for a light waterproof jacket – supposedly discounted – was laughable. No sale.
Friday was something of a watershed for me. This is when it hit me that we are really moving. Why? Because I took my 911 to Kwai Chung and handed it over to the shippers. It is now officially on it’s way to the UK. But it will take 8 weeks.
The bit I don’t like is the worry about whether or not it will arrive in one piece. Will it be damaged? Will all the paintwork and TLC lavished on it in HK have been in vain? I don’t trust anyone – I have nightmares about the guys at the docks hooning around in it. My worry was compounded by the doom and gloom mechanic friend who warned me about shipping…” oh we had the dasboard ripped out of one car.. and the radio and seats etc. etc..
So I took precautions – in the form of a summary of photographs – which I have sent to the insurance co., the shippers and I’ll post one here for good measure. Doomy mechanic also provided an account of the cars condition and mileage… so I should be sleeping easy right?
Not until I see the car in the UK, with a new UK plate and I can do a bit of hooning about myself.
8 weeks is a long time.
Just when we thought we had enough on our plate with moving and all, the heavy rain in Hong Kong over the last few weeks has now destroyed the power supply to Clover Lodge. Yesterday morning all the residents awoke to a mixture of working and non working lights and air con’s and it turns out that our supply had partly failed and we were running on single phase power – rather than the usual three phase power. That’s as technical as I’m going to get – don’t worry.
Anyway, it means the mains feed into our development is stuffed and our homes now look like film studios as there are cables running all over the place to provide power – which is still not threee phase as I found out when I took a nice cold shower this morning… which I really didn’t need after a night out in Sai Kung at Steamers and then Cru for dinner with Colin and Brenda and Tom.
This mornings hangover constitutes the brain damage in the title of this post as I type with coffee and paracetamol. Thanks for a great night out guys!
Anyway, back to the power – or lack of it. I have to say the actions of China Light and Power were spectacular. I returned home from work yesterday to find no less than 10 CLP vans and a swarm of engineers all over the place as well as another group digging a hole down the road, which promptly filled up with rainwater.
Hong Kong is a strange place, we do moan and groan about things from time to time, but the reaction of CLP was both prompt and efficient and you are left with a feeling of confidence that they are on top of things. Which is more than I can say about the awning man who was supposed to arrive to change the awning on Tuesday: we’ve yet to see him, which is a shame because the awning they installed to keep the rain off was somewhat sub optimal viz a viz it’s performance as all it managed to do was act as a sieve and turn heavy rain into a fine shower.
We will see what happens today and whether or not we get full power back and/or an awning. My moneys’ on CLP. Failing that I can always stand outside under the awning and get a hot shower.
Now I’ve wanted to set up a website for ages and, whilst I may be a regular internet and computer user I’m still basically a technophobe. It is in fact a miracle that I managed to set this up – the instructions include some wonderful guidance such as: ‘to use your domain server with your blog change your nameserver to..’. Fascinating. Still, encouraged by VJ, I set to and if you can read this then I have succeeded.
So, welcome to the Blog. The plan is to use it as a way to stay in touch with friends and family as we flit about the world over the next few months. We’re now committed to leaving Hong Kong in the middle of July and have rented a house in Wiltshire (lovely place, but why oh why did Tom Sharpe have pick that surname for Henry?). This little electronic notice board should be just the ticket for keeping in contact and letting folks know what we are up to….. Feel free to post a comment anytime…. Cheers.
Our new home will be at Lower Upham Farmhouse which is located on the east side of the A346 between J15 of the M4 and Marlborough.
Our house is at the end of the lane about two thirds of a mile from the main road.
This year our traditional Christmas Drinks party is being replaced by a summer party… to coincide with us leaving HK and moving to the UK. Little to celebrate, you might think… Nevertheless, any excuse for a party…
Invites will be sent in due course, but for those of you in Hong Kong please save the date…
Mulled wine to be replaced with Sangria and – just in case you wondered – Jaspa’s are booked to do the catering!