Searching for locations: Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is a modern, but luxurious hotel, one that our travel agent found for us.

I was initially worried that it might be too far away from central Hong Kong, but a free shuttle bus that runs at convenient times took us to and from the hotel to the Star Ferry terminal.

The luxuriousness of the hotel starts the moment you walk in the front entrance with a magnificent staircase that I assumed led up to the convention center (or perhaps where weddings are catered for) and a staircase where one could make a grand entrance or exit.  Oh, and there’s a chandelier too.

We booked into a Harbourview suite, and it was not only spacious but had that air of luxury about it that made it an experience every time you walked into it.

But the view of Hong Kong Harbour, that was the ‘piece de resistance’

I spent a lot of time staring out that window, and it was more interesting than watching the television, which we didn’t do much of.   Most of the time, when we travel, TV is limited to International English speaking news channels.

This time we had several movies included with the room, but I still preferred to watch the endless water traffic on the harbor.

The lounge area had several comfortable chairs, an area for the bar fridge and tea or coffee making facilities and on the opposite side the usual table and chairs for those who came to conduct business

The bedroom was separate to the entrance and lounge.  Notable was the fact the room had two bathrooms, one in the bedroom, and one out in the lounge, perhaps for the guests who were having friends in.

We dined in one of the restaurants, Hoi Yat Heen, where we experienced Guandong cuisine.  I tried the roasted goose for the first time, and it was interesting to say the least.

There’s no doubt where we will be staying the next time we go to Hong Kong.

It’s still a strange world

I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to turn on the tv anymore.

I get it. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and everyone wants to get back to work, but is it worth the cost of lives?

It raises the question, how much is a single life worth?

Apparently, to some, nothing. We see various countries rebelling against the so-called notion we should be social distancing, staying at home, and stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

It seems some countries, and a section of their population, just don’t care.

And the pity of it is, all those that do the right thing will inevitably forgive those that break the rules, even if they spread the disease because of their foolhardiness.

Our citizens will die, but we will be reluctant to call them murderers. They will find some way to hold the more sensible nations to ransom, simply because they have something we all need, something we turned over to them because we were naive. In a sense we still are.

Consumerism and capitalism, and dare I say it, greed, at its very worst.

But, the alternatives, fascism, communism, and dictatorships is unpalatable.

Something else we have discovered because of this world pandemic is our own stupidity in considering that a global economy was the way to go. All of a sudden everything we had moved to China, and elsewhere offshore, has come back to bite us. No whitegoods, no clothes, everything but food. At least we haven’t sold all of that down the river. Yet.

This is one hell of a wake-up call.

We need to address that self-sufficiency we no longer have. We need to bring back manufacturing, we need, in other words, to become self-sufficient again. No matter what the cost. It seems ems that in sending away everything meant that we sent away out national pride as well.

Made in Australia is something of a hollow joke. Now we get labels that no longer say, Made in Australia, it’s now what percentage is made in this country, and that isn’t a lot.

I suspect it’s the same for a lot of so-called western countries, including the United States.

This isn’t going to be the first or the last time this sort of problem will happen. ln fact, it’s only going to get worse. The thing is, are we going to learn from it?

Yes, we need to fit into the rest of the world but, no, we don’t need to sell our souls to do it.

We need to do something about it, now, while we can. This pandemic might just have a silver lining, if only we recognize the opportunity for what it is.

Searching for locations: Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is a modern, but luxurious hotel, one that our travel agent found for us.

I was initially worried that it might be too far away from central Hong Kong, but a free shuttle bus that runs at convenient times took us to and from the hotel to the Star Ferry terminal.

The luxuriousness of the hotel starts the moment you walk in the front entrance with a magnificent staircase that I assumed led up to the convention center (or perhaps where weddings are catered for) and a staircase where one could make a grand entrance or exit.  Oh, and there’s a chandelier too.

We booked into a Harbourview suite, and it was not only spacious but had that air of luxury about it that made it an experience every time you walked into it.

But the view of Hong Kong Harbour, that was the ‘piece de resistance’

I spent a lot of time staring out that window, and it was more interesting than watching the television, which we didn’t do much of.   Most of the time, when we travel, TV is limited to International English speaking news channels.

This time we had several movies included with the room, but I still preferred to watch the endless water traffic on the harbor.

The lounge area had several comfortable chairs, an area for the bar fridge and tea or coffee making facilities and on the opposite side the usual table and chairs for those who came to conduct business

The bedroom was separate to the entrance and lounge.  Notable was the fact the room had two bathrooms, one in the bedroom, and one out in the lounge, perhaps for the guests who were having friends in.

We dined in one of the restaurants, Hoi Yat Heen, where we experienced Guandong cuisine.  I tried the roasted goose for the first time, and it was interesting to say the least.

There’s no doubt where we will be staying the next time we go to Hong Kong.

It’s still a strange world

I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to turn on the tv anymore.

I get it. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and everyone wants to get back to work, but is it worth the cost of lives?

It raises the question, how much is a single life worth?

Apparently, to some, nothing. We see various countries rebelling against the so-called notion we should be social distancing, staying at home, and stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

It seems some countries, and a section of their population, just don’t care.

And the pity of it is, all those that do the right thing will inevitably forgive those that break the rules, even if they spread the disease because of their foolhardiness.

Our citizens will die, but we will be reluctant to call them murderers. They will find some way to hold the more sensible nations to ransom, simply because they have something we all need, something we turned over to them because we were naive. In a sense we still are.

Consumerism and capitalism, and dare I say it, greed, at its very worst.

But, the alternatives, fascism, communism, and dictatorships is unpalatable.

Something else we have discovered because of this world pandemic is our own stupidity in considering that a global economy was the way to go. All of a sudden everything we had moved to China, and elsewhere offshore, has come back to bite us. No whitegoods, no clothes, everything but food. At least we haven’t sold all of that down the river. Yet.

This is one hell of a wake-up call.

We need to address that self-sufficiency we no longer have. We need to bring back manufacturing, we need, in other words, to become self-sufficient again. No matter what the cost. It seems ems that in sending away everything meant that we sent away out national pride as well.

Made in Australia is something of a hollow joke. Now we get labels that no longer say, Made in Australia, it’s now what percentage is made in this country, and that isn’t a lot.

I suspect it’s the same for a lot of so-called western countries, including the United States.

This isn’t going to be the first or the last time this sort of problem will happen. ln fact, it’s only going to get worse. The thing is, are we going to learn from it?

Yes, we need to fit into the rest of the world but, no, we don’t need to sell our souls to do it.

We need to do something about it, now, while we can. This pandemic might just have a silver lining, if only we recognize the opportunity for what it is.

Searching for locations: The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The sight of the Peninsula Hotel is very familiar to all who visit Hong Kong, if not to stay but certainly if you want to see the last vestiges of British influence in what was once a far eastern colony.

That is, we’re talking about the front building, not the new tower at the back.  In the older days there would have been a great view of the harbor from the Veranda (that area with the blue striped canopy) where today, breakfast is taken.

We had breakfast, lunch, and the famous afternoon tea in the ground floor cafe.

These days you would mostly see taxis, buses, and Teslas, if not a flurry of Mercedes and green Rolls Royces in the small car park below.  There is no clear view of the harbor anymore.

From our room, one facing the harbor we could see the space museum, and on the day we arrived, rain, at times, blotting out the harbor and Hong Kong Island barely discernable in the distance.

As for the room itself, it was excellent, a junior suite, I think, because it had two distinctive areas.  Everything was run from a tablet computer, blinds, lights, television, and most importantly, air conditioning.  This was the first hotel I’ve stayed in where it was neither too hot or too cold, but just rights.

The bed was very large and extremely comfortable, as were the pillows.  Pillows, I’m afraid, are a bugbear with me, as no hotel seems to be able to get it right.  They’re either too soft or too hard, too tall, or too shallow.  Here, they managed to get it right.

The windows were just the right size not to affect the air conditioning, ie. let too much heat in.

I’m not sure I could say the lounge chair was comfortable, but there was only one, which makes it difficult if there are two of you.  I wasn’t going to fight for it.

The desk had a surprise in the bottom drawer, a printer!

And the bathroom, though slightly smaller than expected, had some hint of what it may have been like in the early days.  It had both a shower and a bath.

Every now and then we all get a chance to stop and reflect on life

Funerals are by definition sad occasions.  It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them to come together to celebrate their life.

It is also usually a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, and can take an interesting turn given the right set of circumstances.

And, depending on how old you are at the time, you could start reflecting on your own mortality, and how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.

Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The sad fact is, we all do.  We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done, with a motto of, old enough to know better and young enough not to care.

What happens when you die at 44?

It’s one of those questions that we face when attending the funeral of the daughter of one of my in-laws.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many of us look forward to retirement, and having reached that age, generally in the mid to late 60s, that we will be settled in our life, all major commitments completed, we will be in reasonably good health, our children will be old enough to look after themselves, and we have an adequate retirement plan to see us through to old age.

Until then, we sacrifice a great deal, spending our time either working or helping our children on their way to an equally successful life.

There never seems to be time for those holidays overseas or doing those things near and dear to us, putting it off till ‘tomorrow’.

No one realizes ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

 

 

In a word: Prize

What you win, first prize in a raffle, though I don’t think I’ve ever won first prize.  Second maybe.  But, aren’t all raffles rigged?  

But despite my unfortunate run of luck, a prize is generally give to someone who works hard, or wins a race

Or I could have been a prize fighter but lacked the size and the strength, and out of curiosity how many prize fighters didn’t win a prize?

And if I had been a pirate, I could have sailed the seven seas to find a prize, namely a ship to attack and take as my own.

And as a prime example, a Chelsea supporter walking into a bar full of Manchester United fans could be called a prize idiot.

This is not to be confused with the word prise

Don’t relatives prise the last dollar out of a dying man’s hand?

Or prise the truth out of a witness, or a perpetrator

Or prise a window open like thieves do when we forget to lock them properly?

Searching for locations: The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The sight of the Peninsula Hotel is very familiar to all who visit Hong Kong, if not to stay but certainly if you want to see the last vestiges of British influence in what was once a far eastern colony.

That is, we’re talking about the front building, not the new tower at the back.  In the older days there would have been a great view of the harbor from the Veranda (that area with the blue striped canopy) where today, breakfast is taken.

We had breakfast, lunch, and the famous afternoon tea in the ground floor cafe.

These days you would mostly see taxis, buses, and Teslas, if not a flurry of Mercedes and green Rolls Royces in the small car park below.  There is no clear view of the harbor anymore.

From our room, one facing the harbor we could see the space museum, and on the day we arrived, rain, at times, blotting out the harbor and Hong Kong Island barely discernable in the distance.

As for the room itself, it was excellent, a junior suite, I think, because it had two distinctive areas.  Everything was run from a tablet computer, blinds, lights, television, and most importantly, air conditioning.  This was the first hotel I’ve stayed in where it was neither too hot or too cold, but just rights.

The bed was very large and extremely comfortable, as were the pillows.  Pillows, I’m afraid, are a bugbear with me, as no hotel seems to be able to get it right.  They’re either too soft or too hard, too tall, or too shallow.  Here, they managed to get it right.

The windows were just the right size not to affect the air conditioning, ie. let too much heat in.

I’m not sure I could say the lounge chair was comfortable, but there was only one, which makes it difficult if there are two of you.  I wasn’t going to fight for it.

The desk had a surprise in the bottom drawer, a printer!

And the bathroom, though slightly smaller than expected, had some hint of what it may have been like in the early days.  It had both a shower and a bath.

Every now and then we all get a chance to stop and reflect on life

Funerals are by definition sad occasions.  It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them to come together to celebrate their life.

It is also usually a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, and can take an interesting turn given the right set of circumstances.

And, depending on how old you are at the time, you could start reflecting on your own mortality, and how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.

Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The sad fact is, we all do.  We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done, with a motto of, old enough to know better and young enough not to care.

What happens when you die at 44?

It’s one of those questions that we face when attending the funeral of the daughter of one of my in-laws.

It’s a well-known fact that a great many of us look forward to retirement, and having reached that age, generally in the mid to late 60s, that we will be settled in our life, all major commitments completed, we will be in reasonably good health, our children will be old enough to look after themselves, and we have an adequate retirement plan to see us through to old age.

Until then, we sacrifice a great deal, spending our time either working or helping our children on their way to an equally successful life.

There never seems to be time for those holidays overseas or doing those things near and dear to us, putting it off till ‘tomorrow’.

No one realizes ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

 

 

In a word: Prize

What you win, first prize in a raffle, though I don’t think I’ve ever won first prize.  Second maybe.  But, aren’t all raffles rigged?  

But despite my unfortunate run of luck, a prize is generally give to someone who works hard, or wins a race

Or I could have been a prize fighter but lacked the size and the strength, and out of curiosity how many prize fighters didn’t win a prize?

And if I had been a pirate, I could have sailed the seven seas to find a prize, namely a ship to attack and take as my own.

And as a prime example, a Chelsea supporter walking into a bar full of Manchester United fans could be called a prize idiot.

This is not to be confused with the word prise

Don’t relatives prise the last dollar out of a dying man’s hand?

Or prise the truth out of a witness, or a perpetrator

Or prise a window open like thieves do when we forget to lock them properly?