I had three lunch/dinner engagements this week which has set the week off well and once again demonstrated the easy welcome that local people give me. Such is the proliferation of food outlets it is so easy to have lunch and enjoy some wonderful food. I met up with the three probation officers who we entertained in UK and had a great dinner. I was introduced to MBT – physiological designed footwear which sound potentially as if they might bring long needed relief to the pain of my feet. The publicity and research sounds convincing so I wonder if anyone has experience of them. They would be an expensive mistake if they do not work? Also I have a promise of a cheap evening’s massage across the chinese border. It is certainly inviting and worth a try.
I have been living frugally, a difficult task for me as I have always had a very approximate sense of my personal wealth (or lack of it!!) But it is so easy to eat out so cheaply and conveniently that I have reconsidered my strategy of cooking for myself and more and more simply grab a meal and relax and enjoy. The cafe nearby (see pic) is just 20 yards from my apartment and I had a Spaghetti Bolognese the other day for 26 HKD about £2.10p hard to prepare for yourself as cheap. Plus my discovery of a great wet market means cheaper and wonderful fruit to have – persimmon, papaya, yellow mangos, pineapples and oranges. Perfect. So I am enjoying the life here and perhaps most importantly feel so relaxed.
My pattern at the moment is to spend the day researching for my potential articles and the joy of having time to read and find potential sources is really something. Even though I am picking stuff up from the UK the 8 hours difference means that emails don’t start to flow until 5 pm my time and therefore I have done a full day by then. So I get the kind of uninterrupted day which allows me to approach my work in more control of my pace and direction. This will have real benefits for progressing my writing. I have 11 potential writing projects – too many to achieve them all but they all have links and dependencies on other issues so some will naturally fall by the way side. I am hoping the Home Office fund some work because the deadlines of such research will ensure I produce three articles by April but we await the complex and frustrating procedures of their procurement department.
It is nevertheless strange not to be in that multitasking quick-moving world I normally find myself in. I guess the adrenalin of that world is my normal daily routine and getting myself free from that routine takes some adjustment. I have often found free time in my day difficult to fill. It is almost as if there is no urgency so no adrenalin so struggle to focus. I have found that a bit here too from time to time (see previous blog – In the office below) but I think I am beginning to re-train myself to embrace the calm and enjoy the space. There is enough action to come (I am doing a session with students next week and have various commitments to meet whilst here) so i need to ensure my reading and reflection time is productive.
I guess that means I should finish for now and get some reading done!!