Hong Kong Park


Well the boy done good. After feeling a bit down yesterday with stomach problems I choose to have an early evening sleep. This proved to be longer than I had anticipated. I did not wake up until 10 pm, wrote my blog quickly and returned to bed. I thought come 2/3 in the morning I would once again be wide awake. But no, a good night followed and jet lag seems to have left the building at last. So I woke up this morning feeling much better, well rested and looking forward to the day ahead. 
First port of call was a return to City University to have lunch with two professors of criminology. One of them, Dennis, was instrumental in arranging my sabbatical here in 2010. It was great to catch up with them both and renew friendships. Talk again focused on when I would come back to Hong Kong and there were suggestions made by them. Part of me think it’s unlikely that I will return here but there is optimism amongst the people I meet to at least get me to think about coming back. So I guess you should never say never and maybe there might be an opportunity to come in the future. Watch this space.
Before I left this morning I was reading the South China Morning Post, one of the key English written newspapers here in Hong Kong. I noticed that it was announcing that the last two outlets of an iconic shop chain, known as Page One, closed down yesterday. Page One was a bookstore which had been operating here since the 1990s and I think at one point had about four or five outlets. There was one in Festival Walk that are used a lot whenever I was teaching here but there were others I visited too. I guess it is a sign of the changing buying habits of people with maybe online purchasing preferred to using book stores and the article talked about how it can no longer sustain sufficient business to remain viable. The paper talked about how online ordering had impacted on the business. I guess reflecting my own pattern of behaviour I rarely now go to bookshops to buy books even though for most of my adult life it was a wonderful place to spend some hours browsing and then inevitably buying. I tend to order online now or use Kindle or audio-books. So I guess I am as much a culprit as many others having changed my pattern of behaviour which leads to this sort of outcome. It is sad to see such good bookstores going out of business.
After lunch I decided to make my way by MTR (underground) to the main island, Hong Kong Island. It was only 20 minutes from the university. I then passed through a huge shopping mall, yet another one, Pacific Place, and taking a number of escalators arrived at Hong Kong Park. Typical of Hong Kong you leave the bustling shops with people everywhere to suddenly emerge into the quiet of a park. Although not a huge space it was very tranquil and I sat and read a book (yes sadly using the Kindle) for a while. I then took a load of photos, a few of which are below. It was a lovely and reflective way to spend the afternoon. I was going to visit the museum of Tea which is in this Park but I have done so before and decided it was not for me today. I managed to get some sparrows willing to pose in close up so was pleased. Sunday will be my last chance to see if I can find some more colourful birds.
Returning to the hotel just before it rained I had a light tea and then a restful evening. I have now put my pictures so far into a Flickr file which everyone should be able to access, if you wish to of course. The link is:
https://flickr.com/photos/129267800@N02/sets/72157675165414132
There were many lovely flowers and shrubs, the sort of plants we try and grow inside the house in the UK with great difficulty but here grow freely in the open air. I also came across a mountain of turtles in one of the ponds and have captured a few of them. I shall add to this album over the next couple of days. Please let me know if you try the link and it does not work.

So the end of the week and just the final weekend to go. I have been struck by the way people have suggested ideas to encourage me to return here. It is tempting to think that I might do so but it does obviously depend on staying healthy and finding someone to want me to do something at a conference or seminar where they can support my travel and accommodation. It is a lovely thought though that I might get another chance to see so many wonderful people again, I will have met 24 on this trip all of which give me such a good memory. 
That is all for today, it’s late here now and I am hoping for a peaceful night. 

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