Time is called


So I am shortly to be taking the Airport Express to the airport, another very efficient system here. I dropped off my bags at the In Town CheckIn this morning and went onto Hong Kong Island and caught a bus to Stanley Market. I managed to get my case shut and though it appeared very heavy to me actually came in just below 32 kg so quite pleased with that. Just got to lug it across London tomorrow but for now it’s gone. My pics today show something of Stanley and some of HK captured on the bus, quality not quite as good as normal using iPhone and on the move but hopefully they give you a cross section of Hong Kong. I have also loaded up my album on Flickr which has my complete stay on there, 185 photos. Check it out on:
https://flickr.com/photos/129267800@N02/sets/72157675165414132
I have done this last day so many times. I count it as a bonus day. I do not fly until 23.45 and it used to be even later. So once I have got rid of my bags, collected my boarding pass I am free to roam the streets. I have my hotel room until 6 pm so I can wander and return there, shower, relax and then book out. Talking of booking out the pound was worth just 9.2 to the HKD today, this is by far the worst it has ever been. Once I recall it at 10 but in the main 11/12 and I also recall 15. So the bill was somewhat higher than usual and this time, just my luck, the university is not paying for it. 
Stanley was very quiet today, I know it is a Monday but it was noticeably empty. I noticed one of the seafront restaurants had gone and some of the stalls in the Market were unoccupied. One of my favourite stalls was still there and I managed to get a small present for a friend’s golden wedding celebration in December, just need to make sure I do not break it as I have it in my carry on bag and it’s a bit delicate. Looking forward to my second experience of first class travel, probably the only time I shall ever do this. So I will go up early to the airport to enjoy the lounge. 
I have missed some of the routines of my life, which in no particular order include: watching my favourite soaps (Emmerdale and Corrie), eating toast and butter for breakfast (and if I could dinner and tea!), watching my football team, seeing my family and friends, driving my car, missing the start of I’m a Celebrity, and, probably not as much, the rain, snow, sleet and whatever else has been going on in the U.K. I also have three novels waiting for me, ordered online. Whilst I am ready for those routines to return I hope my blog has conveyed what a wonderful time I have had whilst here. Coming here whilst not working was a new experience. I think I could have come for longer and had a few rest days in-between but given the parlous state of my health before leaving the UK I have survived very well, partly thanks to this public convenience capital of the world!
HK is changing as is the rest of the world and I think there are uncomfortable times ahead. I have in the main stayed within my comfort zone, renewing known friendships and revisiting familiar places. But new experiences too have been enjoyed and I thank all my friends for making this trip so enjoyable. I have captured in a collage below many of those gatherings with apologies to a few people with whom I did not capture a photo. I see change around me all the time.
I asked today where my favourite hotel manager, Marilyn, was. I was told that she has left the hotel for personal reasons and I could not get any more out of the staff member. Marilyn has been an ever present here in my 14 years. She was bar manager when I first came and always remembered your name and did this with everyone she met. At some point she became the e-lounge manager and then more recently the 1865 membership manager, so I often saw her. She was so good at people management. She once said to me that the residents came into the e-lounge as customers and she hoped they left as friends. She was Filipino and the only non-Chinese on the entire workforce. She did experience some prejudice but was also a feisty woman who would fight back. She spoke Cantonese, English and Filapino and this was a great asset. I expected to see her, in fact she had arranged my stay, getting me 10% off the bill. But it was not to be but I do hope she is ok wherever she has gone.
So before I sign off I would not be a former academic if I did not ask for feedback. I have noticed through the stats that I have had between 35-50 different visitors each day, though the info does not tell me whether each day I got the same people or new ones. I know a few of you have kindly commented on my blog and this is much appreciated. My question is this: I am thinking I might carry on blogging though probably no more than once a week. Would this be welcomed? Have I entertained you enough to keep coming back. Any thoughts I would love to hear from you all.
So now I am at the airport and soon will be on my way. Thanks to all of you for sharing this journey with me. 

2 thoughts on “Time is called

  1. Well, you have definitely entertained me. I really enjoy your style of writing. I’m just not dedicated enough to stop and read. But, half an hour reading your journal was well worth it. What a trip full of wonderful memories both in pictures and words.

    Liked by 1 person

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