Maps

I love maps. When I travel, they are always in my luggage either in print or electronic form. My kids love them too and when they were young, I started to teach them how to follow a map by using the Hong Kong MTR map each time we travelled. I realised when my son had learned to follow a particular line and each station on it when he was playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine at home one day and was pushing it across the back of the sofa counting out the stops, cushion, next cushion, Mummy’s hair, another cushion. Got me thinking he was probably ready to move on to bigger and better maps!

In Hong Kong we have the MTR; in London, it’s the Underground or the Tube. Both are fantastic ways of exploring these two amazing cities. The Tube is of course much older dating back in some places to Victorian times and sometimes you can be forgiven to thinking you are riding on a train that old. Hong Kong’s MTR is much smaller but I reckon still carries the same number of passengers, at least until Admiralty.

Anyway, two maps have hit my Facebook page recently and I wanted to share them with you.  Not sure how Londoners will take to anyone who has French blood in them “messing” with their Underground but hey, who am I to comment?

“Put your hands together for Jug Cerović who’s masterfully reworked metro maps for stylish navigation. The French- Serbian architect has standardised 12 underground networks across Europe, Asia and America, enlarging the central part of the maps to make them easier to read. The London Underground version is helpfully labelled with the initial of each line, and stations are laid out in a way that makes more sense geographically. The Overground has also been transformed into a satisfying loop that circles the city so you’ll never get derailed again.” Time Out London.

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Now Hong Kongers have been treated to a literal translation version of their beloved MTR. What great names – just who is Pauline and I dread to think how Oil Pond got its name. However my favourite destination has to be Utmost Peace.

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I feel like I’m being stalked!

So if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that although I’m living back in the UK, my heart and half of my head is still in Hong Kong. I also feel like I’m being taunted by Hong Kong. Everywhere I go online there seems to be a link taking me to a video or a blog or a website telling me how wonderful it is to live in Hong Kong – so hey people, I know, I get it, don’t rub it in!!

Enough with the moaning, here’s just one link that made me smile today – hope it makes you smile too.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/things-only-people-who-live-in-hong-kong-will-understand

Half expat?

Hubby’s job took us from the UK to Hong Kong 12 ½ years ago and last summer he left that company to start work for a new one. They wanted him for a larger role to cover Africa (won’t bore you with the details) based in Johannesburg. Dilemma. Our eldest child was already in boarding school in the UK and our youngest had just two years left at school in Hong Kong before hopefully starting university in the UK. Where do we live? Do I stay in HK with number 2 child? Do we all move to Johannesburg? Do we all move to the UK with hubby doing a long commute? So many options and opinions! After much discussion we ended up with hubby living in Jo’burg, me moving to UK and number 2 child happily in the same boarding school as number 1 child also in the UK although the other side of the country from our house. Not ideal being apart but one thing I’ve learned about expats is that we live with all sorts of weird family set ups so it becomes the norm.

The kids and I are our in Jo’burg for the Easter holidays for our second visit to hubby’s home and I have a chance to quickly reflect on our first couple of days.

It’s coming into Autumn here but it’s much warmer than the Spring we left in the UK. The airport looked bright and welcoming.

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Instead of our lovely 1500 sq ft apartment in HK, we have an enormous house with pool and garden. The downside is the electric fence.

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There are the same tropical plants that we found in Hong Kong and even our BBQ made the trip safely from HK to South Africa.

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Two brave birds ventured close to the house. They  dig for food with their long beaks and make the most awful loud screeching noise, usually about 6am…..

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So as they say in Hong Kong, same same but different, ok la?

 

 

Spring in the UK part two

So I’ve already posted some photos of Spring in the UK showing the amazing blossoms and spring flowers but last week I had the privilege of visiting Amelia Farm near Barry in South Wales.  One of the best things about returning to the UK is reconnecting with friends and one such friend is director of Amelia Farm. It’s lambing time and I was lucky enough to see a live birth.

This is where the expectant ewes are waiting.

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The ewe in labour had a condition where she needed to be helped to deliver her twins and the very talented farmer got stuck in with my friend holding down the ewe.

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Here are the twins.

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Here they are safely with mum all clean and getting stuck in.

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Here are some lambs that arrived earlier in the week.

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Not what I’d been used to seeing in Hong Kong!