Thursday 14 February 2013


There was a mix up with the hospital booking today, and so, instead of being hooked up to an IV drip for my Valentine, I had a day all to myself to make as magical as I wished. On my younger sister's clever advice, I went to the Fitz and drank in Quentin Blake's exhibition of pen and inks, and then next door to glazed Jingdezhen Porcelain, exquisitely crafted.
Continuing with sisterly advice, I stopped by Kings and sampled some (ok, fine, bought some) fudge from the Fudge Kitchen...
then visited the Haunted Bookstore where I ignored the ominous bat, offered the shop owner some fudge (she said No thanks, I'm a cheese woman)...
and went in search of Cicely Mary Barker's Heart's Ease fairy instead... you know the song? Come away and seek me when the year is young, Through the open ploughlands, beyond the garden wall...
While waiting for the ward manager to sort out the mix up, my companion in the waiting room shared both grisly and endearing details of her life. The operation, the cancer, her Bucket List and her cat. Her cat, who was abandoned on Valentine's Day by her previous owners. The cat, who responds to Darling now, and has the power to turn her new owner's cheeks blush pink with joy. Who needs a boy, anyway?

Sunday 10 February 2013


Was it only yesterday, that mysterious period of time, when I was a butterfly in Bali, my toes hot pink, and my soul snuggled into the villa lounger, glad of shelter from the late morning sun?
And did I really travel from sun to snow to see the last of the winter flowers?
So ends the dramatic Year of the Dragon and heralds the Year of the Black Water Snake...
Ancient wisdom tells us to be careful, cautious, slow and methodical this year... and that Monday is the lucky day of the week for Snakes... Ha! Monday! The world's least loved day!
But never mind Monday. This Sunday is a double celebration day - as paper snakes and red lanterns are twisted around doorways and set off into night skies, we celebrate my mother's birthday. My talented and conscientious mother, who doesn't need this to be the Year of the Snake to be thoughtful and particular about her actions and words. Beautiful is as beautiful does was never truer.

One of the most invaluable lessons my mother taught us was how to learn to share. Everything was shared as equally as possible between my brothers and myself. Across the globe, the nephew, decked in red, is learning to exchange oranges and share school life celebrations of Chinese New Year

and having spent many hours of fake cooking with me, is clearly able to take on a real birthday cake now!

 GONG XI FA CAI my beloveds, and a Happy Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mother!!