November 2022

Life continued on its merry way in September and October 2022, mostly routine but checking back on my appointment diary I can see quite a few things bubbling away.

Some months ago I was made director of a Swedish company Essemce AG, owned by my nephew and his wife, which makes equipment to facilitate glass-making (small furnaces and the like). We also set up a related Hong Kong company Essemce (HK) Ltd in preparation for when the company stepped up action in Asia. Suddenly that moment arrived and we sought to employ our first staff member Lily Huang. In the process of seeking approval from the Immigration Department for her changed visa status I gained firsthand experience of what is involved. A real eye opener.

I did my usual annual lecture at CUHK for my friend’s course on economics and Hong Kong as a place for business. The usual fee – a great bottle of wine – was subsequently consumed with relish.

I also resolved, as a matter of principle, not to attend any function that requires a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). Thus I did not join three Path of Democracy functions (including one lunch event for which I had secured the speaker, former chief executive C Y Leung), an important conference on the Greater Bay Area for which I was a VIP guest, the regular monthly lunches at the Hong Kong Club which are most enjoyable, and even the return of the Rugby Sevens for the first time since the inaugural one in 1976 (RAT and masks required in the open air!). Hong Kong’s response to Covid continues to be way over the top, and I refuse to join in the silliness. Persons flying in to Hong Kong are required to take an RAT before boarding and 11 tests in the first week (daily RAT plus four PCR tests.) Absurd.

I make only one exception: the monthly curry lunch with former colleagues.

On a brighter note, plans for our holiday in December firmed up, our first trip outside the SAR in three years. More next time.