May 2023

The general theme of March and April was life in Hong Kong getting back to normal. Phew! Just in time, I was going crazy. Most visible was the scrapping of the mask mandate (at last). What a relief, no need to cover your face every time you went out of the front door or got out of the car. The revival of the Executive Counsel annual cocktail hosted by old friend Tim Pierson-Smith was most welcome as of course was the return at the end of March of the world’s best sporting event, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.

Earlier that month had been the impressive speech by retired Singapore official George Yeo. How is it the city state can produce so many of these wise statesmen: Kishore Mahbubani is another name that comes to mind.

A visit to Hong Kong by old friend Mike Pagliari was welcome, as was the boat trip from Saikung and the beach clean-up on Shark Island. But the highlight was surely the visit to Shenzhen for the weekend 29-30 April, returning to Hong Kong on I May. I went with Marion to meet our second son Victor and his Beijing-based family which of course includes our grandson Dan. Very enjoyable even allowing for the kerfuffle over completion of the health declaration in mainland Customs, and the temporary loss of my Home Return Permit. I went with Victor and Dan to Water World on the latter’s birthday. A great day despite – or should that be because? – of the incident on the Rainbow Rush.