November 2023

Normal life continued to get back into gear in September and October. September in particular is an anniversary month chez Rowse. Fanny’s birthday (no age to be mentioned) and our wedding anniversary both arrived on schedule. This year it was also the 10th anniversary of Victor’s wedding reception. To be clear, he married Lisa in Hong Kong in May 2013, but the reception itself was held in Guilin in September that year. Very dramatic, bride arriving by raft across the lake.

So what could be more appropriate than reconvening in the same location, and staying in the same place – Club Med! It was such a great idea we couldn’t resist it. Marion and I took the high-speed train – just four hours – and had a great weekend.

Found a fascinating book in, of all places, the Football Club library. Titled “Atrocity Fabrication and its consequences” by A B Abrams it was a real eye-opener, and I would unreservedly recommend it to anyone interested in world affairs.

My fortnightly columns in the SCMP continued to attract a small but significant audience, proven once again when a rare venture into foreign affairs (about the war between Israel and Hamas) drew forth a phone call from the Israel consul general. We met for coffee in his office to discuss. I stressed the need to find an acceptable way for the Palestinians and Israelis to live together in peace for the next 100 years.

I started planning for my 75th birthday party to be held once again on 28 December one week after the actual day to coincide with the anniversary of my arrival in Hong Kong.

Brother-in-law Rob Pelton visited for two weeks in late October. So nice to see him again after a long interval. He returned to South Africa where he will finish his posting in January. Two old men (he is 67) did our traditional walk on Lamma Island for the first time in four years. Gets harder each time, but still fun.