May 2024

March and April were busy Hong Kong at its finest.

Highlight on the personal front were the two grandfather duty visits. In March I went to Bangkok to visit eldest son Vincent, his wife Emi, and three children Alyssa (16), Joshua (14) and Liora (10). A great time, even the dog Chewie remembered me fondly. Vincent’s Mum Marion was coming to the end of her three-month Thai visa and we flew back to Hong Kong together. Late April Marion and I were on the move again, this time to Beijing to visit second son Victor, his wife Lisa and their son Dan. It was fantastic to be there for Dan’s 10th birthday – I even got my WeChat Pay to work (twice!). There was time to visit Lama Temple.

I was a guest at the inter-schools regatta at Middle-Island, returned the hospitality of my successor as Director-General of Investment Promotion Alpha Lau by taking her to lunch at the FCC, renewed my Home Return Permit at China Travel (document name now changed to Travel Pass) despite the complete absence of any English language signage, fought off a third attack of bronchitis. Got to meet Mark Peaker, a famous Hong Kong resident who tries to correct misleading coverage of HK affairs in the Financial Times with some success: he certainly gets more letters published than me. Attended the famous Ohel Leah synagogue’s sanctuary facility for the baby-naming ceremony of a friend’s first grandson (the equivalent of a christening but not using that title for obvious reasons!).

All this and one of the world’s top sporting events, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in all its glory following the dropping of all Covid restrictions. Last time (supposedly) at the old stadium, next year at the new sports centre at Kaitak. I’ll be there as I have been at every one since 1976.